My name is Latanya Alberto and ‘home’ is a state of mind. Depending on what your association with the word is, there is an entire narrative of memories attached to it. For some people it’s a geographic place, for others it’s a person, and for some, it may be a mental state of being.
The EP Home is inspired by a series of events where I monitored the space where love, accountability, poetry, and body image came together. Examples of events were family related events, which made me question my role and responsibility as an important link in passing on and breaking of habits in generational lines.
Other moments concerned the rights and control over the body, and the social acceptance rate on taking ownership over the body of others, in sometimes the most love-like and seductive way. I noticed that for me, feeling safe in the place I rest in starts with a truthful state of mind, but also the note to self that this home-space is to be re-designed on my own terms.
As a child I was brought up very free minded, in the sense that I had an insider’s perspective on especially my own Caribbean community, but also as an outsider, as I have always been very layered in my social responsibility. My mother set an example of breaking a lot of generational curses already, which only taught me to continue her quest.
When I started creating the EP with producers and musicians Rafael Sinay, Emmanuel Amonoo-Neizer, David Olufemi-Ojo and Gino Cochise, we wanted to secure the seriousness in my message and emphasise the gravity in our tone. The music we make isn’t meant to be played in the background in a noisy room – but to be deciphered. In the music, several elements of things which contribute to the narrative of this ‘home’ are included.
Examples are Surinamese rhythms intertwining with a more jazz like chord progression layered with clouds of harmonies. We wanted to extract the pain and the beauty out of the happy-sounding percussion rhythms. In the Surinamese culture we celebrate with these rhythms, but we also grieve with them.
Later in the EP, more genres are blended into the live-feel of the EP like bachata and electronic sounds. The songs came together naturally and have changed in natural ways thanks to the contribution of musicians who I admire.
The theme in which we created the EP is a ‘full circle experience’. There are a lot of hidden messages in the music which only become clear when listening to the EP from front to back. This is my way of expressing that ‘everything is connected’.
A home is a place where I come to rest, but also where everything comes together. The furnishing of the mind is just like you would do in your house. It is a collection of old memories and new ones. Visitors and intruders. Yin and Yan. Choices and decisions.
Poetry has always been a great inspiration for the music I make, and plays an important role in the EP. It has inspired writing both the lyrics and the music in literal ways, like added poems on the tracks, but also the flow and tone transferred into melodies.
The visualisation of the narrative had been an incredibly important part of the entire delivery. The short film invites you into a place I call home, expressed with a surrealistic point of view on the contradiction of feeling at home where nothing is tangible.
For the video production, I trusted Ashley Röttjers with the direction and together we handled every detail of the subject and created it from the most honest and confronting state of mind.
Listen to my Home EP below and purchase it here.
Words by Latanya Alberto // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram