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Lolita De Sola On Making Music Amid Venezuela's Political Crisis

"I feel like there's no Venezuelan that doesn't know depression, doesn't know oppression," singer-songwriter Lolita De Sola says.
"I feel like there's no Venezuelan that doesn't know depression, doesn't know oppression," singer-songwriter Lolita De Sola says.

Lolita De Sola has been singing about home. An emerging musician from Caracas, she made the hard decision last year to leave Venezuela and flee north to Mexico City. The move allowed De Sola to release her first album, Cattleya — which she says she couldn't have made at home given Venezuela's current political and economic turmoil.

"When you have a dictatorship or crisis, the first thing that goes away is culture," she says. "Because you need food. You need more, you know, basic stuff first. Then culture."

She says before the economy collapsed, before people on her street were eating out of the trash, Venezuela was a very different place.

"When I was little, honestly, it was magical," she says. "Caracas is a valley — so you have the mountains, and in a half-hour you have the beach. Also you have, like, amazing food, you have perfect weather. I now realize how privileged I was to grow up in a place like Venezuela, because it's beautiful. ... Venezuelans right now don't have the same that I did."

The young singer-songwriter originally left Venezuela in 2014 to pursue a degree in electronic production and sound design at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Due to the worsening circumstances in her country, moved to Mexico City after graduating.

She says the people of Venezuela are always on her mind. Her song "Loto," she says, represents how "we can still aim to be our best self and try to be optimistic, even though everything outside seems to be total chaos.

"It's really easy to get depressed," De Sola admits. "I feel like there's no Venezuelan that doesn't know depression, doesn't know oppression." But she says she still hopes for the best, even if she fears what may come first.

"If the military intervention happens, I hope that my family and friends are safe," De Sola says. "I just hope that no innocents die in the process."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.