Vanessa Verduga (a.k.a. La Verduga) released her debut album Soy Mujer (I Am Woman) on May 14, 2017. The production team includes the likes of Grammy® and Billboard® award-winning producers Edward Grullon (a.k.a. DJ Napoles) and Kenny O’Brien, simply translated, that means this Latina songstress means business. Vanessa started acting, singing and dancing at the age four, encouraged by her mother, a trained dancer in Spanish dance. Though her family valued the performing arts the importance of a strong education and practical career path remained an obligatory accomplishment. Hence Vanessa would eventually find her way back to performing only after a lengthy college and law school hiatus.
The result of her dedicated passion and patience is the 10 track “Soy Mujer” album. You have to give Vanessa Verduga credit for displaying quite a vast range of styles and influences within a commercial pop format. This is one of the very reasons why she will no doubt gain worldwide crossover appeal.
She can blend numerous sounds and rhythms and meld them into one captivating experience. Basically, her Latin Pop style is very unmistakable with each track; however, inside each of these songs there are subtle elements from diverse musical sources that will attract a wide demographic.
Almost every artist or band strives to achieve a musical breakthrough in their careers. Releasing an album that sounds different from any previous works in a genre is praiseworthy. But, “breakthrough” is often a strong word: it doesn’t necessarily have to be a revolution; it just has to shake things up a little bit.
When you think of how repetitive and standardized pop music can be at times, then that necessity is even more apparent for the genre. Saying that “Soy Mujer” fills that role for Vanessa Verduga would be the obvious answer, as this album certainly “shakes things up” for the genre.
Her fusion of Latin, Reggaeton, Moombahton and Bachata, into a palatable pop format, sung in both Spanish and English, gives her music such a charming global tone that it doesn’t matter which language she’s singing in, you’ll be twitching your toes and tapping your feet regardless.
Oh, and her vocal performance. It’s one of her signatures. She really takes her voice to levels of beauty – whether she wants to sound romantic, sexy, dark, sassy or sweet, her voice keeps up with it. She is able to carry all the emotions necessary in her songs, with ease.
Contemporary underground pop music doesn’t really have anyone else like Vanessa Verduga. She’s unique, not because of her exotic origins but simply because of her music. The language is irrelevant: she is versatile and, most importantly, talented enough to sound great anyway.
With this album, she establishes herself as a serious contender in the crossover Latino-Pop genre. The brightest moments in the album for me occur when “Owner Of My Heart”, “Vivirla Bien”, “Respeto Tiene Valor” and “Live It Well” are first listened to. In fact, the whole album is worth listening to. It really is hard to beat the rhythmic, melodic and vocal beauty of these songs contain. It shines in all of its facets.
While most of you – like me – likely don’t speak Spanish or are fluent enough to understand what she’s saying, Vanessa’s Spanish singing is powerful, moving, elegant, and nuanced enough to convey her emotions and messages. She carries a focused confidence in her native tongue, and it’s obvious with the great range of singing she does while using it.
Likewise her transition from Spanish crooning to a commanding English roar is pure vocal bliss. There’s not much else to say about the album. If you like Vanessa Verduga’s voice, you’ll love “Soy Mujer”, it’s an enthralling piece of work, and just on the verge of being all-out spectacular!