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Danay Suarez's 'Preguntas' Video Weaves A Story Of Wonder

Cuban vocalist Danay Suarez's latest album is <em>Palabras Manuales</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
Cuban vocalist Danay Suarez's latest album is Palabras Manuales.

Danay Suarez is one of Cuba's most underappreciated exports. In March, the vocalist and rapper released a new album, Palabras Manuales, that went criminally under-noticed. It's a strong sophomore effort that showcases Suarez's sophisticated style of rapping and beautiful singing voice, which intertwines itself with her evocative lyrics like a beguiling ocean spray.

The new video for her song "Preguntas" is one of her strongest statements yet. Set to an elegant but mysterious piano motif played by Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca, the song weaves an ethereal story of love and wonder — a deep rumination on life set to the backdrop of her Havana neighborhood.

I've had the great fortune to see Suarez perform twice here in the U.S., and each time she mesmerized with her trance-like dancing to subtle reggae, hip-hop and Cuban beats as her voice lured the audience in. I am also fascinated by her strong artistic integrity; for Palabras Manuales, she made sure everything was exactly as she heard it in her head, even if it took years to bring it to fruition. Lesser artists would be scared to death of the almost six-year gap between this new album and her 2011 debut, Polvo De La Humedad — but I've known from the moment I heard her sing that anything coming from Danay Suarez would be well worth the wait.

Danay Suarez, along with composer-producer-guitarist-singer Blake Mills, will perform Friday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in an event marking the debut of Ben Folds as Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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