“I think I’ve confirmed I have a characteristic way of making music, a sound that hasn’t been easy to find”
Judit Neddermann (Vilassar de Mar, 1991) premieres Lar (Universal / Música Global), a joyous fifth album full of light that stems, she says, from having reconnected with herself.
What is this Lar you refer to in the album title?
I needed a concept, like air, that was the same in different languages, since the lyrics are once again in Catalan, Spanish and some Portuguese. I found this word, which is of Latin origin, and in Spanish and Portuguese has been maintained and, in Catalan, has evolved to mean home. I liked it, in part, because I made the record after reconnecting with myself.
There was repeated talk that Judith Nedderman’s big moment had come... And then the pandemic hit.
Yes, and I realised that things would have to be done little by little, which is how I’ve always done them. And with good lyrics. It was a good learning experience, because the truth is that things were looking very good just before the pandemic. A path opened up, with Aire, to perform all over Spain, South America... And I ended up doing it, but everything went slower than I thought. But that’s made me rethink what makes me happy and what I need. I’ve rediscovered the peace I need to make music, which is what makes the vast majority of these new songs exude a lot of love, a lot of light.
I’ve heard you say Aire is a raw, less friendly record.
Yes, it was a much more intimate record, less expansive than Lar, where we decided to record a lot of guitars and a lot of percussion. It even has a danceable side to it. The production by Pau and Arnau Figueras is important in that regard. After being produced by both of them separately, I suggested they do it together this time and it’s been a good combination.
There’s a song called Celebrate. What is it you have to celebrate?
That I have a solid career and I live from my own music, with a team of people who inspire me a lot and who are rowing in the same direction. I feel the future is exciting.
Aside from your own albums you’ve been the singer of Coetus and The Gramophone Allstars. Has it been difficult for you to finally find a place to feel fully comfortable in the artistic field?
Yes, this already began to happen with Aire, and now with this one, I think I’ve confirmed that I have a characteristic way of making music, a sound that hasn’t been easy to find. Sometimes these things are unfair, because when someone finds a way to express themselves musically there are always those who say, “She always does the same thing!”, but listening to someone and being able to identify them is very valuable, I think. In any case, I’ve never felt that I’m repeating myself, but I notice that I’m stretching myself a bit further on each album, especially in terms of composition.
And you’re growing as a singer.
I feel at peace singing. I’ve found a sound I like and feel like I’m on firmer ground. Going into the recording studio and hearing my own timbre is an experience that satisfies me. Sometimes when I listen to old recordings, I hear things I wouldn’t do now, like too many nasal sounds, but I don’t obsess over those details either.
Do you take any language balance into account, singing in Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese?
I try to make it completely natural, because singing in different languages comes naturally to me. When I compose and make a melody, the lyrics come out in whatever language they come out in. And this is so spontaneous that, later, it becomes very strange to want to redirect it to another place.