Psychic Hotline

Reyna Tropical’s New Song “Conocerla” Out Today

February 21, 2024 - By Psychic Hotline

Today, Reyna Tropical presents her new single, “Conocerla,” off upcoming debut album, Malegría, out March 29th on Psychic Hotline. Led by guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Fabi Reyna, Reyna Tropical melds and remixes Congolese, Peruvian, and Colombian rhythms with the influential sounds of revolutionary artists like lesbian guitarist-singer Chavela Vargas. Blending the Spanish “mal,” which means “bad,” and “alegría” which means “happiness,” Malegría is akin to bittersweet, offering a home to diasporic beings who are in the process of searching for and returning to ancestral roots. While traversing themes including queer love, feminine sensuality, and the transformative power of intentional relations to the earth, Malegría documents the grief of letting go to who you were taught to be, the relief of finding who you are, and the power that results in belonging to yourself.

Following lead single, “Cartagena,” where layered vocals, “ricocheting percussion and intertwined guitars and marimbas” (New York Times) sing of feeling nurtured and energized by the land, Reyna now releases “Conocerla,”  “a love song for me by me,” she explains. This is “a song dedicated to the multiplicity and multi-faceted experiences that I carry and act from as a queer, norteña woman—rebuking the lifelong narrative of being told ‘que no soy ni de aquí ni de allá.’ It’s a slow, consistent movement that dances towards belonging in the in between, a place of sensuality, acceptance, and creation.”

Listen to Reyna Tropical’s “Conocerla”

Founded on the feelings of duality between bad and good, bitter and sweet, grief and love, and death and rebirth, Malegría marks Reyna Tropical’s transition from the duo of Reyna and Nectali “Sumohair” Diaz to Reyna’s solo project following Diaz’s passing. From the found sounds to the interludes–which weave between each musical track, unfolding a narrative all their own–Malegría is a contemporary celebration and continuation of wide-reaching cultural traditions. 

Formed in 2016, Reyna Tropical began as an organic, unhurried exchange between Reyna and Diaz who met during a workshop series for emerging musicians. The band’s spellbinding and distinctive sound were documented and formed with the release of their self-titled EP (January 2018). Featuring Afro Indigenous drum patterns and environmental samples produced by Diaz, expertly mixed with dreamy guitar riffs and soft vocals by Reyna, the EP lead to regular sold out shows, a support tour with Bomba Estéreo, and gigs at major festivals, including Cumbiatón and Colombia’s Baile Sagrado. 

In 2020, Reyna withdrew to nature for a community retreat. It was during this moment of stillness that the purpose of her life’s work crystallized. For the next two years, Diaz and Reyna immersed themselves in a tropical journey guided by the music, finding themselves in a harmonious relationship with local land, culture, and music wisdom stewards. Malegría is the culmination of self exploration fortified through an attunement to land—alongside Diaz and through his passing.

Listen to Reyna Tropical’s “Conocerla”