Dazed Digital


Cholita Sound

March 14, 2012

The latest alter ego from visual artist Caterina Purdy created to escape boredom and embrace hot Latin sounds

  • Text by Nico Castro

Visual artist Caterina Purdy has been around for a long time, but at some point she got bored with the limitations of her work, so she started working in music. To separate both disciplines, she came up with different alter egos, each with a different sound and image, from the electronic rock of Purdy Rocks to her latest, much more Latin and Andean-oriented Cholita Sound.

She'll be releasing a full length album at the end of the month, so we asked her a few questions to see what Cholita is all about.

Satellite Voices: What made you get into music besides your role as a visual artist? How do you combine both of them?
Caterina Purdy:
I'm restless and I always need to be doing things that keep me stimulated. I felt that the visual arts circuit was kind of small and self-involved. So simply I tried to reach a bigger and more receptive audience, without any prejudices. Music is just another way of looking for things, but I feel it reaches out better, and has more feeling. I can connect both through my videos, shows and visuals. I can exhibit music products at a gallery and reinvent them. And the other way round as well, by making art pieces that can work within the music field.

SV: Your debut was more electronic rock oriented. How did you change your alter ego and sound from Purdy Rocks to Cholita Sound?
Caterina Purdy:
I'm always creating different alter egos so as to be part of worlds in which I couldn't live without them. Monga, Shenga la Warrior and Purdy Rocks made that job for me in certain moments. They're still alive and they could appear again whenever I feel it necessary, but I had to create Cholita, which is more tasteful, Latin American and Andean. And Chulita, who loves the street style and "perreo". There's also Indiecita and others that are not fully shaped yet.

SV: For those who have never heard Cholita Sound, how would you describe her musically and visually?
Caterina Purdy:
Cholita Sound is the avatar I had to create to escape from the boredom and play tasty, Latin sounds, or 'handicraft electro-dembow from the Altiplano', always maintaining my dark synth sounds. Visually and musically, there's a mixture of pop culture, Andean elements, craziness and pure psychedelia.

SV: Do you have any intentions of showing the project abroad? Are there any chances to achieve success in Chile with it or do you need to look somewhere else?
Caterina Purdy:
That's a tough question. Chile is very ungrateful for projects that escape the normal, and it's almost impossible to make a living out of it, since the artists needs to worked for little or no money to support them. For me, working here has always had a double weight, like a handicap, but I'm used to it. I've had a lot of feedback from abroad, and I've always been told that I'd do much better outside of Chile. "Cholita Sound Apocalipsis Megamix Show" is very atypical, and we don't have a platform for more experimental projects in here. They keep inviting me from Mexico, and I'll probably go there if I can get certain conditions sorted out. Being a mom of a six-year-old kid makes me very picky with my time and resources.

SV: Your live shows add new things that can't be heard on the studio versions. What will people see when they go to a Cholita Sound show?
Caterina Purdy:
I have two different formats. One is the full show, which I've only done three times, because it requires a lot of production and a good stage. It includes a visual artist, two dancers, a quena player, a DJ and complex illumination. There's a different set for each song and elaborated visuals and costumes. "Cholita Solita" is the one I play the most for obvious reasons, including tight budgets from clubs and promoters. I'm releasing my album on March 29, with MKRNI. It's coming out via Hueso Records in New York. I hope I can get my show to more people and be able to do it more often. Still, on both people will be able to find doses of delirium, energy and celebration.

SV: Finally, what other local artists or musicians would you like to recommend?
Caterina Purdy:
A lot! I'll put some of my friends, and I'm probably forgetting many others. Zonora Point, Matanza, MKRNI, Nea, Afrik, Andesground, Diamante Label, Peronists. They're all very talented people from the underground and DIY scenes.

Photo by Gabriel Sckolnick

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