Photographer Yaiza Socorro

Nereida Peña, the singer of Ingenio with a “warm” voice

Nereida Peña, singer. Interview conducted by @loretosocorro

The streets of Vegueta (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) today boast of Nereida's light and sure walk. She is a singer and soldier, born in Ingenio (Gran Canaria) and one day she decided that she wanted to share her love for the art of singing with the world.

"I am from Ingenio and I love my town and I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The cosmopolitan ease of this city also fascinates me, although I must say that it was difficult for me to adapt to the noise, used to such tranquility.”

Since when do you sing Nereida?

"Since I was a child. I was born with it. My mother tells me that when she was little she heard me, when she climbed the stairs, singing at the top of her lungs. ”

What did you sing as a child?

"Well, I remember that the first song I memorized was “I'll always love you”, by Withney Houston. With the English of a girl, of course, but I was very intense. So I was starting to get interested in music. Now I see that, really, I was not aware that the gender had chosen me and not I the gender.

What was that process of discovering like? What music did you hear?

"I listened to the radio and, in addition, I recorded myself with a radio cassette. I remember I had a tape that I called “Pupurrí”, all with U… -she laughs while gesticulating and her passion transforms the voice with which she surrounds us, like a flannel blanket-I also recorded songs invented by me.”

So, do you have the soul of a songwriter?

"Composing is a pending subject. Just yesterday I was translating some lyrics of “country” and I realized that they relate simple things, that give game. Sometimes I get inspired and write something, but I haven't meant it to be a song. It can be a challenge”

What style do you feel most comfortable with today?

"Soul. I can mix rhythm & blues or rock, but I'm soul."

¿Which are your references?

"Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Whitney Houston…”


Other music, this time made of bells, applauds Nereida through the alleys of the capital's old town. We look for a silent corner so that it continues telling us.

"I remember being at my grandmother's house and waiting, looking at the landline phone, for it to ring to participate in “Lluvia de estrellas”. It didn't amount to anything, but since I was a child I already felt very artistic.”

However, you have participated in other talent shows, like the one on netflix...

"I've introduced myself to some but I didn't have the preparation that I have today, like with La Voz. About my experience with Netflix I will tell you that they encouraged me to participate in a Talent Show that was something like karaoke, but improved. I didn't know it was from Netflix until a few days before, when they told me I had to go to the UK. That was in November 2019 and it aired in June 2020.”

What repertoire did you bring?

"It was organized by chapters and I had to sing songs from movies. Look: I landed on my feet…because that was the repertoire that was best for me and it turned out that I went…and I won! Work is important but also a bit of luck.”

¿How much work and how much luck?

"Above all it is work and keeping your nerves because being in such a big production is imposing.”

Some trick to relax...

"I tell myself that it may be the last time I get on stage: “Nereida enjoys that it may be the last time…”

When did the spark arise to decide to sing outside the circle of friends and family?

"I have always liked to sing for others. I liked being listened to because it was like giving a gift, but it was in 2017 when I became interested in working on the instrument. The voice must be polished and you get three thousand percent of it. I believe that we have as a mission in life to share our gift.”

Was it hard for you to start working on your voice?

"Not at all. Things, if done with love, cost nothing. I fell in love with the process, seeing how the voice crescendoed, reaching tonalities that it hadn't reached before…”

How would you explain those feelings?

"This is very inside and difficult to explain. How do I feel the voice? …when I reach the treble it is as if my voice goes up through my ears and is projected in my head.”

And your emotions when achieving those achievements?

"Full, happy…I am living what I want to live.”

What does it take to be able to sing?

"A lot of work. It is true that there are people who are quite talented and others who have half that talent, and need more training. There are even people who just want to learn, for the pleasure of singing and strive to master the instrument that is their voice. Everything is achieved, with perseverance.”

Do you always sing in English?

"It is the language with which I get along best and it seems to me that it helps me with my voice, besides… I like it.”

Suddenly a rich smell of coffee enters the alley, and traveling with that sensual and dark seed, like Nereida's voice, we ask him to tell us about his collaboration with the City Dock Band.

"Now I'm promoting the concert with the City Dock Band. I discovered them on a poster that said “Alma de Mujer” and I thought “how good a show like that would look good on me”; so I picked up the phone and introduced myself, I told them about my vocal characteristic… and I don't know how I did it but I sang in the Auditorium.”


What is “voice characteristic”?

"It is the color of the voice, the corporeality that makes you unique. My voice is hot. It is what is known as “warm voice” and that is particular to African-American singers, especially.”

Do you have performances planned soon?

"There is the difficult thing, because of the situation. To be active and by my own decision, I have chosen to sing a lot in hotels. I can't stand. Like athletes, you have to be active and, if an opportunity comes to me, let me walk.”

Do the digital age and globalization make it easier to make yourself known, from the island?

"It is difficult and not only for artists. This is very small and it is difficult to enter, to position oneself. There is a lot of talent here and I feel lucky because I have managed to get them to listen to me”

In your music videos, just before singing you send messages, you explain…

"Singing is arriving. This is why I try to put the person who is going to listen to me in a situation about what I want to project. It moves me when they tell me that they were moved.”

¿How do you know you've reached someone?

"Sorry. When you sing, sometimes you are not emotionally well, but if you feel what you sing, it is inevitable that you reach people. It's like when you catch a laugh. Singing is the same and if you sing from the soul, you arrive and touch whoever listens to you. That is contagious.”

What supports have you had?

"My father has been fundamental and also the person I call “my cabinetmaker”, who is my husband, because he was my singing teacher.”

Love at first song?

"Yes, I met him when I decided to start working on my voice and he has helped me improve a lot. He was a singer and is a support, the pillar of my life, along with my son who is my number one fan.

What does singing give you?

"Singing is as important to me as the air I breathe, so I enjoy it. What's more: the times I've had the worst time in my life is when I've lost my voice because all my emotions, for better or worse, are closely related to my voice.

Do you sing every day?

"Everyone, as if I'm singing “De la Isleta al Refugio”. It is something that I have implicit in my daily life.”

We propose a game to Nereida so that she can tell us the first thing that comes to her mind and she welcomes it.

Self esteem"A lot"

Flow"Fascinates me"

I go with me: "Everywhere"

Sorority: "Essential"

Fall down: "Obligatory to get up”

Positivity: “very much”

Perseverance: "Constantly"

From the little I learned about music I know that the treble clef exists... Tell me, Nereida, at what point are you now, are you more Sunflower o Parasol?

"Whole Sunflower”

If I say "SOLiloquy"...

"I love that word because my husband says it a lot and since he speaks Italian very well, he pronounces it with such a beautiful accent…”

Nereida Peña is a deep, witty and funny woman. Her soul comes out of her because of that warm voice, with which she warms us in each song.

2 comments on «Nereida Peña, the singer of Ingenio with a «warm» voice»

  1. What a voice!!!!!…warm, sensual, suggestive…..it makes you vibrate with each note and as a human being,…..simply wonderful!!!!


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