Fresh off a tour with Julieta Venegas, Spanish singer Ana Fernandez Villarde, aka La Bien Querida, is ready to make her New York (and U.S.) debut tonight at the Latin Alternative Music Conference. Her first album, Romancero (Nacional Records), is a collection of romantic pop songs that is sure to have revelers swooning in the summer heat. We spoke to the multi-talented artist a few days before she hit the stage:
You’re making your U.S. debut! Are you nervous, excited?
I'm happy because this is my first album and it’s already come out in the U.S. and Mexico. We’re doing an acoustic show so I hope to return soon with the whole group. At the moment I'm not nervous.
You went on tour with Julieta Venegas—how was that?
It was good. Thanks to Julieta we got a chance to play in front of many people. We also did a few concerts on our own and I was surprised at the welcome we received in Mexico. The room was sold out and everyone knew the songs.
How would you describe your album?
Romancero is a pop album full of emotions.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Some of the groups that influenced me most in my adolescence were The Cure, Joy Division, Television. Now I listen to everything. I am very interested in popular music.
Where did you get the name La Bien Querida?
It occurred to me one day. I liked the popular connotation that the name has. I looked online and saw that it hadn’t occurred to anyone else before and I took it for myself.
I saw the video for the first single Corpus Christi. It was filmed in an abandoned hospital; how scary was that?
It was extremely cold. Five degrees Fahrenheit, so we weren’t scared because the cold didn’t let us think about anything else. It is a beautiful place, in the middle of a mountain surrounded by greenery. I wanted a violent video and to break things. The adrenaline rush kept me warm.