BY Stephen Nartey, 6:30pm August 22, 2022,

From singing on stools to neighbors to becoming 1st woman of color to create a score for NYC Ballet

Colombian-Canadian Songwriter Lido Pimienta. Photo: Instagram/Lido Pimienta

Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta is the first-ever female composer of color to have performed a score for the New York City Ballet Orchestra. It was an all-female team with choreographer, Andrea Miller, when they performed last year September for the orchestra.

“It’s funny, when Andrea contacted me, I was working on music for my next album and really thinking about orchestration,” Pimienta told The New York Times.

“It’s my first time doing something this big, and I am always fighting the feeling of impostor syndrome. But I told myself: Even if I have never composed for 66 musicians before, there are 66 channels in the music I produce. If Andrea thinks I’m worthy, it’s fine!”

Pimienta’s score was a popular folk music genre with its roots in Colombia mixed with heavy rhythmic groovy instrumentals from the Dominican Republic, according to New York Times.

She recalled that her early musical influence was from her father who was a huge music lover. According to her, her dad made her and her sister stand on a stool and sing for neighbors anytime there was a blackout in their neighborhood.

Though she was five years old, she said her father’s favorite songs she made them sing were ABBA songs particularly “Dancing Queen”, she said in an interview.

Pimienta said she owes her singing and dancing skills to her dad. She explained that though there are quite a number of singers and songwriters in her family, she is the only one who does this unique style of music.

She refers to herself as the odd one while growing up because she was either painting or drawing while the other kids played at the beach.

She couldn’t fathom the rationale behind her actions, but, she recalled that during childhood she never slept on her bed, she preferred sleeping in the living room.

The Colombian-Canadian songwriter said that though she comes from a family with extensive talent, there is more they would have her do including having a family than sing.

She rose to fame in 2016 when she released her second album La Papessa after furthering her education to learn more about music.

She stirred controversy in 2017 at the Halifax Pop Explosion when she asked women of color on the stage to move to the front and the whites to move to the back for a photo shoot.

“Ninety percent of people who attend my shows and get the Lido Pimienta reconfigures the room experience LOVE IT,” Pimienta told Billboard at the time. “The outpouring of [comments like] ‘thank you for allowing me to see how brown folks at [these] shows are clearly a minority’ outgrow the comments of hate.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 22, 2022


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