A cactus, a mermaid, a cowboy hat and the Virgen de Guadalupe adorn the cover of Sofía Reyes’ new album. Mal de Amores. It’s all on purpose. “I’m a very maximalist person,” she says. “I’ve accepted that for a long time.” dibujos on the cover, created by Mexican graphic designer Perrito, align with the wide range of emotions and genres – pop, regional Mexicano, reggaetón, trap, bachata – that Reyes captures on the record.
Reyes explains that she wanted to balance her “childish” side, the colorful “heap of emotions on the album” and the maturity she’s gained since her debut album. Volume up!, Five years ago. “It was a beautiful, beautiful journey,” she says.
The 17-track set balances their most viral collaborations — 2018’s bilingual catchy tune “1, 2, 3” with Jason Derulo and De La Ghetto, and 2019’s pop hit “RIP” alongside Rita Ora and Anitta — with a handful of more experimental ones Tracks on which she sings solo, such as the album closing “Palo Santo”. With such a wide range of sounds to choose from, Reyes admits it is Mal de Amores Sticking together was the hardest part of the process. ” ‘How can I make this album sound like it’s one world?’ ‘ she recalls wondering. But she is proud of the result: “That was a challenge for me. But I did a good job.”
Reyes called from her home in LA and walked us through some of her favorite songs, including some feminist anthems — and her father’s favorite track, which was influenced by her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico.
I’ll start with “Mujer”. I feel like the intro of this song represents the whole concept of the album. This song is very pop-urban, it has a bit of cumbia in it. This is one of my favorite songs because of the theme. It’s very empowering. This is who I am I am a woman. You can say I do well, I do badly, you can say I do this or that or whatever – but I’m a woman. That’s just how it is. The song represents femininity in a divine way.
This is the last song we put on the album. It tells about the last relationship I was in. The emotion is definitely very present in it. I was dating this guy and he happened to come visit me here in LA and one day after I thought everything was perfect he happened to say, “I’m going to stay in a hotel.” It was weird. So I tried to put that humorous spin on what happened.
With “Gallina” I was looking for a sound that would take me back to my Monterrey roots. It has cumbia influences from the city I’m from in northern Mexico. It has that black humor. The refrain says: “Tú no tienes huevos” [“You’ve got no balls”]. I found it funny to talk about it in a different way because it’s something I actually felt. That’s how I talk to my friends, so we put it in a song. Although I’m from Monterrey and grew up there, my parents played all kinds of music. Two years ago I started searching for the sound of my roots and I realized there was so much for me to learn. It’s exciting to explore. I wanted to take on the challenge of putting my roots into my music. For the next album I want to go very, very deep to my roots de Monterrey, y de Mexico.
“24/7” with change
This song is very easy to understand. It’s very beautiful, uplifting. I wrote it when I was falling in love. It feels magical to me, but making it minimal was also a challenge. That’s what I decided to do with this song. I wanted to keep it very simple and honest and fluid.
“Amigos” with Adriel Favela and Daniel Felix
This is the only song that features regional Mexicano. I didn’t release those songs, but I explored corridors and a lot of things that we didn’t put on the album. Maybe I’ll release them later. “Amigos” is very me. I love how Danny Felix plays guitar and I really wanted that to be in the song. I wrote this track two years ago and I saw great potential, but I couldn’t execute it the way I imagined. It was frustrating for me because I didn’t know what to do. I literally had to stop working on it, take a break, and then come back. When Danny added the guitars and then Adriel Favela wrote his verse and provided his vocals, the song got to the point where I envisioned it. It’s my father’s favorite song.