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Music

Sophie Fustec's New Album Is A Journey Through Her Grief

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOL")

SOPHIE FUSTEC: (Singing in Spanish).

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Musician Sophie Fustec, who is also known as La Chica, has been ruminating on loss. Her brother Pablo died in a tragic accident last summer when he leapt into a hot spring to rescue his dog. His story made headlines around the world. Sophie Fustec grieved and eventually connected to her old self and found renewed purpose, which you can hear in her new album, "La Loba."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOY")

FUSTEC: (Singing in Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I asked her to tell me about this song, "Hoy."

FUSTEC: "Hoy" is a soothing song. It's a song for my brother. I need him to feel and to understand that there is nothing holding him back to this dimension, that he can elevate, and he can go higher and higher.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's like a prayer.

FUSTEC: It's like a prayer, yeah. Actually, but the whole album is for him. The whole album is inspired by him.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tell me about that. I mean, because I was about to say, from "Hoy," I can hear this thread running through it. And you're saying that this thread is your brother.

FUSTEC: Yes. This album is like the first step. I'm singing the first emotions that I'm feeling into this first step of the grief. So first of all, I'm asking him, what are we going to do now? What is this new - this whole new context? How does it work? How can we communicate? How can we connect? After that, I need to clean myself. I need to cure myself with "Agua." And after that, I let the fire go inside of me and burn again with "La Loba." "Drink" is the song for the dead. It's a whole - another level of spiritual connection with him. "Sol" is the song where I let all my pain out. And after that, "Hoy" is the song to him to elevate himself.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I mean, some of these songs are almost like meditations. I'm thinking of "Agua." Let's listen.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AGUA")

FUSTEC: (Singing in Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wash my mind with cold water. Tell me about this song.

FUSTEC: Yeah, "Agua" is a ritual. It's a song for the water. I need to clean. I need a cleaning. I need to clean with water because the water is my element, and it's magical. So I'm asking the river to carry on all my pain and my sorrows.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is a period of much death and pain. I'm wondering what you have learned, going through this process of grieving for your brother.

FUSTEC: It's so powerful. I don't know - I don't understand why we don't talk about this more often because I think that we need it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We're scared.

FUSTEC: We're scared, and we're so not prepared for this, you know? We should be talking about it all the time. It's such a huge part of life. So I felt that I was dying first. And after that, I understood so many things. I centered myself. I connected with my old self. I connected with him. So there is a lot of understanding, a lot of light, infinite love. It's a strong and hard experience, but it's really, really powerful. And we should embrace every step of this experience.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you feel like you were able to connect with him by doing this album?

FUSTEC: Yes, definitely. I think that I'm able to connect with him through music because music allows you to open another level of consciousness, and the sounds can let you enter into a trance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "3")

FUSTEC: (Singing in Spanish).

Music to me is some kind of shamanism, and it helps. It - how do you say (speaking Spanish)?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It heals.

FUSTEC: It heals. Thank you. Music heals. And I think that 2020 was a special year. It was a strong year everywhere - so much death and changes. And I think that this year screamed out that we need a change. We need to enter into this new era with a new level of consciousness. So we heard that voice, and now we have to do something about it, and we have to transform everything that we've been living this year.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Sophie Fustec. She is La Chica, and her new album is "La Loba." Thank you very much for being with us.

FUSTEC: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And as we go out, we're going to play the title track to "La Loba." It tells the story of a witch who can bring a body back to life by singing to the bones.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA LOBA")

FUSTEC: I pick up the bones. I pick up the bones. Loba. I pick up the bones.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: A thought for everyone suffering - the sick and all of us who love them. I have a dear, dear friend. He's 39, a self-described health nut who says he vastly underestimated his risk of grave illness. He's got COVID. And even after being careful, he is now hospitalized. A prayer for him and for all of us during this dark winter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.