An interview by José Galván for KCRW.
This past Friday, Puerto Rican duo Buscabulla finally unveiled their debut album Regresa. It’s an elegant, experimental-pop offering — and they’re thriving in a creative world that’s traditionally from backgrounds unlike theirs. Raquel Berrios and Luis Del Valle have created a fervent following through a series of phenomenal EPs and they are firmly planting their flag in the pop world with this delectable album.
We had a chance to chat with both Raquel and Luis ahead of their debut release.
José: I’m so excited for people to hear this album! I had a chance to preview it and it is phenomenal!
Raquel: Yay! It’s been done for about a year. It just seems so distant and now it’s wild that people are listening to it.
José: So by the time you go on tour with a record, you’re probably over that record?
Raquel: You kind of are… but when you play songs live you get to give them another life. You can kind of change them, you can do stuff to them that you might have missed out on while recording. Re-do an arrangement. Have fun with it. But now I just wonder when we are going to get to play live next.
José: You guys had a tour lined up for the summer after the release of the record… with stuff being cancelled, have you guys found a creative way to perform live again?
Raquel: How sick would it be that we could get Holograms done?
Luis: Essentially you could project us on water.
José: That’s sort of what you did for part of your new music video, “Nydia.” You guys actually projected images onto water. Whose face is featured on the projection?
Raquel: So that’s actually Nydia Caro. Nydia is a Puerto Rican songstress. She is an iconic singer and so well known. I was obsessed with her. She put out some disco records in the 70s. So she actually speaks in the song at the end. So we thought maybe we could project some of her videos on water. And Luis had to edit each thing that she would say.
José: So on the track that is Nydia’s actual voice?
Raquel: We collaborated with her. I think we went to her house a couple times and had this interview with her where she dropped these amazing words and we ended up keeping it in the song. I consider her an Icon.
José: You started a non-profit recently in Puerto Rico called PRIMA?
Raquel: Yeah, we did right after hurricane Maria. We were actually in NYC and we had a lot of musician friends that were not having the best of times. It was pretty harsh. Maria wiped out communities. Not just electricity and water but communication for weeks. And you know we were out there in NY and got busy with the diaspora and just started sending emergency grants to people. And ever since we did that, we just kept supporting independent artists in different ways. Now, the next thing is to see how we are going to be able to support people after the pandemic.
José: You actually have a mini-documentary being released with this record, is it also entitled Regresa?
Raquel: Yes. It is directed by Chris Gregory (also Puerto Rican) and Kirby Smith. Really talented guys. Chris had been following us since we were in the Puerto Rican parade a couple years back and he kept coming and recording us. And He said he thought we had a mini-film. And why not put it out and give some context to the record?
Check out Buscabulla’s new album and watch the rest of our interview @dj_josegalvan’s IGTV channel.