Iraida Noriega

Iraida Noriega

Smiling, bright, Iraida Noriega introduces herself. The singer turns 15 as a soloist, although, she tells us, she has been professional for 29 years: “If I think I started singing with my dad at 16 and that was my first job and they paid me, technically it is official.”


Currently she is considered one of the best voices of the independent national scene, a woman who does not like to be typecast and who has recorded the same jazz, hip hop, versions of rock themes, experienced with her voice, although it could hardly be described as Eclectic: “I myself do not understand what happened. When I started, the Mexican Divas series that Edmundo Navas took out in Sonic Option had an eclectic concept; I feel that in my first albums, especially in Sea Trip , these things appear, a groovy part , another jazzy , folky part . Now, instead of making an eclectic album, I try to dive into a single concept and develop it. ”

However, although eclecticism has been left aside, this does not prevent today’s musicians from taking on many more tasks. Recently, Iraida commented that we were about to return to the concept of the Renaissance man, capable of dedicating himself to different disciplines. “This is a reflection because first I am a mother and, second, one begins to wonder about education, what happens to her in Mexico and that implies reflecting on one’s own education. In addition to that all the time I am in a teaching work in which I see that there are super talented guys who come with the conflict, because they do many things and are forced to define themselves, to be only one. We are not one way, we have many facets and ways to express ourselves. For a few years here I have given myself permission to be many things and not stay in a box,

“Do you want to escape the label of being a woman who sings jazz?”, I ask and answer: “I can’t have control over that. I think it coincides with a historical moment in the country and in my life, because when I returned to Mexico after having been in New York, I felt that all that generation of old-school jazzmen was very funny that I knew the standards and those Old-time songs, because that was what I grew up listening to. I had to appear at a time when no one else did it with that naturalness and that has a lot to do with the hang of the jazz label. After that, it has been to see how much I really am and I feel that making music is discovering me little by little. Work with José Fors and put myself in a situation where I make my first screamsà la Janis or together with Alex Otaola, is letting go; Both are taking me somewhere else. I am the first to say: ‘You like that this was possible in me and apart how good it feels to do it.’ You pay attention to your gut, discover who you are and enforce it, because there is a place in the world for you, because you are unique and unrepeatable. After that, I think it would be good to rethink how far we could do without labels. ”

Used to using most of the technological tools available today, Iraida observes that the share of cultural consumption destined to independent music is minimal: “It is a very complex issue, it is the question we are all dealing with and not I know where the answer is. Today spoke with Leika Mochán and told me what make a touched if people do not go. But one has to do what one has to do and the rest who knows. Yes, there is a question of a system that is very difficult to knock down, even in independence, because for a year now the independent movement is no longer being so independent and is getting sick of institutional forms. ”

Almost by the end of 2015, she, along with Luis Miguel Costero and Juan Jo López, the LIJ Trío, released En el Bosque , a song album by, among others, David Aguilar, León Gieco, Pedro Cervera and Violeta Parra. “There are thousands of songs that I like, but I feel at the piano, I start to play them and they don’t come in and there are rolas that operate differently. It is something that obeys the body, the lyrics, but so far I have not had to sing something I did not want.

Always restless and open to new experiences, he is now about to edit a work with pianist Ken Bichel, a work that opts for improvisation and in which, again, he looks for new experiences to transmit with his voice: “The album is of pure improvisation, sometimes very acoustic and sometimes with some electronics. It is an album in which there are moments in which I am really surprised, because improvisation has that possibility of opening a door that must be in you, moments in which you would swear that they are songs made and right; but no, everything is improvised. ”

At the same time, the work he developed with pianist Abraham Barrera is already very advanced: “The project is called Luminosa. Literary fantasy for chamber orchestra and jazz sextet . We already played it and made a more or less referential recording. They are like suites , movements of between eight and ten minutes and the lyrics are made up of a selection of Latin American poetry, from Jorge Luis Borges to modern poets like Joana Medellín. That is what is at the door, a book, album … Lorena Aquino, who is a singer from Chiapas and is also a painter, I asked her if she could use one of her paintings as a cover and then she asked me to do work around Luminosa . So now there are pictures, poetry, music. ”

“Luminous is a project that, given its characteristics, demands a physical format. What to do now that people are no longer interested in music as an object, what to do when people no longer want to pay for it? ”, I question.

“It’s a very tough issue,” he replies. “Because you have to be very well focused on your psyche, because the first message you receive when that happens is that what you do is not valid, it is not so important. Being able to distance yourself from that and that does not enter your brain, your soul and your motivation is a subject; On the other hand, I do believe that we always feel that what comes from outside is better. They have told me many times, and it saddens me to hear it, that I have to leave the country, because only by leaving and triumphing elsewhere will they listen to me. This speaks of the fact that the level of misunderstanding and self-assessment, both individual and collective, that we carry is very strong, but it is the father who gives the battle in your place, this is where you have to make things change. I think there are ghosts that will chase you wherever you go. I insist there is a system that is separating us all the time, making us sick with fear so that we don’t go out. The question is: what do we do? Do what you know, what you have to do, do yourplayed , sing what you have to sing, make the music that corresponds to you. The rest are things that are not in our hands and for that reason we will not stop doing it ”.


This text was published originally or on 15 June 2016 and is part of Writings in time, a book that will present David Cort é s next Thursday, November 7 at the Multiforo Alicia (Av. Cuauht é moc 91-A, Col. Rome) and in which he compiles articles, essays, interviews and chronicles . They present Homer Ontiveros (Inspector), Natalia Zsendro (Reactor) and Nahum Torres (employed books). Special performance by Pascual Reyes. The appointment is at 18:18 s.