Duendita: Your New Favorite Modern Soul Singer

“Lonely, but not when you hold me

your beauty weights on me

This feeling’s Too good”

duendita, “One of One”

Her music is like the sun shining on a winter day: hot and cold, fantastical and real.

Candance Camacho is a soulful singer-songwriter. Under the stage name duendita, she belts poetry with the voice of an angel. She has the talent to make any beat her own, and her music is the soul food we all need.

In an interview with Milk last October, Camacho explained the origin of her unique stage name.

“[It] comes from a literary art term concept called “duende,”… coined by a poet named Federico García Lorca,” she says. “Duende [is] a spirit that provokes every artist to express themselves. It was really a high school nickname after my friends and I read [Lorca’s] essay, and I just stuck with it.”

The young artist from New York City released her debut EP, direct line to My Creator, last November during her senior year at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Seven months later, the project holds a permanent spot in my playlist and the hearts of many fans.

Duendita’s sound is rich and has an elegance to it that is unequivocally enchanting. Camacho’s siren-like voice wraps around beats in a way that is reminiscent of 90s Sade updated to fit today’s alternative and electronic preferences. Altogether, duendita gives me chills every time.

Direct line to My Creator counts as more than just a display of superior vocal prowess — it is an outlet through which duendita shares her life experience. For instance, her single, “pray,” is amongst the few songs released before the project officially dropped. From duendita’s annotation on genius; “pray is an expression of the relief and safety that growing up in a diverse environment provides, while envisioning a more inclusive world.” However, she does not confine her music to just one life experience.

In the song, “I’ma get you,” duendita samples a short dialogue before leading into the first verse. Seconds before the beat drops, a woman’s voice can be heard boldly saying “This isn’t about good men or bad men. I’m talking about a societal hatred of women!” The song itself mimics this conversation, exploiting the speakers’ motives in the following two verses.

I’ma get you, in particular, hypnotizes the ear and mind with a beat unlike any other songs on the EP. Men, with all of our privilege, seem to get what we want more frequently than the rest — and duendita points out the universal bewitchment we fail to see.

Direct line to My Creator successfully captures the dynamism, complexities, and contradictions of human existence in a way I have never heard before, and I must say I’m craving more and more of her work and heroic wisdom.

@duendita on Instagram

Luckily for her fans, duendita is currently on tour as Jamila Woods’ opener. Their first performance together was on June 10 in Dallas, and they will eventually hit nearly every major city in the US by the end of the summer. Their tour goes international on June 27 and July 12 in Vancouver and Uckermark, Germany. The pair and their sounds weave in and out of each other so seamlessly that their fans’ jaws will surely hit the floor.

Nonetheless, duendita is a goddess! If she hasn’t already, she certainly should be added to your music library.

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