Under the alias Girl Ultra, Mexico City’s Mariana ‘Nan’ de Miguel makes lush, sweet and sensual pop-tinged R&B. She’s part of the Finesse Records crew, a self-described “Future Mexican Netlabel”, founded in 2012 to push Latin American sonics into new territories and develop a space of creativity and comfort in contrast to the devastation and difficulties of the war on drugs. Indeed, there’s a sense of resplendent escapism that comes through in her music and personality – de Miguel has spoken before of being deeply inspired by the divas of Golden Age Mexican cinema.
De Miguel first became interested in a music career when she was in a disco band back in her high school days, and there’s still a delicate danceability to her work – be that in her original songs or her Spanish-language covers of the likes of Drake, The Weeknd and Daniel Caesar (incidentally, she’s opened for Caesar collaborator Kali Uchis in Mexico City before). Girl Ultra has also performed at Boiler Room and was part of the Adidas Creator Camp in LA sharing the studio with artists including Babyface, Smino, and Victoria Monet. Combine all that with the fact her debut album, Nuevos Aires, is set to land for later this year, and Girl Ultra’s beguiling R&B is soon to be entrancing you on the regular – not least because she’ll be starting work on album number two immediately after. As she tells us, she calls this “the eternal artist rebirth; a curse and a blessing.”