The Rise of Kany García

Songwriter artist Kany García jumps into the heavyweight title as being the most Female Latin Grammy-nominated of 2020. Her artistry in captivating lyrics and melodies created their own from the moment she walked into the music scene. 

In 2004, the public witnessed the first glimpse of her talent back. She had nailed an audition for Objectivo: FAMA. Due to a car accident, the dream seems like it quickly shut down. During her recovery, she focused on her passion, and the songwriting never stopped. Hope was not lost as Sony BMG kept their eye on her while writing and performing. One particular performance with Franco De Vita was even received with a standing ovation. 

Photography by Ruben Martin

Eight albums, five Latin GRAMMYs, and countless other achievements are now under Kany García’s belt. Well justified as her talent is recognized in all genres. Additional to her penning her music, she has also written records for Pedro Capo and Jennifer Lopez. 

In 2020, Kany released her latest album Mesa Para Dos, an uplifting album in a time of need during a time of COVID-19. Although finding inspiration was challenging, she maintained a positive and directed her energy through a creative outlet. Included in the album is the hit “Titanic,” featuring Camilo. A song also born during the pandemic and inspired by the “many goodbyes life has of us.” Despite her not being in her standard creative setting, she is still delivered with the same passion. The song is acclaimed for its visuals, intricate lyrics, and storming melodies. The album has also scored five Latin Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. She is the most nominated female of 2020. However, she is reluctant to dwell in that title. Kanye stands strong for women’s rights and states, “Let a woman be the most nominated all the time, not just Kany García. Let it happen not just in female categories but in all of them.”

Photography by Ruben Martin

An advocate not only for female rights, but she is also an advocate for equality. Coming out in 2016, she received an award at the 2017 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist (Spanish Language).

Hardships have challenged every artist at one point or another, but Kany’s journey is truly remarkable. Her passion and willingness to focus on what makes her Kany is one of a kind. In 2020, she’s relieved herself of pressures from the music industry and the public. She believes in herself, her voice, and what she has to say. Staying authentic and genuine to herself gives her foundation to keep onward and upward.

How have you been coping with COVID-19 and what changes have been made to adjust with it? Also, Puerto Rico in particular has been excluded since Donald Trump has become president. What’s your take on the treatment that Puerto Rico has received during COVID-19? These have been very hard and difficult times, especially for the entertainment industry. And as with everything in life, I have taken it on with creativity and optimism. In the creative aspect, I have seen this time as a way to build up my repertoire and create this album. I have been searching for new ways to stay connected with my fans. Without a doubt, the stance of President Donald Trump towards my country on countless occasions has not been one of treating us as first-class citizens. His position has always lacked empathy and solidarity, and although we have received quite a bit of economic assistance from his government, his tone has always lacked sensitivity towards Puerto Rican citizens.

Tell me about how Titanic with Camilo came about and what this song means to you? This song was written in the times of COVID, in the context of a Zoom meeting, which to my surprise didn’t interfere with the creative process which was filled with fun, connection and respect. We wrote ‘Titanic’ together, reliving the thousand farewells that one has throughout life. It’s a song that describes those days and moments just before everything evaporates. I loved that his wife directed the video and was able to maintain the respect that thousands of people have for what Titanic means to them, while also finding the right balance in placing ourselves as the protagonists narrating this story.

You’ve worked with so many amazing Latin artists. Who would you want to work with that not in the Latin music genre? The Latin music industry is having a moment where all eyes are on us. Therefore I think that I can explore many other potential collaborations. Even so, I would love to work on things with Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, John Mayer and many other singer-songwriters.

Tell me about Mesa para Dos and the message the album has. It’s an album with a marvelous mood and I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that it came together during the pandemic. I feel like I had such a great need to make music that would improve my mood, and even the album’s most nostalgic material manages to do that. It’s an album full of complicity and sonic diversity thanks to its first-rate guest artists.

Where do you feel most at home when creating music? What makes it that way? When I am in the countryside. It probably has a lot to do with my childhood. But whenever I have wanted to challenge myself creatively, I make a point to go to those places. Fortunately, at home I have now re-created a space that’s similar to the countryside I know from Puerto Rico.

I’m sure there’s a lot you can’t talk about just yet but is there anything you’re currently working on that isn’t announced but you can tell us? I will wrap this year up with a video where I’m joined by Carlos Vives. And I can say that this album has given me so many things, among them the desire to keep songwriting from home, so next year will be brimming with new music as well.

You’ve been making music professionally for about 15 years. You’re the most Latin Grammy Female artist nominated this year. What do you want to do next? Next?? I want a woman to be the most-nominated artist overall in the Latin GRAMMYs®, not just Kany García as the most-nominated female artist. There is still a lot of exposure and women’s vote that needs to be granted.

The definition of Contrast is “to be strikingly different.” What makes you strikingly different? Ha, I still don’t know. For me it has been about shutting off the loudspeakers and not paying so much attention to what people say that I am, what I should do, or the risks they think I shouldn’t be taking. Listening to my voice, accepting that I have a distinct sound, a way of saying things whose uniqueness is essential to the beauty of my work. I am happier than ever now that I’m making the music that responds to my inner self, rather than allowing myself to be pressured by the charts, ratings and such.

Latin Music Editor at Contrast Magazine.


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