Lorely Rodriguez is having a breakout year in the music world.
The Los Angeles native — who uses the stage name, Empress Of — released her debut album titled “Me” earlier this year to critical praise. The New York Times described her album as “smart and shrewd,” while The Guardian said her “self-produced music feels like a small victory for the future of pop.”
While the album is sung in English, Rodriguez recently redid the track, "Water Water," in Spanish.
One influence on her decision to make a Spanish cover was her mother. "I talk to my mom every day and she's super involved in my life," Rodriguez says. "I knew she was going to [ask], Why didn't you write any songs in Spanish? So I just wanted to give her something so that she could sing." Rodriguez says she also has had an influence on her mom by expanding her taste in music from salsa to Björk.
Even though her mom supported Rodriguez's interest in music — from paying for classes to enrolling her in the L.A. County High School for the Arts — she always cautioned her about the music industry. Rodriguez says:
She wasn't really happy that I wanted to become a musician, because it's scary. You work so hard to provide all of the opportunities you couldn't have for your children. I think she just saw how much I was going to struggle and it is really hard work, but it's so cool that I can do this.
Empress Of's new album, "Me," is available now.