Natalia Lafourcade is an innovative singer-songwriter from Mexico whose work has received a GRAMMY and ten LATIN GRAMMYs. Her music is rooted in Latin America, yet also incorporates elements of rock, jazz, pop, bossa nova and folk, drawing a major following in the Americas and beyond.
Natalia Lafourcade was born February 26,1984 in Mexico City. She grew up in Coatepec, Veracruz surrounded by music, as both parents are professional musicians. Natalia’s talent blossomed early, followed by lessons in guitar, piano and voice. At age 14, she joined the pop group Twist, and soon after she decided to study music formally. She began to write songs and at age 17 signed her first record deal with Sony Music.
Recordings and recognition
Her debut solo album, Natalia Lafourcade (2002), topped the charts in Mexico and prompted a LATIN GRAMMY nomination for the 17-year-old in the category of Best New Artist. In 2005, she formed a band, La Forquetina, and with them recorded the album Casa, produced by Emanuel del Real (of Café Tacvba) and Aureo Baqueiro, this time receiving the LATIN GRAMMY for Best Rock Album. After parting with her band in 2006, she wrote instrumental compositions for an EP, Las cuatro estaciones del amor (The Four Seasons of Love) (2006), collaborating with the National Youth Orchestra of Veracruz. For her following material, she returned to solo work, writing original pop songs for the album, HU HU HU (2009).
Natalia was featured on the 2011 album Travieso Carmesí, containing classic Mexican songs she had performed in concert with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Inspired by the experience, she created Mujer Divina – Homenaje a Agustín Lara (a tribute to Agustín Lara) (2013), adapting a selection of songs by this famous composer from Veracruz, some presented as solos and others in collaboration with Miguel Bosé, Vicentico, Lila Downs, Jorge Drexler, Leonel García and other recording artists. The album won two LATIN GRAMMY awards: Best Alternative Album and Best Long Version Music Video. Two years later, her next album of original material, Hasta la raíz (To the Root), produced by Natalia, Cachorro López and Leonel García, enjoyed enormous popular and critical success, winning a GRAMMY in 2016 for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, and 5 LATIN GRAMMYs in 2015: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Alternative Album, Best Alternative Song, and Best Engineered Album.
In May 2017 Natalia released Musas Vol. 1, un homenaje al folclore latinoamericano en manos de Los Macorinos (Muses Vol. 1, a tribute to Latin American folklore in the hands of Los Macorinos). This album contains music by some of Natalia’s muses – Latin American composers Agustín Lara, Maria Grever, Violeta Parra, Margarita Lecuona, and Atahualpa Yupanqui – as well as original songs. The project incorporated a significant audiovisual component. It received two LATIN GRAMMYs, Best Folk Album and Best Long Form Music Video, and was also nominated for LATIN GRAMMYs’ Best Album of the Year and Best Song of the year, in addition to being nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Latin Pop Album. In early 2018, a second volume of Musas was released in line with the first, with new songs and an emphasis on original audiovisual content.
In addition to her Grammy awards, Natalia has received numerous recognitions, including MTV Latin Awards, an Indie-O award for musical production, awards from the Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico (SACM), as well as an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2016, honoring artists with extraordinary musical careers.
Throughout her career, Natalia has toured widely including in Mexico, the US, Central and South America, Europe and Japan. In February 2018, she performed a sold-out European tour in London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. Her tour of Musas in 2017 included sold-out shows in various cities of Mexico, and also in Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Buenos Aires. In 2015, she carried out a “Searching for Roots” tour, performing material from Hasta La Raíz in historic theaters throughout Mexico, and ending with a sold-out concert in the legendary 10,000-seat Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City.
In October 2017, Natalia performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, directed by Gustavo Dudamel, in a program featuring her music. For the celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial of Independence in 2010, Natalia appeared with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, conducted by Alondra de la Parra.
In 2016-2017 she appeared on the iconic PBS television program Austin City Limits in Texas, and took part in special sessions for the Los Angeles radio station KCRW, and in a “Tiny Desk” session of National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.
Natalia performed the theme of the Disney Pixar movie Coco at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony in March 2018 along with Gael García and the rapper Miguel. Natalia has participated in tributes musical greats such as Juan Gabriel, Caetano Veloso, Simón Díaz, José Alfredo Jiménez, Mecano, José José, Intocable, Luis Eduardo Aute and Chavela Vargas. She has sung duets with Pepe Aguilar, Juan Gabriel, José José y Gilberto Santa Rosa, among many others.
Film, television, and musical production
Natalia was featured artist with the singer Miguel in the song “Remember Me”, in the 2017 Disney Pixar movie, Coco, which won an Oscar for Best Animated Film, and another for Best Original Song. Previously, Natalia sang on the soundtracks of the film El Gato con Botas (Puss ’N Boots) (2009) and the television series Locas de Amor (Crazy for Love), in addition to collaborating on various film soundtracks. She appeared in the 2012 film, El cielo en tu mirada (Heaven in your Eyes), directed by Pedro Pablo Ybarra, and in the documentary Hecho en México (Made in Mexico), produced by Duncan Bridgeman. Cosmo TV produced the reality show Mi Mundo Privado (My Private World) about the life of Natalia.
As a musical producer, Natalia has worked with singer-songwriters Carla Morrison and Ximena
Natalia is an ambassador for her country’s culture and a defender of humanitarian causes. She has performed in many benefit concerts in Mexico, Guatemala, the U.S. and other parts of the world. She wrote the theme song “Un derecho de nacimiento (A Birthright)” to help the political youth movement YoSoy132 and the music for the cultural project “Yo descubrí Yucatán (I discovered Yucatan).” She has supported various causes such as Un techo para mi país (A roof for my country), El Caracol Foundation, the Camino Seguro Foundation, and the Ponte Oreja project of the MVS Foundation. She supports the UN Refugee Agency and is a spokesperson for Save the Children. She is currently raising awareness and funds for the reconstruction of the Center of Son Jarocho, (traditional folk music) in Jáltipan, Veracruz, which was significantly affected by the earthquake of September 2017.