Andrea Balency
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Andrea Balency

Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico | SELF

Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico | SELF
Band Alternative Pop

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Andrea Balency Trio used to be one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets, but everything seems to be lining up for the act’s inevitable intercontinental success. In the last couple of months our staff has been drooling for Torreblanca’s forthcoming first LP, Bella Epoca, and the news of a new EP by Andrea Balency Trio only adds to the excitement. It’s been a while since a cavalcade of introspective pop visionaries had hit our radar with such austere beauty and emotional sincerity. Recently we’ve enjoyed Balency’s semi-formal solo ventures covering Lisandro Aristimuno (“Pez”) and El Guincho (“Lycra Mistral”), but it’s time for her return to the triangular formation she shares with band members Jerson Vasquez and Miguel Sandoval.

“El Desorden” is the first promotional cut off of Andrea Balency Trio’s second EP, Lover. More than a few people in our niche have a natural affinity for quaint elementals, but very few can turn those resources into whimsical rapture. In this song, the trio accomplishes melodic ecstasy with march-like subtle progressions, down-to-the-bone aesthetics, and staggering vocals that bleed from an aching heart. People often speak of loneliness without realizing its role as a harmonizing accompanist. When Balency sings about something that’s blocking her breathing, that’s a point of no return - the realization of a remaining chaos by an all-consuming presence. - Club Fonograma (USA)


Andrea Balency Trío
::Mizraim::
1+1 bpm, 2010
México

9.0

Rostro nuevo en el horizonte de la música nacional es Andrea Balency, quien escribe canciones desde su pasión por el piano, el acordeón y la música de su tierra natal: la francesa.

::Mizraim:: es un E.P. con seis canciones, pero da a conocer a una compositora de altos vuelos.

Balency trabaja respaldada por un contrabajista y un percusionista, y a menudo la acompaña también Juan Manuel Torreblanca.

Cantando en francés y español, Balency es una de esas escazas compositoras en México que intentan equilibrar la balanza a favor del talento en un país tan marcado por la frivolidad y la chabacanería.

Recientemente fue acordeonista y corista del grupo formado por Café Tacvba para rendir tributo a la obra de Jaime López en el marco de la Feria Internacional de la Música realizada en Guadalajara en junio pasado.

Compromiso que ella resolvió sin intimidarse para nada. - La Banda Elastica (US Latin)


Last year, prior to recording the sublime Defensa EP, Juan Manuel Torreblanca couldn’t hold his contentment when the up and coming Andrea Balency showed up with a jaw-dropping cover for his long-time revealed “Parece Navidad.” In the following months, Balency appeared as a guest musician of our dear visionary to eventually, become part of one of the hottest new bands around. The gorgeous singer has an album ready to release and is ready for her own project to breakthrough, the Andrea Balency Trio. “Parece Navidad” is such an important piece to the Torreblanca and Andrea Balency Trio projects, an inevitable bond they share that now finds a place in an equally stunning new song titled “Una Linea Va.”

Andrea is the owner of a gifted voice and a natural ability to own words, and utilize them to dispatch her feelings to incredible places. If like us, you agree Balency’s heartbreaking line “que me quema los ojos y me quiebra los pies” is one of the year’s most beautiful layers, than you’ll love every second of “Una Linea Va.” A track about self-remorse and the agonizing fear of love, to feel love, “quiero cegarme y no ser.” The song reaches monumental value when Torreblanca’s calming back vocals show up to in to reinforce the mutual soreness love leaves behind when the line (of living in uncertainty) goes on. - Club Fonograma (USA)


The “open invitation” we did for Fonogramaticos Vol.10 turned out to be not so open at all. We assumed not a lot of our favorite bands would take the time to participate, but the response was heart-warming. In every compilation we put out, about half of them are brand new faces, but not this time. So far, we’ve selected two “new” artists for this compilation, both have been part of Fonogramaticos before but as part of their bands, this time, they arrive with their solo projects. One of them, is the beautiful Andrea Balency, from Torreblanca. She seemed a bit shy when she sent us this track, but we didn’t hesitate to approve her entry, it’s gorgeous. She covers Argentinean folk astro Lisandro Aristimuño in a beautiful arsenal version of “Pez.” The way she orchestrates her voice with a wheel of pounding instruments is simply stunning. The song comes with footage from Claudia Llosa’s socio-religious masterpiece Madeiunsa. - Club Fonograma (USA)


If you're looking for something a little different from the norm tonight, might I recommend the Andrea Balency Trio, playing at Fulton 55. This young singer/composer is Paris-born but now resides in Mexico. She's got a Natalie Portman-ish look, an elegant jazz/classical sound and a hypnotizing voice.

The 21-year-old has been pegged as part of a new movement of female voices coming out of Mexico's music scene. NPR recently wrote:

Somewhere between the melodic expressionism of Argentine singer Juana Molina and Patsy Cline, Balency's heartwarming melodies are revealed in the band's debut EP Mizraïm. Singing in Spanish, English and French, she proves that newcomers can be unorthodox and still maintain the appeal of the girl next door.

We know that in Fresno you can often see these on-the-rise acts before they blow up. Balency might just be one of those - Fresno Beehive (USA)


Andrea Balency nació hace 22 años en París, Francia. Después vivió y estudió en Argentina, y ahora radica en la ciudad de México, donde fundó, en 2009, el Andrea Balency Trío.

Ella se hace cargo de la voz, el acordeón y el piano; Mike Sandoval es responsable del contrabajo; y Jerson Vázquez, de los tambores y no de la batería, como él mismo lo ha dicho.

Juntos elaboran una música que suena fresca, casi única.

Balency alimenta su propuesta con la nostalgia de la chanson, lo festivo del folclor latinoamericano, algo de jazz y hasta con lo formal de los sonidos orquestales, una combinación que justamente arroja esa resultante que no tiene un igual a la vista.

Para comprobarlo está Mizraïm (2010), el primer material de la agrupación, extrañamente conocido como un EP, a pesar de los once cortes que incluye.

El disco ha servido de llave no sólo para abrir un camino propio, sino también para entrar en el gusto de un público masivo, que de inmediato ha conectado con lo hecho por el trío.

En estos días, el grupo se encuentra en el estudio, dándole los últimos detalles a su próxima publicación, que estará disponible muy pronto.

De eso y más nos platicó esta brillante joven parisina, radicada actualmente en la ciudad de México.

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¿Cómo sucedió el encuentro entre ustedes tres, tienen amigos en común…?
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Me encontré primero con Jerson, nuestro percusionista, a través de Juan Manuel Torreblanca (líder de Torreblanca), quien me había invitado a cantar con él para su disco y unos conciertos.

Jerson, en ese entonces, ya tocaba con Juan Manuel, y lo conocí en uno de los ensayos que tuvimos todos juntos. Me conmovió mucho su forma de tocar y su personalidad como músico, y a partir de ahí lo invité a participar en mi proyecto, que durante más o menos un año, era yo solamente, con mi piano y mi acordeón.

Jerson y yo estuvimos tocando juntos un tiempo, hasta que se le ocurrió presentarme a Mike, un amigo suyo de hace mucho tiempo, que por cierto no había visto en años. Al reunirnos los tres, hubo una química muy natural y mágica, la música fluyó rápidamente, y desde ese día no nos hemos separado.

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¿De qué forma trabaja el trío? ¿Se dividen la chamba o el liderazgo es absolutamente tuyo?
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Debido a que es mi proyecto solista, a que lo fundé como tal antes de conocerlos, definitivamente se podría decir que soy la líder del trío, al tomar decisiones, al ser la compositora de la música, etc. Pero la realidad es que Mike y Jerson se han involucrado mucho y le han hecho mucho bien a mi música; es por esto que decidí que fuéramos un trío y que estuviéramos los tres al mismo nivel en el escenario.

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Mizraïm, el material debut, circula entre la melodía bien definida y los rasgos sorpresivos de la experimentación. ¿Tú cómo describirías su contenido?
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Creo que lo has definido muy bien. Mis canciones en un principio siempre tienen melodías muy claras, trabajadas... Pero lo que hay detrás es una mezcla de mi educación en la música clásica y clásica-contemporánea, de lo que aprendí del folclor argentino en Buenos Aires, de mis raíces francesas y de mi amor por la música popular o el pop/rock alternativo, lo cual hace que, aunque todo se siente en armonía en esta mezcla de mil orígenes distintos, haya muchos motivos musicales que se disocian.

Además de todo, y creo que este es el factor más importante, realmente compongo lo que me nace, sin pensarlo mucho, siendo lo más honesta posible. Creo que esto hace que salga música que no siempre es fácil, pero que tampoco es forzada, traduciendo lo complejo, que es lo que siento, a partir de la simpleza de los motivos que utilizo.

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Por el lado lírico, ¿existe la necesidad de contar o decir algo en particular?
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Yo nunca he sido una persona a la que se le facilite el ser cómica, o el hacer música divertida. Es por eso que en general mis letras son ‘serias’ y a veces difíciles de entender. Por otro lado, las repeticiones de frases o motivos, una tras otra, me han obsesionado desde hace ya un tiempo. A través de repetir las cosas, las frases, las palabras, siento una estabilidad y un equilibrio, pero también siento que creo una suerte de fórmula mágica, mantra o ritual que me parece la forma más directa, personalmente, de ver dentro de mí.

Mis letras, para terminar con esto, por lo general no cuentan historias. Me gusta centrarme en la sonoridad de las palabras y trabajarla. Es por eso que canto en mis dos idiomas (francés y español), sin importarme que el público entienda todo o no. Mi música trata más de crear sensaciones a través de sonidos, que de darle sentido a todo lo que escribo.

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¿Cómo es un recital de Andrea Balency Trío?
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¡Es una pregunta muy difícil! Lo que sí puedo decir, es que conforme pasa el tiempo mis canciones van cambiando rápidamente, me gusta modificarlas seguido, darles vida cada vez que las toco en vivo.

Así que cada concierto, en ese sentido, es diferente. Yo he sentido que se crea un ambiente misterioso o de misticismo cuando tocamos, probablemente por la música que hacemos.

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¿Y su público? Imagino que hay desde chavos adolescentes, hasta gente adulta…
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Sí, somos de esos grupos que hacen música para un público bastante amplio. Una vez me dijeron: “los suyos son de esos conciertos en los que te puedes encontrar tanto a un amigo, como a la mamá de tu novia”.

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Pronto estarán en foros de Estados Unidos, ¿será tu primera vez por allá, cuáles son tus expectativas?
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Yo tuve la oportunidad de ir ya a California con Torreblanca, grupo en el que también toco, entonces sé más o menos qué esperar, aunque prefiero no hacerme expectativas de nada. Cada público es diferente, y creo que lo mejor es siempre disfrutarlo y tocar para los que estén escuchando, sea una persona o sean mil.

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También están preparando un segundo material. ¿Qué tanta relación tendrá con Mizraïm, qué nos puedes adelantar de esa próxima novedad?
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Estamos por sacar un segundo EP, que definitivamente tendrá relación con Mizraïm, ya que de alguna manera es su segunda parte. Se llama Lover, incluirá dos canciones nuevas, dos covers y tres remixes de canciones de Mizraïm, hechos por Austin TV, Algodón Egipcio y Dapuntobeat.

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¿Qué te gusta más, el estudio o el escenario?
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La verdad es que depende de qué estudio o qué escenario... Para mí, grabar es una verdadera pasión, pero siempre y cuando sea en mi casa, donde he armado un mini estudio con pocas cosas, pero de buena calidad.

Me puedo pasar días ahí, sin salir, pero ya cuando se trata de un estudio profesional, definitivamente prefiero tocar en el escenario, porque en este tipo de estudios se tiene que grabar todo rápidamente, sin perder tiempo; y el escenario es un lugar sagrado para mí, en el que me encuentro conmigo misma y doy todo para el público. Son momentos muy fuertes.

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¿Qué más se viene en la segunda parte de 2011 para ABT?
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Por ahora sacar Lover a la luz, darle promoción, tocar esas dos nuevas canciones... También entraremos a grabar el disco nuevo, el cual estará listo para principios de 2012, y nunca dejar de tocar y componer. Esperamos también ir a tocar a Europa hacia fin de año.

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¿Alguna recomendación, un disco, una canción, un libro, una película…?
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Si dijera todas mis recomendaciones, ¡nunca terminaría! Pero bueno, entre muchas, hace poco volví a ver El último tango en Paris, que es de mis películas favoritas y la recomiendo siempre.

También he estado leyendo mucho a Marguerite Yourcenar, una gran escritora francesa, de ella recomiendo todo. Y por último recomiendo mucho la música de una española, María Rodés, que canta hermoso y hace canciones muy bellas y tranquilas; también el [disco] Pop Negro, de El Guincho, lo nuevo de James Blake, y por supuesto, lo nuevo de Torreblanca. - La Banda Elastica (US Latin)


It's a seemingly near-perfect booking, a Sunday evening show at MacArthur Park's Levitt Pavilion as the culturally diverse influences in Balency's music are mixed, matched and blurred to the point where no border can be clearly discerned. Born in Paris and based in Mexico, Balency sings in English, Spanish and French, but the lure here is her arrangements and her downright enchanting voice. She can be lullaby-soft, or Bjork-like weird, using the meows of a cat as a rhythmic counter to her lusciousness. Songs are grounded in a Euro-classical style, but samples are used diligently, and a romantic accordion can be whisked away by a panic-stricken piano. - Los Angeles Times (USA)


Never in the history of Mexican rock and alternative music have there been as many successful leading ladies as there are today. Up until a few years ago, the audience at Vive Latino (the Mexican equivalent to Coachella) would literally force female singers off stage demanding harder rock. In contrast, at the last Vive Latino, we witnessed masses of fans singing along with female singers.

Experienced Mexican rockers Julieta Venegas and Ely Guerra have paved the way for the success of newcomers such as Carla Morrison and Ximena Sariñana, among other promising talents. The latest voice to emerge is 21-year-old Andrea Balency. Born in Paris, the artist has settled in Mexico, capturing the hearts of music critics and fans alike.

She has an angelic voice and is a remarkably skillful composer. It was initially a solo project with classical music leanings, until Balency (who is also part of popular Mexican band Torreblanca) found musical soulmates in Jerson Vazquez and Miguel Sandoval, and became the more pop-infused Andrea Balency Trio. The band was recently awarded with the Best New Artist recognition by Mexico's Indie-O Music Awards, and received nothing but enthusiastic responses for their performance at this year's Vive Latino.

Somewhere between the melodic expressionism of Argentine singer Juana Molina and Patsy Cline, Balency's heartwarming melodies are revealed in the band's debut EP Mizraïm. Singing in Spanish, English and French, she proves that newcomers can be unorthodox and still maintain the appeal of the girl next door.

She recently covered "Lycra Mistral" from Spaniard pop sensation El Guincho, turning a fast-paced club song into a slow jam that is both sexy and vulnerable:

The Andrea Balency Trio has a promising future — and an enthusiastic audience right now. - NPR Music (USA)


While attending a portion of this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid, it would have been easy to only pay attention to the bigger artists that proliferated the ranks of the Academy's parties, lectures, and even the participants. But only shining a light on the more well-known folks would be contrary to the spirit of the entire RBMA, which brings artists—many of them unknown—from all over the world for an exchange of ideas, cultures, and, of course, music. As such, we wanted wrap XLR8R's coverage of RBMA Madrid by getting to know a few of the participants whose names haven't regularly appeared on XLR8R—at least not yet. Although profiling all 60 participants, or even just those attending the second term when XLR8R was in attendance, would have been just about impossible, here are three very different artists that definitely caught our attention.

Artist Name: Andrea Balency (also pictured in the main image at top)
Real Name: Andrea Balency-Bearn
Age: 23
Currently Residing: Mexico City, Mexico

XLR8R: You're originally from France.
Yes. I was born in Paris, and I lived there for 14 years, and then destiny took me to Mexico. I've been there for almost eight years.

You also lived in Buenos Aires for awhile.
Yes, I lived in Buenos Aires for two years.

When did you start making music?
When I was five, I started playing the piano. I played classical music. When I went to Argentina, I started listening to popular music, and some electronic music. I really liked it, so I stopped playing classical music. Actually, I still play it sometimes, but now I'm more into popular music and electronic music.

You won some kind of big music award in Mexico.
Yeah, I did. It's like the Grammys, but for independent music. It's a big event in Mexico, and I won the prize for best new artist.

So are you, like, famous in Mexico?
No, not at all. It's starting, and some people do recognize me now on the street, but very rarely. It's nothing yet, and I hope I'm never really famous. I don't know if I would like that.

How did you first find out about Red Bull Music Academy?
A friend of mine, his name is Juan Manuel Torreblanca, he lives in Mexico and he was actually at the Red Bull Music Academy in Toronto. He always told me it was the best two weeks of his life, so I was curious about it. I applied, but I never thought I would be accepted, because I knew it was more about DJs and DJing, and I'm not a DJ. I like electronic music though. I love it, but I'm not a DJ. So I thought I would try and see if I would get in, and I made it.

How has your RBMA experience been?
Yesterday, I was writing an email to Juan, and I told him, "You were right. This has been the best week of my life." It's like a musician's dream.

Do you feel like you're still getting something valuable out of it, even though you don't make electronic music for a club setting?
Of course. I think I've maybe learned more than [the other participants], because of that. I'm really interested in every type of music. I've learned so much and I want to do so many new things. I want to be a DJ now! [laughs] I have friends here now who are going to teach me, so I can bring that to Mexico.

Once your Academy experience is over…
I'm going to cry. [laughs]

But what do you plan to do once it's over?
It's funny, because in January I'm going to New York to record a new album. It's perfect, because I have so many new ideas. I'm going to put all of that into the album, so it's going to be fresh. It's perfect. I made friends [with one of the participants] here, his name is Nick Hook. He's amazing. He DJs, but he also plays keyboards. We're doing some songs together in New York—he lives in New York—it's going to be amazing. - XLR8R (USA)


Andrea Balency’s race to stardom seems unstoppable. “Lover,” the second single (and last one with her band before going solo) from her forthcoming EP under the same title, makes it evidently imminent. Following the gorgeous “El Desorden,” and as classy as we’d expect from the ensemble, “Lover” is a crestfallen chamber pop track, which encounters the leader’s melancholic heights-reaching singing manner in one of her very best performances. Like a spy film, the initial guitar base suggests mystery, which is quickly suppressed as the other instruments–piano, accordion and Balency’s blissful voice–fall effortlessly into place and draw nostalgia as the song potently progresses into an emotional ride where tears might be shed and susceptibilities may be affected. Andrea Balency Trío, which lamentably will dismantle after this release, already possess a characteristic sound of their own and, based on the two tracks released so far, Lover EP appears to be the work where they’ve fully polished without venturing into eccentricity or unnecessary experimentation, simply with a lot of class. - Club Fonograma (USA)


French-Mexican singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrea Balency’s songs breathlessly defy classification. Connecting the dots between the folkloric music of Mexico and Argentina, traditional French lounge singing (Chanson), hip-hop, jazz and experimental electronica, her songs paints a whole gallery worth of sonic oil painting, representative of stories as diverse and lived as her young life.

Balency was born in Paris in the late eighties. Schooled in classical music during her childhood, at seventeen she began writing her own original songs. Having lived in (and played music in) France, Mexico and Argentina, she’s played solo, worked in combos, and even spent a two year stint in highly respected Mexican art rock band Juan Manuel Torreblanca. Along the way she recorded her first EP, and has been steadily working towards her second EP Lover, and her debut album, due for release mid 2012.

Where Balency really comes into her own though, aside from her shimmering vocals and baroque instrumentation, is her actual lyrical writing. Deeply pictorial, Balency renders emotive touching imagery of memories of the past in aural form. Whether tackling literature, emotional states, or geographic landscapes, there is a touch of magic realism to her work, recalling the wonder of literary giants Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

This Saturday night, Balency makes her first ever Wellington performance, at The Matterhorn on Cuba Street. With DJ support from Nick D and Hopepa, $5 entry after 11.30 ensures you a stellar evening of left of centre sounds, both live and direct off the wax. If you want to do any further research, you can download a free EP worth of her music by clicking here. - Word On The Street (N.Zealand)


Discography

2013 (TBA): 1st LP

2012 (February): LOVER EP
Singles:
Mexico/USA - #1: El Desorden
Mexico/USA - #2: Lover

2010 (October): MIZRAIM EP
Singles:
France - #1 : Mizraim
Mexico - #1: Una Linea Va // #2: Mout

Photos

Bio

French-Mexican Andrea Balency was born in Paris in 1989 and after a thorough and classical education; she started composing music at the age of 17. Since then, her life experiences from both Argentina and Mexico - where she’s been living since her teens – have influenced her songwriting to the point of not only including traditional French music and ‘chanson’ but also Mexican and Argentina’s folklore. Throughout her short career she also included a wide array of other music styles to her own chemistry, ranging from jazz and sometimes hip-hop to a touch of electronic music which is, slowly, becoming her new favorite experimental ground.

In the end, whatever the sound and the language used in her songs, the themes she’s been exploring – such as literature, the sea, time and loneliness – end up bringing back memories of the gray and cold streets of Paris, memories of rain and melancholy and a world where words are mostly vehicles and where feelings take over instead.

Even though she is still in the very early stages of her career, Andrea Balency has now already performed in the USA, France, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina and Mexico.

On February 2012, Andrea released her second EP entitled “Lover” (available as a free download on her official website), proud successor to her phenomenal "Mizraim" EP (Oct 2010) that gave her a unanimous pat in the back at international level and recognition such as the ‘Best New Artist’ award at Mexico’s Indie Music Awards (IMAS) in 2011 or the opportunity to perform with artists such as Au Revoir Simone, Imogen Heap, Benjamin Biolay to name a few.

The first full-length album by Andrea Balency is planned for an early 2013 release in the USA, France, Mexico and Spain (more territories to be announced).