Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella
Mon Laferte Talks First Coachella Performance, 'Norma' & More
Chilean Latin GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Mon Laferte's music is hard to categorize, but that's precisely what makes it so enjoyable. Her latest album, 2018's Norma, explores lots of an eclectic mix of sounds, textures and moods, all of which she brought to her Friday set at Coachella.
Performing songs like "Tormento," "Mi buen amor," and "Amárrame," Mon Laferte—born Norma Monserrat Bustamante Laferte—also did a cover of Dua Lipa's "New Rules" during her set.
The Recording Academy caught up with the singer after her performance, where she revealed what it felt like to play the renowned Indio fest for the very first time.
What did it feel like to share your music for the first time at Coachella?
I was very nervous at the beginning. It's my first time at Coachella. But once I got onstage, I felt relaxed, I felt happy, and it was like, "Wow! I'm at Coachella!"
A lot of people were really excited to see a more diverse lineup at Coachella this year, especially in Latin music. How does it feel to be a part of that?
It's very excting, it's a moment where you feel that locally we're much more open to different genres, and to be part of that moment, when there's something better and more exciting coming.
What's been your favorite part of the festival so far? Have you seen any fellow performers?
I haven't seen many artists because since I've gotten offstage I've been doing promo and interviews back-to-back. But I do want to catch a couple of performances, and so far the experience has just been very beautiful. It's a beautiful festival, the backstage, the ambiance. What you breathe and what you feel—it's amazing. Lots of flowers.
Can you tell us more about your most recent album—your sixth album!—Norma?
So, Norma is an album created conceptually as the storytelling of 10 chapters of a relationship—in songs. [I wanted to bring in] my roots, not only where I come from, but more Pan-regional sounds—so you have mambo, you have salsa, you have many other genres.
Who are your musical influences?
I have a very diverse range of influences that goes all the way from singers like Janis Joplin, but it also goes to other genres. I was very influenced by salsa and very strong female [performers], like Billie Holiday.
What's the message you want to share with your music, both at home in Chile, in the U.S., and in the world at large?
So essentially, I am a storyteller. And I like to tell stories. Music and the beat are very important, but more important is telling that story. Through my music, I open different spaces, spaces that, especially in festivals like this one, you open the window to experiencing a lot of other genres. Not only what's trending—maybe urban, maybe reggaeton—but also many other things that are happening within the Latin world.
Festivals are now revisiting both their genre diversity and gender diversity in their lineups. As a woman in music, what are some ways you feel women can best support each other in the industry and in the community?
So in my case, it's a lot of creating awareness and visibility and bringing this awareness and visibility towards parity. Towards being able to balance out the amount of females that are working both onstage and offstage within the industry and making sure that people have that consciousness. Maybe in festivals like Coachella you see a lot more balance, but in Latin America, we're still far away from that.
Just with the possibility of being able just, you know, to be here, performing on the main stage you're already creating that space for many other women to come and do the same thing.