Mexican Singer Songwriter, Nan de Miguel (Girl Ultra) has become an R&B icon in recent years. Her raw, genuine lyrics paired with warm melodies create relatable and intimate songs. We recently had the opportunity to talk to Girl Ultra about her music, her inspiration, and about Adam Sandler. Check it out!
1. What have you been listening to lately?
Locomia, Sentidos Opuestos, Jane Birkin y El Shirota
2. What was the last thing that made you cry?
Adopting my new dog.
3. Who would win in a fight? Me or Jorge Kahwagi? (if you know, you know)
I would win. I would claw at him with my nails and I’d stab him with my heels.
4. Who do you think would like your music the most? Adam Sandler or Bart Simpson?
Adam would like my love songs more, because what you don't know is that I wrote them for him.
5. Can you do a cover of “Dancing Queen” by ABBA?
I don’t like Abba tbh
6. Your first concert?
7. What is the worst piece of advice that you can give me?
(She left this question blank, because the worst advice is no advice.)
8. How can I become famous so I can die when I turn 27?
Do something stupid & go viral.
9. What underrated artist should we listen to?
10. What would you be doing if you hadn’t started a musical career?
Painting or cooking
Isaac Gutierrez for Born Loser: To start off, tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Girl Ultra?
Girl Ultra: Nan de Miguel’s musical alterego
BL: You grew up in a family of painters. Who did growing up in an artistic environment influence you?
GU: Ever since I was a girl I had a lot of visual stimulation. My dad was always drawing, my uncles would make paintings for my grandmother, my mom and aunts would make costumes for plays … all of that awakened my restlessness to create in any way possible. Whether it was grabbing a brush and a canvas or writing a verse.
BL: Did you have a specific moment where you realized that you wanted to pursue music, or where you fell in love with music?
GU: I always saw myself there, but it was very decisive when I started a band in highschool with a few good friends and life made me make some important decisions.
BL: I read in a past interview that your dad was a big influence in your love for music. Is there a specific album or artist that inspired you the most?
GU: I was very inspired by Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks, and Hunky Dory by Bowie. When my dad would play them (he still does) I felt a very particular restlessness and I would pay very close attention to distinguish the different instruments.
BL: I also read that you grew up watching films from the golden age of Mexican cinema, and that specifically Silvia Pinal is a big influence in your stage presence What is the advantage of being able to combine both cultures to create something new?
GU: I don’t think anything is new. I just consider myself someone who is very observant that can capture what they have learned. Since I was little, I have always been excited to learn things that I didn’t know before. Sometimes that translates into what we do, but I never look to take advantage of it. It is what comes naturally.
BL: What is it that drew you most to R&B?
GU: The progressions and melodies; and that the voice plays a protagonist part.
BL: What do you think has been the biggest obstacle in creating a space for R&B in spanish speaking countries?
GU: Labels and the very small spectrum that exists in the genre.
BL: Something that immediately capture my attention were your lyrics. When you write, do you typically try to write about personal experiences?
GU: Its what my creativity asks in this moment, but I have written about friend’s experiences, or things that I see or hear on the street as well.
BL: What is the most important thing to you when it comes to creating music?
GU: The melody and then the lyrics. First what is more primitive and intuitive, and then the message.
BL: What do you hope to transmit through your music?
GU: My honest interpretation of human emotion.
BL: A lot of hispanic women see you and your music as a symbol of female empowerment. What can we do to support and help promote that message?
GU: Work with us, ask us questions, listen to what we say. Play our music but not only for the pictures on our instagram. Don’t make us compete against each other. Book us at your festival or local parties. At the end were just humans using vibrations to transmit a message, just as you are.
BL: Did you have in mind the connection that people would have with your music?
GU: I personally have a profound connection with listening to this genre of music because it is similar to with what I grew up with, but in my own language.
I don’t think that we ever completely plan on that connection.
I try to create when I am most vulnerable to show the most honest part of me. But in terms of creating a creating a cultural tie, I have looked to reinterpret and evolve this genre through the spanish language which has really surprised me with people’s response.
BL: What has made you grow the most musically?
GU: Understanding and accepting my fears and weaknesses and killing my ego.
BL: Do you still get nervous before going onstage.
GU: Always a little. Sometimes my hands go numb. Very cool.
BL: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not recording or on tour?
GU: I love planning the creative direction for other projects, I watch The Office, and walk a lot.
BL: What do you miss the most when you’re on tour?
GU: My dog, my brother, my bed, and my sheets.
BL: How would you define success in music specifically?
GU: The personal satisfaction of completing an idea just like I planned or imagined.
BL: What is something that not even the most dedicated Girl Ultra fan would know?
GU: That I cook veryyyy well. Especially Lebanese food.
BL: What can we expect from Girl Ultra in the future?
GU: Transformations, experiments, and all of my energy.