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In conversation with Mariposa

Introducing a fresh wave of Latin rap

Hitting the music industry in a sprint, Amsterdam-based artist Mariposa has been writing a new chapter for Amsterdam’s music scene. The Colombian-Italian artist is introducing a fresh wave of Latin rap through her undeniable sounds and expressing a true vision. While finding a place in rap, the artist radiates an authentic energy that is able to show what it means to represent a generation dealing with the multitudes of identity, language, and culture. Finding inspiration from her own experience, Mariposa wants to show the world her true self without compromises – and oh is she succeeding. With her latest single BOGOTA hitting our headphones last Friday, Mariposa is teasing the refined sound of her upcoming EP – get excited babes. After featuring her in our campaign for Glamcult’s collaboration with ASICS, we spoke to Mariposa about her experience on set, her new projects, and what it means to navigate the music industry while introducing a different genre.

Hi Mariposa, how are you today?
I’m good, how are you? :3

Very well, thank you! Do you have any latest obsessions?
My fiance Nayim and birria tacos.

Haha love. Jumping s straight into your music and you as an artist. We’re very curious about your artist name Mariposa – meaning butterfly. Butterflies are incredibly symbolic beings, ya know, they often carry signs of transformation and rebirth. So we’re wondering if there is any connection you specifically have with this and the reason behind choosing this name?
Well the explanation you just did is very on point cause ever since I was little I was obsessed with that very idea. I thought it was very important to keep growing, so eventually I just put it in my WhatsApp and people kind of just started calling me that. When I started doing music I was trying to find something that was descriptive of me but still be cool and something I could claim as mine. You know there’s so many instas and tiktoks named mariposa so it was like a competition to claim the name haha. On a more personal side I am going through trauma therapy to grow and free myself from generational trauma so the whole meaning of the butterfly very much resonates in this moment. I think everyone should try to evolve themselves to be able to get beautiful colours and fly.

That’s such a nice story, and how did you become Mariposa? In other words, what made you want to start making music?
I actually just started around 3 years ago, before I was just doing fashion and visual stuff like graphic design. And then during the pandemic my fiance randomly put a Spanish song on and he was really hyped about it but I didn’t really like the lyrics. I had just a lil hater moment and he just went “well if you think you can do it better, just do it yourself.” And I feel like there isn’t enough female artists in Latin rap scene. Honestly, Bad Bunny is the only one to talk about stereotypes and how male dominated the industry is, but still, mental health is not really a touched upon topic – it’s very taboo still. So I felt that something was missing and I just wanted to create that. Also because we’re still very much focused on reggaeton – which is cool!! – but I also think we can do and try other genres.

Exactly ahah.

Congrats on your new single by the way! What was the process of writing this new song Like?
My first EP was like two worlds because I didn’t want to stick to one genre. I like very energetic beats but I also like the euphoric and fairy sounds. So, in the beginning I wanted to make clear that I’m not bound to one sound and now that I made that, I want to focus on the angry side. But specifically for this song I was looking for a very energetic weird beat and just switched the flow a lot. It was a pretty quick process too, we got it done in around 2 weeks as well.

Cool, mixing different genres feels broader and more personal to you since of course you sing in Spanish, but you were raised in Amsterdam, while also being Colombian- Italian. So you really represent a new generation of kids grown into the mixing and merging of cultures. How do you see these identities interact? Not only in music but also in your everyday life?
I grew up with my mom on the Colombian side. Saw my dad pretty often but I never was taught to get in touch with my Italian side. My mom made sure to tell me everything about Colombian culture. My music is almost a reflection of not only my culture but how I was raised. My mother was very strict and angry because of her past so as a single mother she raised me to be very angry and chase after what you want harder than other people. So in my music I talk a lot about this anger which is actually why I feel more comfortable with rap as a genre. There’s just so much space to express my feelings. And as for my Dutch side, you know, being born and raised here I was always in contact with a bunch of different cultures – I had friends from all over – and all these influences has made it easy to make a different type of music than people who are actually in Colombia. People there are used to always hear the same sounds and music, but here, your friends can put something on from their country and you’re like “oh damn what’s that.” Because of this, I’m not scared to try other sounds.

When we think of Amsterdam it’s not a city necessarily known for its Latin rap scene. How do you experience navigating through the music scene while pioneering a very new genre?
It’s funny because I feel like people are not used to it… so imagine me, a girl just screaming… It’s really different and I can definitely see that. People are very supportive but it is also very rare. Once I did a show and I could feel that people were like… What’s happening ?? But then you have others who are like “this is very different I like it”. I feel like people just have to get used to it. Idk people feel like they can’t relate because they don’t understand Spanish. I also feel like for that reason I wanna push towards Latin America but the closest thing here is Spain – also a bit difficult. I’m just trying to be myself and create something different than what people are used to, for me it would be very cool to create a new genre even.

Yea, definitely but  when people get it, they really get it. Sometimes  not focusing on or understanding the lyrics of a song can even help understand the overall artistry of a musician. And speaking of Amsterdam, you recently hosted a night at Skatecafe, how was that experience?
It was super fun, just to be able to curate a whole night was overall really cute. I’m just such a control freak that sometimes I just look at people and like, why are they standing here? Why are they not going there? What is happening?? My stress level was okay, but I really liked it and would love to do it again. Also, because I would just love to do something like design the whole set and experience of a festival. That’s also what I do in my music, I always want the album cover to match the lyrics or cover of a song with its title. I just wanna create a new world to step into.


And also your aesthetic is a bit of everything, you are able to mix different types of styles and make it work! How is your relationship with your style and visuals, and how do they work alongside your music?
You know, when I started making music I told my fiance that I want to focus on the visual side as much as the music. Personally, I think that from the beginning visuals were super important, they helped me show my personality – which I think is the most important. I feel like I’m comfortable with wearing things others would find stupid but I don’t care lol as long as I find it cute and stylish – but I do think appearance (hair – make-up and outfit even the nails) should be fire lmao.  So when doing visuals and videos I always keep in mind that my story needs to have a cohesive line so it has a flow that makes sense even when I look back at it after years. I’m also a very emotional person but I feel uncomfortable with love songs. For example, I make very angry songs, but through exploring my state of mind throughout time I can really show how my world looks. All my artistry is almost always related to a part of my brain or my feelings, so it’s important to have a very clear flow. I really want to get you in my head. Sometimes it’s just super nice to try to understand the artist you’re listening to.

And you let the people and listeners get to know you but also leave a bit of distance, sort of like snippets of mystery
That’s basically it!! Cause I don’t want to tell too much, it’s sort of a game. Some parts are just up for you to interpret.

And also related to your visuals, you and your new track are starring in our latest ASICS collab, what was the experience like ?
Very professional ahah!! I’ve done a couple of productions, but this time it just went so smoothly, it was genuinely the first time I was done two hours early ahah. Everyone was just super nice and what I really appreciated was that everyone respected the fact that I had a vision and were really curious about my ideas. There was a lot of space for me to share what I thought. Even with the styling, I could sense that they wanted to make sure I felt confident.

Fav memory on set?
I loved the fitting with Ricardo, it was super fun! And also walking on the treadmill, I have wanted to do it for the longest time. Just everyone was so nice we laughed so much!

What are you putting in your ASICS x GLAMCULT pocket?
Some lip gloss so I will never lose it. 😉 Also just imagine how much make up you could put in there, even a lil mirror. If we had flip-phones it would fit so well in it. It would be so aesthetically pleasing.

Where do you go when you need to find inspiration?
I don’t have one yet, but sometimes I really do feel I need a place. Now I just like to explore my brain and really connect with my feelings. I would still love to have a sort of sanctuary to go back to but I haven’t found it.

And what about people, who do you look up to in terms of music?
I love Cardi B’s energy. I find inspiration in people, but lately I’m trying to detox a bit from a lot of music. I’m just afraid to leave it in my subconscious which could sabotage my own ideas if that makes sense? A lot has done and I always try to do something new so I think it’s important to do a bit of detoxing from time to time. I really need to focus now more than anything on what I want my sound to be like.

Yea makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re still figuring things out. Now we have a super important questions… what’s your favorite emoji?
I like the saluting emoji cause I feel like it’s good for a fun reaction, but to be honest I love stickers more. I have a cute dancing hello-kitty one which I love. So yea stickers are my new thing, it just sucks that you can’t use them on Instagram…

Hahaha. Any new projects coming up we should be looking forward to?
Well BOGOTA is also gonna be part of my new EP coming out around the summertime. This time I also want to play with shorter visuals and to release it when the EP comes out. For example the last one for “HIELO” was a crazy and super cool video which felt like a movie. It was a very big production but it took more than a year to make it so we couldn’t bring it out when the song dropped. Still a gem tho and very proud of the end result. Huge shout out to all cast and crew that worked on this project.  And just some cool shit like DOUR, it’s gonna be my first festival outside of the Netherlands so I’m super excited about that.  And it’s funny because when I started making music I did not want to do shows at all, it just made me too anxious even thinking about being in front of a huge crowd. So I was really afraid to be in front of people, but eventually I changed and I really started to enjoy doing it, it’s even more fun when your friends are on stage and you’re up there just feeling the support. 

So yea a lot of good things are coming up so I’m really excited and I’m planning to do a lot this year in general.

Wow you are booked and busy
Yea but I also wanna put a lil more gas on it, I want people to listen to what I have to say and just STOP SLEEPING ON ME.

You heard it here first folks, stop sleeping on Mariposa. Now one last question. This is more of a larger and personal question but in 2021 you released your first single. How do you feel like you have grown and changed from 2021 till now?
Well my guard is definitely more up, cause even though I’m still at the start, I already see people change. I wanna protect myself and my mental health so I’ve been putting my guard even more up. In the very beginning I was just stressing over everything cause after I put my first song out, I had a meeting with my current management a week later so it all started happening so fast. I feel like as a person I need time to prepare myself for sudden changes and now I can’t so I really need to learn that things can change in the blink of an eye and I had to be ready regardless. In the beginning, I was focusing a lot on how to prove myself to others, and now I understand that I can be my authentic self but also accept that some things I cannot change. So I accepted my position and I’m proud of what I’m doing, I don’t need to convince anyone anymore. I also want to stress how important it is to not lose your mental health in the process. It’s crucial to have the time to really understand your boundaries, especially in this super fast paced world where people get bored of things in 5 seconds. So I really needed to find a balance between being consistent with my art but also not losing the quality of my art.

Words by Agata Villa
Photography by Ricardo van Lachterop
Check out our Glamcult ASICS collab starring Mariposa!!