Brewer's Sessions Season Finale with Angelica Garcia
With Mexican and Salvadoran roots in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles, Garcia has spent the last few years creating a new, second family for herself within the welcoming community of Richmond, VA. This multicultural dichotomy shapes Cha Cha Palace , which finds Garcia confidently assembling a "mental scrapbook" of her journey for listeners, and for herself, all the while confronting a lifetime of feeling split between two identities. “ I grew up feeling embarrassed of my culture because it often made me feel like I stuck out in school. My dad would pick me up sometimes blasting Mexican banda music. My own lunch would embarrass me ,” she explains. “ When I got older I realized that these things are all a part of my identity and I should be proud of them. The things that felt like they were holding me back from being ‘a normal American kid’ are actually my power .”
Cha Cha Palace—produced by Eddie Prendergast and recorded at Spacebomb Studio and Virginia Moonwalker Studio in Richmond, VA—is the result of Garcia’s daily experience of finding her own sense of identity and place. Raised in a multigenerational, musical home (her grandmother, uncle, and aunt all sing traditional Mexican music, while her mother is a professional singer of mostly mariachi and Latin pop), Garcia’s various musical interests and influences are the foundation for her bold and buoyant sound—one that creates her own space by blending cultural traditions with contemporary and visionary styles. The past is always present within her songs, from “It Don’t Hinder Me” and “Jícama,” to her covers of the traditional Mexican folk song “Llorona” (on which she duets with her mother) and Jose Alfredo Jimenez’s “La Enorme Distancia,” here improvised by her grandmother and included as a vignette.
Cha Cha Palace has seen high acclaim from The New York Times, The LA Times, Rolling Stone, Vantiy Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, an endorsement from President Obama and many more. The record is out now via Spacebomb Records.