Cecilia Villar Eljuri’s is releasing her new album with this hope – that it will spur people into activism.
Titled “Fuerte,” it is Eljuri’s second solo album and will be released on Tuesday.
Eljuri calls the lyrics in this album “socially conscious,” a reflection of what she’s seen and heard from her tours around the world, and incorporating ideas and perspectives she gleaned from fans of various cultural backgrounds.
“The message really behind the new record, ‘Fuerte,’ is that we should really rise up and start participating to make the world a better place to live,” she says to Fox News Latino, “to help your brother, to be good to the environment, to really rise up and be heard.”
This record is decidedly different from “En Paz,” Eljuri’s last record, released in 2008.
“My last record was more about peace, more observant,” she says, while the upcoming album emphasizes activism and making your voice heard.
The release of “Fuerte” comes as Eljuri prepares to start a tour this week that will kick off in New York City on Wednesday, and go to Texas, for the iFest in Houston, where she’ll be featured alongside Los Amigos Invincible and Los Lonely Boys.
The tour also will include stops in Los Angeles and in Miami. In May, she will perform in Mexico, and in Colombia in June.
Eljuri’s style of music is distinctive -- essentially a cultural blend of her Latin roots and her childhood in New York City.
The Ecuadorian singer and guitarist, who writes her own lyrics, explains her fusion style as her “two pillars of influence, which are my Latin influences…Flamingo, Tangos, Basillos, fused with my huge influence with American and British Rock, Reggae, and Punk.”
The unique blend of cultures is not surprising for the singer who grew up in the melting pot, raised by her mother, who is a pianist-composer, and her father, who listened to Afro-Cuban music.
Between her parents, who favored Latin music, and her brothers and sisters, who were exposed to “all the world of Rock and all the world of Reggae” in New York City, as she puts it, Eljuri developed a style that reflected the cultural collage of the city she moved to as a baby.
Some of her most important role models, influencing her music, in the United States were Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and the Rolling Stones.
Although her first albums were in English, the Latin influence was always there.
The woman who is dubbed by some as the “female Carlos Santana,” for her guitar-playing prowess, is proud and excited about her upcoming album and performances.
“I’m really excited for people to hear the songs,” she said, wanting to bring the music from her studio album at home, where “it’s all in my own world”, to life.
Although she credits growing up in New York, the “cosmopolitan cultural capital of the world,” as she calls it, with being her school of music, she is very proud of her Ecuadorian roots.
Her excitement peaks as she anticipates her performance at Houston’s iFest, where she says “there is a significant population of Latinos and a festival that is highlighting and celebrating Latinos is special for me.”
“Being an Ecuadorian also really makes me proud,” Eljuri says, and she is excited to represent the Latino community.
Her performance on Wednesday will be at the Bowery Electric in the East Village. It starts at 6 PM, and tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved online beforehand.
E.J. Aguado Jr. is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. You can reach E.J. Aguado at: email@example.com or via Twitter: @Aguado91.