Loyal Lobos is at a stage in her career where she’s letting herself celebrate the joy of living. “I’m letting myself celebrate more and I want to share that with my audience. To me, music opens up very personal and introspective spaces,” she shares.

The Colombian singer has plenty of reasons to celebrate. When she talks to EnVi over a Zoom call in early September, she is fresh off the release of her single “El Río” and ready to embark on a journey to showcase her latest EP, LOBA VOL.1, released on October 27. 

Much can be said about Loyal Lobos’ versatility as a musician. Since the release of her first album, Everlasting (2020), the singer has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. In this interview, she opens up about her artistic process, the meaning behind her music and the importance of celebrating life.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Miranda

Singing in Funerals 

Loyal Lobos, born Andrea Silva, grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, in a home filled with determined and strong women who taught her the importance of working for what she wanted. Andrea’s first endeavors with music surprisingly started with funerals. At age five, she began crafting her own melodies, singing in her school’s choir, and attending events in her community — which mainly included funerals. Those experiences with sounds and rhythm contributed to creating a spiritual connection between herself, music, and death. Growing up surrounded by people grieving for their loved ones made her regard passing away not only as a mournful period, but also as a celebration of life. “The spiritual side of music, companionship, and death has always been something I’ve felt very close to,” she tells EnVi. “I started to compose songs; I was always singing wherever I could, and here we are.”

This profound experience and journey with funerals evolved into the eclectic track “Funeral.” Released in March 2023, the record is an anthem to the cycle of life. It offers a glimpse of how she envisions her own funeral, inviting the audience to celebrate the complex but marvelous journey of being alive. Andrea explains that the inspiration behind “Funeral” came after watching a documentary about Colombian singer and songwriter Diomedes Díaz. She was moved by the contrast between the musician’s lyrical abilities and talent, and the darkness that comes with fame. “It seemed very sad to see how, in the end, his voice wasn’t coming out well anymore. I feel like he passed away very lonely and sad,” she confesses. “For me, that was a sort of manifestation of how I wanted my life to end; I want my life to be a cycle of celebration and my funeral to be a ceremony celebrating life and art.” 

Crafting Her Sound

On July 28, Andrea dropped the single “El Río,” under the moniker Loyal Lobos. The track, which combines her signature indie-folk sound with dembow, describes moving on from a relationship or situation in life. The lyrics depict the idea of feeling fresh and clear from the emotions and the habits that haunted her. “‘El Río’ was written as it was a poem. Honestly, it started because we were mamando gallo,” she shares with a smile, using a popular Colombian expression that means joking around. “[The producer] put [on] a beat, I started singing verses and then a chorus. I thought, ‘Well, I like this song, I’m going take it seriously and put it out.’ After that, I went to LA to produce the record, added some electric guitar instrumentals, and made the track more Loyal Lobos.”

For “El Río,” Andrea wanted to highlight her creative side, playing with different formats of composition and melodies. The track, which she describes as a very rhythmical and lyrical song, offers a structure she hasn’t tried before; letting the track benefit from the space between the verses and pre-chorus. She confesses that she wanted to “explore that side of [her] artistry more.”

Creating their sound and developing a unique message can be a challenging route for musicians. This process involves multiple layers of mixing and playing with their sound, rearranging melodies, and trying different forms of crafting lyrics. For Andrea, releasing her new songs is all about trusting in her abilities. When she first began working on music, it took her about three years to release her first studio album. The process taught her the value of believing in herself and trusting in her artistic vision. “I’m able to centralize the way I create music,” she tells EnVi. “To trust more in my vision and thoughtfully execute it. I have a team now, and I have expectations from them. I’m letting myself enjoy things more. I always choose to suffer [through] things instead of enjoying them.”

Revealing how all those moments helped her trust her creative side more, she recalls her first full-length album, Everlasting, and the process behind the project. “I learned how to produce with Everlasting; it also got me into composing, creating a complete body of work, directing videos — everything. And I feel like it gave me a lot of tools for what I’m doing right now,” she shares.

Discovering Herself 

Prior to “El Río,” in May 2023, Andrea released Una Freak, her second EP. Musically, the album blends folk elements with pop and Latin melodies. Lyrically, it tackles love, relationships, freedom, and femininity. Despite all the tracks touching on different topics — or perhaps because of it — Una Freak feels like listening to a story from beginning to end. The record takes the listener on a journey through Andrea’s more introspective thoughts and stories; starting with “Cómo Si Nada,” a song that talks about moving on from a relationship, and closing with “Funeral,” an anthem celebrating life. 

Andrea tells EnVi how complex she found it to convey vulnerability and honesty into words in “Una Freak.” “Desire has been a difficult energy to channel for me. […] And of course, there are phases [in the album] of loss and closing a chapter, but I basically am expressing the hope that I’ll feel that [desire] again because it’s beautiful. It’s exciting to be attracted to someone, it’s like an adrenaline rush. I’ve been exploring all those sides of myself. I always felt a lot of guilt for being the way I am, and yes, it’s freaky, but it’s how I was born.” 

That approach not only allowed her to release a record so personal to her but also forced her to embrace herself and figure out what kind of message she wanted to send out to the world. The aching of desiring someone else, yet the freedom of accepting yourself and knowing how you deserve to be loved, are themes carefully addressed throughout the album, encapsulating a message of loving freely without restraints. 

Because each track she has released this year carries a different color and tone, we were curious about which lyrics from her recent songs describe her the best in a short line. With a grin on her face, she says: “Más avispá que quieta,” from “El Río,” which translates to “More agile than still.” The line seems to perfectly sum up Loyal Lobos’ current stage in her career. 

“I want my life to be a cycle of celebration and my funeral to be a ceremony celebrating life and art.” 

– Loyal Lobos

Diving into the Industry

Latin American musicians have dominated the music scene in recent years. From topping Billboard charts to winning multiple accolades in American award shows (think of the VMA’s and the Grammy’s), singers such as Shakira and Karol G have already cemented themselves and their legacy. Nonetheless, many emerging artists are attempting to succeed and break into the industry. So, how does Andrea perceive this shift and its impact on the music scene in terms of diversity and opportunities?

“I find it very cool because not only Latin music is booming, but also Latin American proposals that are not Latin music are getting a lot of space,” she shares. “For me, sometimes it’s scary to delve into writing in other languages or making music in genres that are not native to where I was born, […]  but I think it’s also a patriotic act to give it your all in the general market, coming from where you come [from] and with the abilities that you have. I think it’s like a Colombian being at NASA or a Colombian going to England to study — those things also hold a beautiful value because they position humans as global beings with equal capabilities.”

Andrea’s strong views and opinions are also evident when the singer shares how moving far from home at a young age helped her to regard life, behaviors, and loneliness in a different light. 

“I have always liked being alone, but fortunately, I grew up in an environment with warm people around me and a very loving family. When I removed myself from that context, it was like the solitude magnified. It was also good because it forced me to create my own circles outside of my family and to nurture my friendships here, which are very important.” 

What’s Next for Loyal Lobos? 

By trying diverse concepts and blending multiple genres, Andrea delivers a powerful and distinctive musical identity. Before concluding this interview, she is earnest to share her plans for the future and the message she wants to explore with her most recent release. “I’m entering a new relationship with my sexuality. I would like to explore that more deeply,” she says. “I have always felt comfortable with my sexuality but I want to explore other angles because sexuality is very broad. Songs like ‘El Río’ and ‘Si Volviera a Conocerte’ are part of my EP,  LOBA VOL.1, which comes out on October 27. I’ve been experimenting with different angles of experience; you can see that thirst in the album. There’s a song called ‘Tengo sed,’ (I’m thisty) which talks about that.”

Andrea describes LOBA VOL.1 as “Brave, sad, and hopeful.” She laughs, “Those three words.” 

LOBA VOL.1 is out today. Catch up with Loyal Lobos on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, and be sure to follow her on InstagramTikTok and X to keep up with the latest updates.

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