By Michelle Perez

Searching for a sense of belonging in a big world, Lucila Al Mar finds solace and self empowerment in her music.

Lucila Al Mar has spent the better part of her life trying to find her place within herself, her ethnicity, and her art. A California-born woman who now resides in Ottawa, she always wanted to remain in touch with her latina roots.

Her work up to this point consists of acoustic sessions, spoken word poetry, and songs done in collaboration with beatmakers on Soundcloud. Singing and music making remains the most natural modes of expression for her, however spoken word poetry does have a special place in her heart.

“There’s a certain vulnerability with spoken word. With singing, I feel safer holding my guitar,” she said.

Her tracks are performed bilingually in a mix of Spanish and English—or Spanglish as she calls it. The mix is a natural feel for the way her brain works, as it was how she talked to her family growing up. It allows for different types of emotions to be conveyed in her music, something best displayed in track “24”.

Lucila has recently finished up the recording for her first album Nada Es Para Siempre which translates to “Nothing is Forever.” The album, set for release on April 21, 2017, seeks to share a sense of empowerment as well as a supportive hand through the darkest and brightest times of life.

“The album jumps from genre to genre. I don’t like the idea of being put into a box even if that’s what the music industry is all about. I like being able to do my own thing,” she said.

The album was written during her journey of self discovery where she travelled through Canada, down towards California, and into Mexico and Central America. She said her journey had the goal of self discovery and attempting to explore and understand her own culture and those around her. Her travels led her to visit her homeland of El Salvador for the first time, something she had wanted to experience since she was young. By the time she returned to Ottawa a few months later, she said felt like she had truly grown into a woman.

“(The album) has a lot of wake up music. It’s the story of my life in many pieces. It’s me trying to find where I belong,” Al Mar said.

One of the tracks on the album she is proudest of is called “Protest”. The energy of her delivery and power behind her words communicate her frustrations from the point of view of an angry child. The anger displayed has a sense of self awareness as the tracks reflect about the small mindedness that comes with childhood anger due to inexperience and lack of true understanding about real world workings.

Another track she is excited about is entitled “Butterfly”. It describes her personal transformation over the course of her journey as a slow transformation, best displayed by the mellow tempo of the track.

Beyond the release of the album, Al Mar plans to tour through Canada and back down to California during the summer. She finds a connection with the people of California because of her nativity to the state as well as her relation to the people in both ethnicity and colour.

“I want to remind people (with my music) that power exists inside them. I want to help bring them a sense of belonging like I’ve been looking for,” she said.