Nothing lost in translation for Polaris Music Prize nominee Lido Pimienta

The field of nominees for this year’s Polaris Music Prize includes heavyweights Gord Downie, Leslie Feist and Leonard Cohen, but a dark horse looms on the fringes. She is Lido Pimienta, a Colombian-born, Toronto-based musician whose striking 2016 record La Papessa translates to “High Priestess.” To fortune tellers, the high-priestess card in a tarot deck represents calmness and wisdom. Pimienta has said the album is all about “getting ready for war, with love{}”

How can one say “badass” in Spanish?

Pimienta’s Spanish-language LP is unstoppable electronic art-pop, marked by an elegant type of fierceness — her exotic sound a beautiful suit of armour; her voice, a penetrating wail. The third of nine tunes, Quiero Que Te Vaya Bien (I Want You to Do Well) marches into a rat-a-tat military snare drum. “I feel and expect respect,” Pimienta sings in her native tongue. “You to be admired.”

On La Capacidad (You Can), she struggles patriarchal notions:

I was not born to cook for you or give you kids

I was not born to fit into no hetero normative soap opera

I was not born to put worldwide feminism back

High priestess? The kids now say “queen{}” Do not be surprised if Pimienta is the last one position — in the Polaris gala, and elsewhere.

Lido Pimienta and fellow nominees Lisa LeBlanc, Tanya Tagaq, Leif Vollebekk and Weaves are scheduled to play in the Polaris Music Prize Gala, Sept. 18, 8 p.m., $73.45, The Carlu, 444 Yonge St., 855-985-5500 or

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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