Spanish artist La Cendejas and photographer Martina Hache discuss collaborating on ‘TSUNAMI’, Cendejas’ most personal EP to date


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Spanish artist La Cendejas and photographer Martina Hache discuss collaborating on ‘TSUNAMI’, Cendejas’ most personal EP to date

La Cendejas (left) and Martina Hache (right) together in Madrid

On 15th February, Spanish artist La Cendejas (formerly known as Paula Cendejas) graced the COLORS stage with an intimate performance of ‘COLIBRI’, a track from her upcoming EP ‘TSUNAMI’.

In line with her show, we sat down with Cendejas and her collaborator, the Madrid-based photographer and director Martina Hache, to find out more about the story behind ‘TSUNAMI’. They discuss everything from how they collaborated to develop the project’s visual identity to the benefits of working in female-led teams, as well as how the EP is emblematic of Cendejas’ artistic rebirth.

Paula and Martina, how did you two first meet?

Martina Hache: I already knew Paula ́s work before meeting her in person. We’d also seen each other around at events and concerts in Madrid.

Paula Cendejas: I also already knew Martina through her work—she was on my radar! I admired her sensitivity while creating. A mutual friend introduced us. We met for a coffee to chat and get to know each other better. I quickly realized she was the right person to share my next creative project.

Why do you think your respective artistic approaches work so well together?

PC: When collaborating with someone, photographers in particular, I look closely at how they reflect sensitive situations and issues in front of the camera. Something that caught my attention was that Martina had already worked with other female artists—she helped them with their projects and brought that sensitivity to the screen. As my new project is about my life, this was really important to me. I am exposing myself in a very raw way, so I needed someone delicate and with great taste. Without that the final creative result wouldn’t have been solid enough.

The new project is called ‘TSUNAMI’. Where does the title come from, and what were some of the personal experiences that inspired you to create it?

PC: A “tsunami” is the perfect metaphor to represent what I’ve lived through over the past year and a half. I’ve faced an existential dilemma that was caused by life changing challenges. I experienced so many emotions that I needed to put into words. I felt the urge to speak about my family, my childhood, love, pain, and loss.

What interested you in ‘TSUNAMI’ as a project, Martina?

MH: I instantly loved Paula’s tracks—some really felt close and others just felt like they had huge souls. The music was interesting and the lyrics created their own world. Those things combined with the creative liberty and the trust Paula gave me made the project very attractive.

Martina, you’ve worked with an all-female crew on this project. What do you enjoy about working in women-led teams? 

MH: For me it is really important that as women we support each other on all levels. I think that female-led work environments breed a sense of sorority. In my personal experience, this leads to better work dynamics. People listen to each other, respect one another, and have empathy.

“Female-led work environments breed a sense of sorority. People listen to each other, respect one another, and have empathy.”

Paula, to what extent do you think the experiences you’re exploring in ‘TSUNAMI’ are indicative of the female experience? 

PC: Through the project I explore the experience of being a woman in a society where women are undervalued in basically all areas, including in the music industry. The track ‘COLIBRI’, which I performed on COLORS, is about loss. I think women in particular will identify with it. The emotion in the song is very clear—it transports listeners to situations in which they’ve suffered. You don’t have to have experienced the exact same thing as I have to relate to it.

Was writing the EP a cathartic experience?

PC: For sure! Finding words to describe these hard experiences was extremely healing. If I hadn’t felt uncomfortable writing about these things I wouldn’t have done it. Music is therapy for me. It always has been, but now more than ever. If I don’t have a message I want to share, I’d rather stay silent.

Martina, can you describe your process of interpreting Paula’s highly personal tracks into visuals? What can we expect to see around the release of this project?

MH: When working with musicians, I usually listen over and over to songs and imagine them in my mind. Then I get together with the artist, listen to their vision, and try to get both of our ideas together to fit together like a puzzle.

“You can feel that something is breaking inside of her but that it gives her strength at the same time.”

MH: For ‘TSUNAMI’, Paula had a very clear concept, so I just had to find a way to represent the lyrics through visual metaphors that expressed the same feelings as the music. In terms of what to expect, I’d say that this album is an evolution of Paula as an artist. You can feel that something is breaking inside of her but that it gives her strength at the same time.

A documentary has been created about the process of making the EP. Why was it important for you to capture and share your creation process?

PC: While creating ‘PAENAMORAR’, the first single from ‘TSUNAMI’, my producer Carlos and I realized that it sounded totally different to my previous work. We wanted to explore that shift more. That’s why we decided to record this creative process. This said, at that point we didn’t know what the next tracks were going to sound like or address thematically. We also didn’t know what was coming up next in my life—the devastating experience that informed ‘COLIBRI’.

Some pieces of the documentary have already been published. When the EP is released the complete documentary will be available on YouTube.

The album marks an artistic rebirth of sorts, right? It coincides with you changing your name from Paula Cendejas to La Cendejas. 

PC: I have changed my image, styling, hair, and, as you mentioned, my name. I felt a great desire to make these changes. They were necessary. The sound and instruments we’ve used for this project have changed a lot too. Many of my earlier works included lots of guitars, whereas this project uses pianos and synths. It has a more avant-garde production.

If you could send a message to the COLORS audience right now, what would it be?

PC: Intuition is what’s most important in my life and career. Following your intuition is the only thing that will take you to where you want to go.

Paula Cendejas is a Spanish artist whose A COLORS SHOW was released on 15th February 2024. You can watch the full performance on our YouTube channel.

Text: Emily May
Photography: Martina Hache, Carlos Ares


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