Dragon FoxEXPAND
Dragon Fox
Courtesy of the artist

Dragon Fox Hits the Sweet Spot Between Pop and Cerebral Music

Miami singer/songwriter Gabriela Sotomayor has music in her DNA. This daughter of a Nicaraguan vocalist and a deep-house DJ has been singing and writing for as long as she can remember.

With the release this year of her debut EP, Daytime Odyssey (produced by her friend E Ric), Gabriela has emerged as Dragon Fox. The first video and single is "Sense of Self," a song in which she collaborates with her longtime partner, Andres Gimenez. The track is a meditation on self-realization and self-love. The video begins with an aerial shot of Dragon Fox swaying in suspended darkness as rhythm swells and ambiance swirls. Once the sub-bass drops, she begins to chant in layered octaves, “Asphyxiated, agitated, frustrated...” and the camera starts to pull back. While the screen fills with dozens and eventually hundreds of Dragon Fox(es), you notice they are all dancing and moving in individual ways to their own tunes.

Asked about the subject matter of “Sense of Self,” Dragon Fox explains: “It’s a coming of age piece about maturity, self-acceptance, and growth from the many-many versions of yourself into one ultimate you. The idea of the ‘self’ is so intricate; I think we can all agree we’re ten different people at the same time. All the individual likes, tastes, and moods we experience are what makes us, essentially us.”

Where does she obtain the spark to create her music?  “From Aterciopelados, Enya, Julieta Venegas, to more recent additions like Lady Gaga, Grimes, and Nina Kraviz," she says. "I hold these artists close to my heart. If you notice, they’re primarily female. I think this shaped the way I make and see music. These women gave me the confidence and drive to pursue and make music originally, authentically, and unafraid. They’re truly inspiring, and I thank them for it.”

To categorize her music as pop or dance would be unfair. There is something much more cerebral and abstract happening in “Sense of Self” than we have come to expect from pop music. There is depth and creativity that surpasses the clichés of modern pop music, yet it still manages to be accessible and catchy.

Although Dragon Fox will likely soon appeal to a larger, global audience, Gabriela hasn't forgotten her South Florida roots. “A little bit of Miami shows in every bit of my songs," she says. "I use the uniqueness and pace of the city to influence the groovy and funky beats/melodies that you’ll find in most of my music. It’s that Miami flavor that I’m trying to capture and explore, creating a new authentic Miami sound that keeps the city pulsing.”

Daytime Odyssey is available now on Spotify and Apple Music.

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