Conversations with María Vanedi

By: Laura Viera A
Translated By: Solkes
Photos: María Vanedi

There are Colombian artists in all corners of the world. Actually, there is no place that has not been touched by a piece of our talent, our taste and joy.

María Mercedes Vanegas Díaz is from Neiva. According to her, this fact is really important because it determines a persons character and nature.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.

For some people, creating something is a necessity, for others simply a hobby and the truth is that everything is valid. The thing is that when they do it in the safety of their house the result of their impulses is usually effective and satisfactory. But, at when facing public opinion, the perspective changes. Insecurities, doubts, fears ... all come to the light, perspiration all over the body and there is no turning back.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.
However, this woman has a stead fast soul, her spirit is risky and it is a conviction of the power music has, in this case the power of her voice. Her voice has always had a lot of strength and power but with a lot of work she has seen it grow and mature over time.

She decided she wanted to study acting. She wanted to live near the sea, to learn another language and that's how she ended up in Europe.

During our cnversation she tells me that her creative process is not an exact recipe. It is absolutely variable, it does not have the same steps. For the past 15 years she has been dedicated to music. This sparked many questions for me.

Laura Viera A: What is music for you?

María Vanedi: For me, music has been company, a way to realise that I am not alone and that the strange things that I feel or think, are not so strange after all.

"Music is the manifestation of unity; art, physics, geometry, soul, mind, body, vibration … all in one."

She was a chorus singer for Fonseca, Camilo Echeverry and Margarita Rosa de Francisco. And, in 2010 it was time for her first album to appear, "Waiting Room" was the result. This showcased her taste for pop and rock. Her composing side also came through.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.
In 2013 she presented to the world the single "Que Te Revuelva", which had the participation of Andrea Echeverri (Aterciopelados).

Laura Viera A: What would you do if you didn't do this?

María Vanedi: I think I would have loved to be a dancer.

Laura Viera A: Do you think art can change people, the world? Why?

María Vanedi: Yes. Precisely because of its ability to show us that we are all part of the same, a single gear. When you understand that, you seek to do your part and to respect the way others are, to work as a team, you strive to hear other points of views, you stop wanting to be always right, instead you open up your mind and enjoy diversity.

Laura Viera A: What do you like most about being an artist?

María Vanedi: I can reinvent myself and nourish myself all the time. I never get bored, being creative keeps me connected with a vibration that gives me a lot of joy, my heart is full of gratitude and I feel very lucky to share what I like to do and that people enjoy it.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.

Laura Viera A: What is the hardest thing of being an artist?

María Vanedi: It has been difficult for me to understand what I really do. Now I'm clearer and I hope that's a new starting point and that it will give me a clearer path.

I find it difficult to open the market, spaces, create an audience, teach people to listen, be manager, comunity manager...
Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.
thankfully, there are more and more possibilities to work as a team and to find people who want and know how to do all those things that are not as simple for me.

Laura Viera A: In all your journey have you had any experiences that have touched you?

María Vanedi: Working on television. In many ways, it was a before and after for me. To find out that I could do this, the mass contact with people, the loss of privacy, knowing the proportions of money in that office and comparing them with music, wanting to fight for better working conditions for musicians, feel the competition more closely. Enjoying peoples affections, wanting to continue acting and not understanding how to do it, travel, study… it opened an entire universe for me.

Maria tells me that her tv experience was a positive one. She brought to life Lupe in the telenovela "Allá te espero" a production of the Channel RCN that was issued in 2012.

Laura Viera A: Do you think that being an artist and a woman is more difficult than being an artist and a man?

María Vanedi: Absolutely. I think this its so because the music industry, as well as civilization, was structured from a masculine point of view. For some years women have been opening the way, understanding their music and our role in art, empowering us and also giving context to our expression. Thankfully, our voice is becoming stronger and there are men backing women up, supporting their songs, discovering what it is all about. We have already added managers, bookers, etc.

"I think that things are changing, women are also creating a network, it is important that we work mainly for the sake of music and in that regard, men and women are vibrating the same."

Laura Viera A: What satisfies you the most?

María Vanedi: When people allow me to feel all the strength I've put in my work. When that comes back, I understand that there was a connection and that makes me feel satisfied.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.

Inspiration comes from nature, family and friends with a determined and sensitive spirit. In addition to many artists who have been sowing curiosities, tastes and creative options inside of her.

Laura Viera A: Is it complicated to write?

María Vanedi: It depends. I used to write what I used to feel ... that part was easy. Then I learned some exercises, that part was fun. Then on my own I have come to want to copy some writers and composers ... that is the hardest thing, there are entire universes that are not so easily deciphered and that is what makes them so special.

Laura Viera A: What was your first composition? The most recent ? Do you remember them all?

María Vanedi: The first song I wrote was like 2000 ... I recorded it with my uncle Juan Pablo Vanegas. The most recent is called "The cure." I do not remember all of them.

Photo: María Vanedi
© all rights reserved.
Her latest album "Peace" is a declaration of absolute freedom. Together with renowned guitarist and musician Teto Ocampo, they created an album full of mysticism, both in music and in lyrics.

Laura Viera A: What would you say to people who want to dedicate themselves to the art world?

María Vanedi: That they should believe in themselves. To get started now !!!

After finishing our conversation, I realised that María Vendi is a complete artist. I state this because it seems that she wants to evolve as a singer, as an artist. It's something she really wants to do. The life of many artists is a constant balance between pleasure, duty, need and desire. It is the great dead of selling in a small and large, competitive and solitary market at the same time.



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