Music Review: Pahua’s ‘La Cura’

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Pahua’s work in her project Sotomayor and in her new EP, La Cura, reflects her evolution as an artist, one who embraces self-introspection, art, and “the rhythms and colors of Latin America” as elements for growth and healing. The EP dropped on Friday and is available on all music platforms. 

The contributions Pahua is making to music are paramount to its development. Pahua’s work as a producer, singer-songwriter and musician puts her in a distinct group of people—the women who are part of the music industry at large. 

Un-fuckin’-fortunately, it seems, there has been “no meaningful and sustained increase in the number of female musicians in the male-governed music-making business in close to a decade,” according to the recent report* published by USC’s Annenberg Institute. Some of their findings include numbers for producers and, in this case, the report was tabulated based on producers across each song on the Hot 100 Year-End Charts for 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018 through 2020.

Sadly, these are some numbers:

  • “There were 198 producers credited in 2020; 98 percent were men and two percent were women. 
  • “Across the six-year sample, a total of 1,291 producers were credited. Of these, 97.4 percent of producers were men and 2.6 percent were women, a ratio of 38 men to every woman. 
  • “Over time, there was little variation in the percentage of women working as producers. Two thousand twenty represented a slight decline from 2019—the six-year high—and was almost equivalent to the percentage of women producers in 2012. 
  • “Out of the 33 women credited as a producer across the six years studied, nine were women of color. Only one woman of color was credited as a producer in 2020. Mariah Carey received a producing credit for ‘All I Want for Christmas is You,’ a song first released in 1994. 
  • “There were 23 individual women who worked as producers across the sample, and seven were women of color. The ratio of men producers to underrepresented women producers across the six-year sample is 180 to one.”

What. The. Ugh. 

Now you understand why Pahua’s work is essential to the music world at large. Representa todes. 

Now let’s discuss her new EP, La Cura.

Pahua’s music is a complex and delightful combination of folclor electronico. For La Cura, she created five new tracks and there are featured guests like La Dame Blanche, Barzo, and Gizmo Varillas.

“This EP looks to identify ourselves with the contagious rhythms and colors of Latin America, with lyrics that contain the natural drug that heals us. La Cura is a way to re-educate ourselves from the depths with the nectar that blooms and invigorates our being,” she said in press material for the new recording.

Her most recent single, before the full album debuted, is “El Traketeo,” a contagious cumbia featuring Costa Rican producer Barzo. The two previously collaborated on the song “Bahía,” which features music Barzo refers to as “Barztrap.” (The song, released on World Water Day, was in support of water sanitization and conservation organizations.) 

Pahua says “El Traketeo” is a song that comes from her heart and unforgettable childhood memories that always make her smile. 

The title track is presented as a contemplative cumbiafied poem that shares Pahua’s belief in the power of listening to oneself, and in clearing away negativity. 

In “La Trampa” she reflects on the notion of self-growth, self-love, and being fearless, a theme we’ve seen in some form or another across every track on the album. 

The song “Control” is all about that—control—taking that first step, making the first move, taking the initiative, just freakin’ doing it despite the fear and discomfort. And, finally, the song “Perfume de Tu Jardín” is an ode to our essence, our power, as women, which is la cura we all need more of. 

La Cura is available on Nacional Records.

PAHUA’s Website | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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