La Mera Candelaria

Featured Song: Si Reina

Bio: La Mera Candelaria is a woman-fronted, cumbia-salsa solo project based in Los Angeles, CA. Stephani “La Mera” Candelaria, a queer, third-generation Chcana, has a unique musical style that is a light-hearted, vivacious mixture of tropical rhythms; sassy, humorous lyrics that deliver a powerfully feminist message; and a humble, countryside flavor! The project’s combination of Colombian-inspired cumbia with Son Cubano flair is what makes it so unique and unforgettable– while the rhythms and bass lines suggest classic cumbia, the group utilizes a Cuban tres as the lead instrument, and dip in and out of classic salsa rhythms, lending to the group’s unmistakable earthy, Caribbean sabór.

The project was launched in summer 2017 by Bay Area musical transplant, Stephani “La Mera” Candelaria, who has been performing as front-woman/vocalist since 2008– her previous groups include Tambores de Colombia, La Misa Negra, and Candelaria, and she has been featured as a collaborator/guest vocalist with Discos Resaca, Buyepongo, Viento Callejero, Tone Irie, and La Junta Collective. After moving to Los Angeles, Candelaria quickly put together a new project focused around her own original material, and began the process of creating a new, tasty sub-genre of Latin dance music. La Mera Candelaria’s music has quickly gained the attention of venues and other entertainers up and down the West Coast. Though still relatively new to the scene, La Mera Candelaria has already shared the stage with Mexican cumbia legend Celso Piña, Bay Area heavyweights Bang Data, and Los Angeles visionary NKRiot, and has quickly built a reputation up and down the West Coast as an infectious, powerhouse, and ultimately, unforgettable performance.

La Mera Candelaria has released 2 EPs: “La Mera Candelaria” (2017) and “No Te Enojes” (2018)

The song we are submitting, “Si Reina,” is a ballad to woman everywhere. This is the 2nd single from our upcoming album, also titled “Si Reina” (the first single, “Piña,” featuring Chhoti Maa, was released in September of this year and can be found on all streaming platforms). In the era of “Me Too,” we so often find ourselves discussing ourselves and other women as victims. In the steps forward, and though these important feminist dialogues, it is essential that we also take the time to celebrate our strength, courage, and sisterhood. “Si reina” is exactly that– a whole-hearted, loving celebration of the fierceness that women, especially latinas, have always carried within us, and will continue to nurture in our sisters and daughters.

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