For example, in a world where collaborations are a given in order to gain traction and streams, Sueños de Dali contains no other featured artists. But the songs are wildly collaborative, with writing from Paloma Mami herself along with the likes of Tyla Parx, DJ Genius, Rosalía, El Guincho,Tainy and Edgar Barrera. They range from sparse melodic reggaetón (with the underlying retro sound of a Fender Rhodes) in the R&B-tinged “For Ya,” to the decidedly experimental, electro-funky “I Love Her.” In many of the tracks, Paloma Mami sings interchangeably in both languages, but, unlike most artists who attempt to do this, it flows off her tongue with ease. This is her. These are her songs.
“My plan was recording only solo, since my first single,” says Paloma Mami, speaking on the phone from Miami. “I have to prove myself to myself only. I can have my music speak for myself and let my talent talk. When I first started out in the music industry, people would target female artists specifically to say, 'This person got famous because of this song with a male artist. So from the beginning I said, I don’t want people to juzgarme, juzgar mi música por ese momento o esa canción [to judge me or my music for a single moment or for a song] or how I look. I want the talent to speak for me.'”
Paloma Mami is bilingual, like her songs. Born and raised in New York City by Chilean parents, she moved back to Santiago when she was 17, and the duality of cultures moves fluidly both in her songs and her very being.
“Being in Chile is how I got my accent, my lingo, my beliefs, en verdad son de Chile [are truly from Chile],” she says, peppering her conversation with Spanish. “Mi familia raised me. All my beliefs are what they showed me, they taught me. And when it comes from NY, I think definitely my flow is from there and my attitude. But you have to pay attention. Be very detailed with it.”
New York is in her R&B-leaning phrasing, her don’t-mess-with-me attitude in videos and photos that belie Paloma in person: Petite, forceful and sure of herself, but also sweet.
One of her favorite songs in the album is “I Think I Love Her" -- because, she says, “It describes me so perfectly. It’s me in the perspective of a man’s point of view, talking about how he fell in love with this girl. And then I talk about how I feel. It’s super me, because I’m all about self-love. I’m my No. 1 fan. And that’s the most important thing. You’re the only person who can get you to where you want to be.”