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The 'El Tiny' Questionnaire: Girl Ultra

"I feel like an instrument becomes like another limb in your body," Girl Ultra's Mariana de Miguel tells NPR Music about learning to play the guitar.
Eugenio Schulz
"I feel like an instrument becomes like another limb in your body," Girl Ultra's Mariana de Miguel tells NPR Music about learning to play the guitar.

To celebrate Alt.Latino's "El Tiny" takeover of NPR's Tiny Desk series, we asked a few of the artists contributing performances to answer our "El Tiny" questionnaire. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Artist Name: Girl Ultra

Country(s) of Origin: Mexico

Genre(s): R&B/Soul

Any musician, living or dead, who would you invite over for a cafecito? I would love to mix and match some personalities. And if I do Mexican personalities, I would have a cafecito with Ely Guerra. I feel like she's like such a complete and complex artist. I would love to chat with her. And maybe [someone from Época de Oro], from old movies. Maybe María Félix or somebody complex like that.

One album that always reminds you of home: An album that always reminds me of home might be like any kind of radio pop from the 2000s. Sin Bandera reminds me of my mom playing the radio. Or [The Mission: Music From The Motion Picture] by Ennio Morricone. My dad always plays [that] and it always reminds me of him cooking in the morning.

If I weren't a musician, I'd be a(n) ____. I will be cooking. 100%. I would love to have a [bakery]. Like a small [bakery] in the woods. That would be my retirement plan or my plan B.

Dream place to tour: I would love to go to Asia. Maybe touring Japan. South Korea. Any place where there's languages that I don't speak. That's very intriguing to me, to get to know cultures and all these differences.

What are you listening to right now? I'm listening a lot to Ethel Cain, and in español all I'm listening to is this friend of mine who's called Sonic Emerson. It's a very underground, shoegaze thing.

Is there a part of your creative process — a piece of gear, a tool, a technique — that you've adopted recently? How has it impacted your art? I don't consider myself a guitar player, but recently I've been getting to know the instrument and making it part of my music and my artistic persona and the show. I started composing, just me and the guitar, from scratch. I feel like an instrument becomes like another limb in your body. I just like feeling that, toward guitar, and I'm understanding what it means to me and for composition.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Fi O'Reilly
Fi O'Reilly is a production assistant for Alt.Latino.