Interview: Helado Negro Talks New Album “Far In,” Inspiration for Music Video and More
Roberto Carlos Lange, who goes by Helado Negro, latest album “Far In” is here. This album is his seventh full-length album. In an exclusive interview, he shared the inspiration behind it, how the pandemic shaped it, favorite songs and more.
Helado Negro began working on the album “Far In” pre-pandemic
Helado Negro found himself making “Far In” as he finished up his pervious album, “This is How You Smile,” which was released in 2019.
“The second I finished the last record, I knew exactly what I wanted ‘Far In’ to sound like,” said Lange, “This is exactly what I hoped to make. Lockdown or no lockdown.”
Although this album began before the pandemic, parts still reflect the times we are in, “I was on this path already. I was recording a lot of things in 2019,” Lange says, “but I think it all tied itself together during this time.”
Helado Negro found inspiration for the album, “Far in,” in Texas.
Roberto and his partner, the visual artist Kristi Sword, had planned to visit Marfa, Texas for an early 2020 residency to work on their collaborative project. Once the pandemic hit, they decided to stay in Marfa through the summer, inspiring Roberto to write a significant number of songs on the upcoming album.
“Texas was beautiful. Marfa, Texas is isolated, we were able to just roam around and enjoy it,” Lange shared of his experience in Texas during the pandemic, “It was dark and hard for us, but we were lucky to be with each other and in a place that we could go outside.”
His single “La Naranja” is about changing the world, “It isn’t about recycling cans, but it’s about thinking about how we can connect and understand, we think we have it forever and it’s possible we don’t.”
They were in Marfa, Texas, near Big Bend National Park, “I had a new, profound connection to nature specifically. I know recycling cans isn’t going to change our future, but I think it always starts with one conversation to inspire more people,” Helado Negro found inspiration for his songs in that environment.
Helado Negro used home videos for the music video of “Outside the Outside.”
For the music video of “Outside the Outside,” Lange use home footage from parties his parents threw,. “I had a stack of VHS tapes, then I saw these videos of parties my folks used to always throw at the house. I think they really connected with a time that felt really joyous and I think a lot of us connect to those videos.”
Helado Negro also created his album cover from these tapes. “The cover is a screenshot of my face from a home video of my first trip to Ecuador in 1988.”
Helado Negro’s new album is filled with special moments
Helado Negro couldn’t choose which song he favored more, “Mirror Talk was a really special one for me. That was the first song I knew was going to be on the album. Oreo is one of my favorite ones, too. The ones with features like ‘Agosto’ with Buscabulla, the one with my friend Benamin, ‘Telescope.’ I love them all.”
According to Lange there’s no prescribed way to listen to this album, “I feel music always lives on its own planet and in its own time so whenever it comes to people, it comes to them at the right time, in the right place.”
Helado Negro has started to perform live again and is working on his next project.
Helado Negro is back to performing live and he’s excited, “It was a little strange, but I think some of it’s like muscle memory,” Lange told mitú, “I think for the most part it’s exciting. I think it’s enjoyable yet frightening so it’s a little bit of both.”
As his album releases, Helado Negro is already looking ahead. “I’ve been writing a lot, I wrote a lot of new songs already,” Lange says, “It’s kind of crazy.”
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