Recently releasing her latest EP I. Entusiasmo and the new music video for its single "Diva," Latin Grammy-nominated Javiera Mena has continued to impress over the last 15 years as a powerhouse vocalist, producer, and DJ.
A highly introspective body of work, Mena shares some of her deepest and innermost thoughts on I.Entusiasmo. The record seemingly draw its sonic influences from electronica, disco, pop, and Latin music, examining the various feelings often associated with the gamut of euphoria to heartbreak. Highlights include "Diva," “Flashback," and “Dos,” the latter of which tells the story of a convoluted love triangle.
After unveiling a cinematic, retrofuturistic music video for "Diva" back in May, Mena has now shared an exclusive live video of "Flashback," which was filmed at her "10 Años Celebration Show" celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Rolling Stone-ranking album Mena.
Over the past 15 years Mena has solidified herself as a trailblazer as one of the first openly lesbian women in Latin music. She turned heads in 2019, when she became the first lesbian Latin woman to ever perform at Coachella.
Chatting with EDM.com, Mena discussed her thoughts on being an LGBTQIA+ advocate in the Latin community, how she's celebrating Pride Month, and the release of I.Entusiasmo.
EDM.com: How has the time been for you since the start of the pandemic?
Javiera Mena: It has been a time of evolution. The first month was crazy and felt a bit like the end of the world. There was no music in my life and no creativity. And then I started to get used to it a few months later and doing music again. I bought a microphone and I began recording and producing my album in my home studio.
EDM.com: Can you tell us more about the style of music on your new EP, I.Entusiasmo?
Javiera Mena: It's electro-pop, but it has one ballad and a super ballad with piano and strings. I consider it introspective music because my lyrics are not your normal pop lyrics. They’re super personal. I mix the expansive sound with my personal view of the world and of love.
EDM.com: Where do you draw your influences from?
Javiera Mena: Nature. I’m originally from Chile. We have a view of the sky every night because we don't have much light in the cities. We have a lot of space between cities, so you can see the sky. You feel the inside of the galaxy.
This was my first influence. And I’m influenced by other music too, like electronica and Latin music.
EDM.com: How did it feel for you when Billboard spotlighted you as one of "Latin America’s LGBTQ activists who defined that movement"?
Javiera Mena: It was an honor. I was with Ricky Martin and some other really amazing artists. My lyrics talk about love between two women and this was revolutionary at the time in my country—Chile—so it felt fantastic to get that recognition.
EDM.com: That’s definitely inspiring. On that same note, since we're celebrating Pride Month, can you tell us what the experience has been like for you to be an openly gay female music artist in the Latin community?
Javiera Mena: At the beginning, 10 years ago, I felt alone, especially as a woman. There is a big gay male community in electronic music, but not as many women. I felt like a pioneer in this area. It was nice to be one of the first ones, but hard to speak out in a society that was hidden.
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EDM.com: How are you celebrating Pride Month back home?
Javiera Mena: With my flag (laughs). I always have a lot of interviews during Pride Month, so I feel a bit like Santa Claus in Christmas. Every year it's more and more and more, so it's a good month.
I celebrate it with my friends. This year is different. I usually go to the Pride in Madrid, where I now live. It's the capital of gay pride in the world, along with New York.
EDM.com: During the pandemic, you played an online DJ set with Club Quarantine. How did it first come about and what was that like for you?
Javiera Mena: I was amazing. I love Club Quarantine. They invited me out to do a late night DJ set since they were based in Los Angeles. I love their initiative. It was super cool and an honor to be there.
EDM.com: You were recently the first Spanish-speaking artist to play in the Avaken virtual world. What was that experience like?
Javiera Mena: There are now a lot of young people who listen to my music. Avaken is a game that is played by 16-year-olds. It's refreshing and great to have a new audience.
I want to do more video games and produce music for video games. I think my music went over well there. My music videos have always been influenced by video games and Japanese culture.
EDM.com: Why did you decide to name your new EP I. Enthusiasmo?
Javiera Mena: "Enthusiasmo" because I love the word and meaning of enthusiasm. The meaning is like passion and fire. The songs on the EP all have that feeling.
EDM.com: Can you tell us more about the creation for your music video “Diva?”
Javiera Mena: We produced the music video in a studio in Madrid with Chico Blanco, an electronic producer and singer. I invited him to be in my song and the video for it. It's a psychedelic experience with other people, too. I wanted to take the inspiration from electronic parties, but there were no parties going on in the middle of the pandemic. It’s a party song with a super electronic feel, almost like drum & bass and techno.
EDM.com: What are you planning over the next six months and year?
Javiera Mena: With the pandemic I can only plan like one week of my life at a time. I have shows in Spain, and I recently performed in Madrid. People were wearing masks. I have a Barcelona show soon too.
I want to start to produce music for other musicians. And I have another EP and more songs I want to release in this year and at the beginning of next two.
Listen to I. Entusiasmo below.