Author: Nathalia Guerrero Duque
Photo Credit: David Mesa
“My story has a plot twist: I happen to be the Hannah Montana of Perreo”. Linapary answers my call 8554 kilometres from Bogotá, in Barcelona, where she has lived for more than a year. While the morning starts here, Linapary is already halfway through her day at the global wine and spirits group where she has been working for seven years. But “From 6 p.m. onwards, I become the biggest perreadora in the universe”.
Lina María Trujillo is the name behind Linapary, a DJ, singer and producer of ‘P3ЯЯ30 P0P$TVЯ’ (perreo popstar) from the Colombian Caribbean coast. The road for Lina Maria Trujillo was paved with several other projects: university projects, emancipation through rap and lyrics, and finally: Linapary. But it took several years, at least three countries and many Bogotá nights mixing perreo to get there.
One of those was France, where she lived for two and a half years. “Just when I was at my peak and I was hitting reggaeton hard, I went to Paris for work and it was a complete slowdown for my DJ project”. A city that Linapary didn’t know, and were“not much was happening with reggaeton”. However, thanks to her constant desire to create, today she is featured alongside Simo Cell and Low Jack in the production of their track “P.U.T.A” in the colombian and french compilation ‘Atlantic Stereo’, a song that is neither neoperreo nor reggaeton. “It’s a slithering snake,” describes Linapary, “that’s marking its line in the sand“.
Linapary was surprised by the call to be part of this intercontinental sound swap and to share with both French producers. “My genre is completely different from what Nuits sonores is, which tells me that this could soon be happening in several countries.” The sound of her song, which has lines like “Me dicen puta porque hago lo que quiero“, stands out within more conventional electronic sounds. We spoke to Linapary about the importance of sound diversity, the need for more inclusive scenes, resignification and the goal of filling Europe with hot Perreo.
How was the process of finding your match with Simo Cell and Low Jack for the compilation?
DJ Leeon told me “I think you could make a good match with them”. I listened to them on their Bandcamp and found they had some interesting beats. “I could get on some of this stuff,” I thought. I trusted the curation and the matches they were making, I guess they had studied our music. My collaboration with them was pretty easy: they sent me a beat, I listened to it and at first it seemed very different from what I do.
And then what followed?
The beat was worked on together beforehand, I only worked on that one and that’s the one we hear in the final song. I don’t like to put obstacles in the way of working and I thought “If I can work with this one, I’m going to continue with this one. If they are sending me this, I trust that this is what they want to put out on this compilation”.
I told them that I liked it, that I felt it was going near a reference I had sent to them and they replied positively. That’s when I said: “Well, I’m going to get to work”. I brought the intro that starts this song from a freestyle, and the rest of the lyrics were also built from a freestyle I had already done. That’s how I started to build the lyrics.
The lyrics are the most “Linapary” thing about the song, what best represents the vibe you’ve been working on.
Exactly. I injected the lyrics completely. Then I sent them to them thinking that they would hate it. But they said, “Okay, we’re going to put it together”. They identified some super strong lines in the song and asked me if they could modify things in the structure, I said “Do your own thing”. I personally loved it. I listened to it and said “This represents me: it’s something different, something new”.
I really like the way they handled the vocals, the structure. The process was collaborative and easy, but we did take our time. At the same time, I was moving to Barcelona, they were making the beat, I was writing the song… Somewhat, it was a mysterious song for me: it’s like a snake. I feel it slithering like that, like marking its line in the sand.
Your musical contribution to the compilation stands out among more conventional electronic sounds. It definitely runs the sonic fence. Do you feel that this track opens up new spaces?
It is no mystery to anyone that the urban movement is leading all the charts worldwide. This massification allows its subcultures to be a little more visible. I think it’s a great achievement, not only for me, but for all the people who are betting on neoperreo, dembow and all these alternatives that can have visibility on an interesting scale.
For me, who is still super independent with my DIY manifesto, and who pulls everything out by myself because I still can’t invest as much as I would like in a video, having the support of Nuits sonores and international artists is a window. After you hear this song you might hear another song of mine, and another, and another exponent of this genre.
Do you feel this opportunity you just mentioned is part of a dynamic that relates to collaboration between countries like France and Colombia?
It is totally related. I’m dying of excitement and happiness to be able to listen to the final result of the album. The names I’ve been able to see are very powerful artists, who have been around for many years. I hope that it will be an explosion of cultural exchange, that people will continue to open their lives to new proposals and that we won’t just listen to what we hear at a party. There are also other spaces to understand music, to listen to it.
This is a great space to promote it, even more knowing that it’s going to be on vinyl! In my life I never imagined that a song like this could be on vinyl. Besides, it’s for a very different audience than the people who buy vinyl, so it opens up interesting exchanges there for all the artists who are on the compilation.
What is your reading of the representation of women in the compilation? Taking into account the contexts you’ve lived in Paris, Barcelona and being part of a scene led by women?
Evidently, there is a need for more inclusion, more parity. For example, the girls from an electronic music collective called NOTT, in Medellín, released a compilation with purely Latin American female producers, with more than 25 songs produced by women. The situation is not that there are no women producers. (…) I don’t know if it’s a visibility issue, so the problem is not that there aren’t any, but that there is a lack of visibility, or no visibility for women in this field.
Your track is not only about the transnationalisation of neoperreo. What is the message of conscious activism that you have been deepening through this subgenre?
I like to redefine words. I believe that redefining words vindicates. And I work on everything. That’s why I’ve tried to redefine many words like: ‘Yo no soy perra, soy perrísima’ (I’m not a bitch, I’m the bitchiest bitch). In this song I emphasised the word “PUTA” and re-signified what it means to be a great PUTA.
I say it from a personal struggle because it is really the only struggle I live. A transatlantic struggle: to move from one place to another, to be heard, to be given the opportunity to confront anyone, to throw myself in the air to see what happens… that’s what I try to express in this song and I think you can read it, I think you’ve identified it too. Taking this opportunity to be a bit raw, and that this rawness manages to be on this compilation and that they haven’t intervened it is a very clear message. That was very positive, there was never any creative limitation and I was never told that I was too strong.
My idea is that anyone should listen to it and feel empowered to be a PUTA because she does what she wants, because she gets her money, because she throws a stone and doesn’t hide her hand. That’s what I’m saying right there in the song.
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About the Author
Nathalia Guerrero is a feminist journalist and editor focused on women’s realities, electronic culture and the recording of countercultural stories. She is currently co-founder and Editorial Director of MANIFIESTA, a Colombian digital media with a feminist perspective.
Former editor of VICE Colombia’s print magazine and former sub-editor of its digital platform. Former journalist for THUMP Colombia, VICE’s electronic music platform. Winner of the Simón Bolívar Journalism Award in 2016. ICFJ Fellow 2021. She has published in media such as The Washington Post, Arcadia, Shock and El Espectador.