LALI on How Her Success Is Backed by a Female Team: ‘Empowerment Is a Collective Thing’
If her Instagram account is any indication, LALI is living her best touring life.
Most recently, the Argentine singer-songwriter — who’s on her Disciplina trek — made history with a sold-out concert at the Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in front of more than 45,000 people, becoming the first singer to sell out a show at that soccer stadium.
“It’s impossible to express what I feel after this sold-out show,” she wrote on social media. “Thanks to all who vibed with me. I am so proud of my dream team that is always by my side and made this happen. I’m also proud of myself for working hard to give you the best of me. A dream, that was once just a dream, came true.”
LALI owes this career milestone, and others like it, to her female-led team that backs her up. “For me, empowerment is a collective thing,” she tells Billboard. “It’s not so individual or personal, it’s more what I learn from others and what I can spread to others.”
In honor of Women’s History Month, Billboard kicks off its “Las Poderosas” series featuring a select number of powerful Latinas who get real about the word “empowerment,” their space in Latin music, and more. The series launches Monday (March 20) with LALI. Read our exclusive Q&A below:
What does empowerment mean to you as an artist and as a woman?
Being able to develop freely and with that freedom generate a contagion effect on other colleagues. For example, not only those of us who are at the forefront of a project but also those who are working behind our projects. [Empowerment] means generating that feminine synergy in a work environment that not only embraces one as the main artist but also all the people who participate in the project, mainly the women who promote the artist. For me, empowerment is a collective thing. It’s not so individual or personal, it’s more what I learn from others and what I can spread to others.
What does empowerment NOT mean to you?
The opposite of what I just said… looking at empowerment as an egoic matter and of personal success. Using your role as a woman in the industry and if you only achieve it as your own success or for yourself, then I think it doesn’t make sense to talk about empowerment.
What is the best advice you have received as a woman in music?
I don’t know if it was advice but I think that thanks to other women who set the trends, I realized that in the end, they had told us that there is always a guy behind the success of certain women. But finding out on my own by being behind my idols, I realized that no. That the ideas are generally theirs, that they have defended positions, and that to break structures you have to stand up as a woman and your vision, and for that, you need others on your team to elevate that.
Which woman has served you as a mentor or role model? Who do you admire and why?
Artistically, I feel that for me in my teens Beyoncé was very important because I realized that my dream was to do 360 of everything. There was content, there were lyrics, there was dancing, well… singing like her, but without a doubt, she was a woman who marked me a lot. And of Argentine national rock, there are many women who have marked my childhood, thanks to my mother who has made me listen to a lot of music such as Celeste Carballo and Fabiana Cantillo. They were women who at the time have been pioneers and came to occupy a place in a very difficult environment where normally it was all male.
Have things changed for Latin women in music in the last five years and how?
I don’t know if things have changed, I think there is a bit of everything. It was about time that there was a real force of women to occupy a leading role, to compete with men on the charts, or see that there really are Latina women today No. 1 in the world. That is incredible, it is necessary, and it also speaks of an audience that she has understood. Not only would it be possible for women to do a good job and place themselves there, but the public understood that women can occupy those spaces, and the public has re-educated itself and pushed women where they should be. I think it’s a collective effort.
What is your favorite “girl power” song?
Wow! They are a lot. I think Beyonce’s “Formation” could be it. It lifts me up!