In Conversation With: KORDELYA
KORDELYA has an unforgettable aura. The rising Mexican-American artist, who is recognized through songs like “saludos” and “Consentido,” is among the most promising new artists today. KORDELYA’s prowess as a multifaceted singer and producer is reflected by her bittersweet melodies that revolve around themes such as heartbreak to self-growth, all the way to the synths and cultural instruments that interlocks with her songs.
In early 2020, KORDELYA unveiled her debut album aptly titled Mal Hecha, which was filled with songs marked by her capacity to paint vivid pictures through storytelling. The lead single, “saludos” featuring Jesse Beaz as well as records like “Terco” and “Hear Me Out” are fan-favorites within her catalog. After a successful run last year, KORDELYA now follows it up with her latest and most vulnerable work to date, “Torero” through music publisher BMG. It serves as just a taste of what’s to come from the arresting songstress and her forthcoming full-length project in 2022.
We spoke with KORDELYA about her new single “Torero,” style, and her artistic inspirations as she prepares to roll out new music. Read below!
Can you share with us the significance behind your latest single’s title, “Torero”?
“Torero” means bullfighter. When we think about these red flags, a bullfighter is literally holding a red flag. It’s one of those things where we’re in the ring and we’re fighting to preserve our relationships or even get out of it. We have to let these people go that have this hold on you. I always thought it was the perfect metaphor, by the time you realize that the bull is going in for the kill, it’s too late and you’re already in love.
The music video is so stunning—what was it like putting the visual effort together?
Really chaotic! It was so much fun and I was lucky to have a great team, but there’s always stuff that goes wrong and it’s always about being creative and problem-solving. I think that it really does represent the song well. There’s like a Mexican and Spanish history to that so it was fun.
When approaching the task of songwriting, what are some topics that come naturally to you? And, what are some ways you incorporate personal experiences into your music?
It’s funny that you ask that because I’m realizing that I am really fascinated with toxic relationships. I know it’s not the most happy topic but I think it’s just fascinating how all types of people: good, bad, anyone can fall into a toxic friendship or relationship. I’ve been through one myself so if there’s any way I could warn someone about those red flags, then I’ve done my job. Or if they miss those red flags, I can console them as well.
With this new album, I’m really diving into being able to be there for listeners in any stage of their life or emotions. So that’s what it’s all about, that’s what I’m trying to do! I haven’t been in a lot of relationships, but I feel like I’ve been in enough types of friendships and relationships to know what it feels like to break up or break off a friendship. I’ve had so many friends go through this so it’s also really nice to see how these things affect them or how they handle it.
In what ways has your sound and style developed over the past year?
I think it’s becoming a bit braver with experimenting because at first, I was still trying to figure out what I like and what I don’t. I was still figuring out the production end and playing around with Ableton, but I feel like I’m at a point where I know Logic pretty well and I know how to make cool synths and what I like. It has morphed into something that I’m really proud of and really sure about because at first, I was just trying things out. That’s the most important thing to me: bringing the production and the song together and interlocking them.
How big of a role does fashion play in your life? Do you have any go-to brands at the moment?
A huge one actually! I would say it’s very important to me to represent the era of each album through what I’m wearing in the music videos and I really admire designers. I can’t even imagine how that works and building something out of nothing. I’ve always been fascinated by fashion and I hope to get to work with more people. Usually, what you see on me in music videos are made by hand by designers.
Right now, I’m working with a duo based in China called Muzkin. They made the dress you see in the artwork! I’m also working with a few local designers in LA. I’m also working with UNXpected, it’s a brand by Miguel Fierro, he made a look for another music video of mine. It just depends because everyone is just running around!
Who are some artists that you looked up to growing up and still inspire you to this day?
The Bunny Bear; I recently went to see them for the first time in my life which is wild. I’ve been a very big fan fo them for so long and I just really look up to him. I know that Justin started his own band as well and it’s a lot of members in one band, I know what that’s like because we were six people. I really admire what he’s built!
What new music are you currently working on and how does it differ from last year’s Mal Hecha?
It’s going to dive a little bit into my heritage, I’m from Mexico but I have a mix of German, and a bit of Spanish blood. I’m diving into where I come from and I’m playing around a lot with numbers and how they have meanings in both English and Spanish. Stuff like that I feel is going to influence the names of my songs and what they talk about as well as how much we’re attached to time. I feel like it’s going to be interesting!
Honestly I’m really proud of Mal Hecha, but I feel like my music is definitely headed somewhere that’s fun. Hopefully, it’s just as good if not better!
What other projects besides music are you working on this year that you can share with us?
Outside of my music, I have been involved in music videos for other artists. When I started out, I was doing everything by myself like producing, styling, directing and because of that, I learned a lot. I’m still learning, but because of that, I had a lot of friends ask me to help them. It started out as me helping but later on I started getting good budgets to work on songs and videos. All of that kind of got pushed to the side because of COVID, but I love film so if there’s anyway I can incorporate that in my videos, I’m always in.
If you enjoyed our interview with KORDELYA, peep our interview with former Nickelodeon star Erika Tham!