Populous, aka Andrea Mangia, DJ and producer hailing from Lecce, in Southern Italy, is excited to release his newest video “Soy Lo Que Soy” with Sotomayor! The new song is off his album “W,” out now with tastemaker imprint Wonderwheel Recordings. Watch here: https://youtu.be/W3WSFlZNgbg.
The new video features Sotomayor, the brother and sister duo hailing from Mexico, who reflected on the collaboration, “It’s a song that talks about finding your truth self. When Populous wrote to us to make this collaboration, he told us he wanted to make an album with female voices to portray his feminine side, so we wrote about that, about being who you are and embrace it. This song is a beautiful track that fuses strong dreamy melodies with synths and Latin cadence beats. We have been fans of Populous music for a long time, so we are more than humbled to be part of this album.”
Populous adds, “In “Soy Lo Que Soy”, several 4-second video portraits are woven together showcasing the people as ‘who they are’, regardless of their job and social context; and show their pride in front of the camera. They seem to look at you and say: “Look, I’m fabulous!,” giving us a glimpse into the diversity within queer communities between Berlin and Italy.”
“Soy Lo Que Soy” with Sotomayor is off Populous’ album “W,” which stands for women and is a tribute to free and diverse feminine musical imagery. Inspired by women who sing, write, compose and play and for Populous are icons and are friends from Italy, Japan, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. “W” is also a celebration of femininity beyond stereotypes, less defined by gender rather a common uniqueness that is the perfect response to the uniformity imposed by the machismo still reigning in the music industry.
Another standout song features Italian pop star and gay icon, M¥SS KETA. “HOUSE OF KETA” was this summer’s ballroom anthem featuring a captivating vogue beat and M¥SS KETA’s vocals declaring “My house, my rules.” The new song first debuted with I-D (Italy) who caught up with Populous and recalled, “An album about femininity without an iconic woman like M¥SS would have made no sense. Beyond the music, we have been friends for over two years and when speaking we came up with the idea of making a vogue piece. At that point we immediately called Kenjii as a guru. Bringing him to the studio for the first time was a lot of fun.”
“Flores No Mar,” was the first single released from ‘W,’ and features vocals from the Milan based Brazilian singer Emmanuelle. “Flores No Mar” is an homage to lemanjá, goddess of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé who protects seafarers and fishermen, as well as femininity and womanhood. An excellent song that highlights the album’s tribute to free and diverse feminine musical imagery.
With the new album, Populous has finally decided to open up, making his queer identity music with this album. From songs to artwork, he has created a visual manifesto to present feminine musical imagery. The artwork was conceived together with Nicola Napoli (a digital artist in Berlin’s queer scene) it is, in Populous’ own words, the representation of “a utopian party we would have done anything to be invited to.” An eclectic crossover party, improbable yet coherent, where you’d meet Grace Jones and Missy Elliott, Loredana Bertè and RuPaul, Aaliyha and Amanda Lear, Beth Ditto and Divine while dancing to shamanic house, digital cumbia, vogue beat and glitch electronica. Populous is accompanied on each track by the independent artists he admires most: Sobrenadar, Kaleema, Sotomayor, Emmanuelle, Barda, Weste, Cuushe and the Italian M¥SS KETA, L I M, Matilde Davoli and Lucia Manca. Collaborations born of discovering one’s sexual freedom, from perpetual motion, from constant traveling, physical and musical.
With a background in musicology, Populous is known for his global approach to music-making. He has always been interested in disparate genres and styles of music, which is reflected in the output from the Populous project and its focus on Latin American sounds as refracted through a European lens. In 2003, Mangia made his first jaunt into the music world with the album ‘Quipo’ (via Morr Music), followed by ‘Queue For Love’ in 2005. Influenced by his reggae/hip-hop-infused surroundings (Lecce is known as Italy’s Jamaica, as reggae and dancehall are extremely popular there) he released ‘Drawn in Basic’ in 2008, which was well received by international critics, earning him a spot on the global dance music map. The 2010s have seen Mangia refine the Populous sound with albums like ‘Night Safari’ (Bad Panda Records) and ‘Azulejos’ (Wonderwheel Recordings), while also expanding his role as a sound designer for fashion houses such as Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Isabel Marant, and Elie Saab, among others.
‘W’ is out now on Wonderwheel Recordings.