“I want everyone to feel empowered by all the things that they are,” says Sandra Lilia Velasquez, known to Latin music fans as SLV. “Especially in these times we are living in that alienate people based on where they come from or how they look. It is the diversity both inside us and around us that makes us rich.”
That is the message, conveyed through hip-hop, behind the artist’s new track and video, “Barras de Oro.” Previously known as the frontwoman of the Latin alternative group Pistolera, Velasquez will release her second solo album under the name SLV (her initials) at the end of March.
“This is a self-empowerment song about embracing the complexity of my identity,” Velasquez, who describes herself as a musician who plays various styles of music, a mother and an entrepreneur, tells Billboard. “All of these experiences add depth to my life and character. They are my arsenal from which I draw strength and inspiration.”
She describes her new bilingual album, titled Piece of Mind, as “politically conscious and sonically mature.” In April, SLV will be on tour in Arizona and California, performing the new songs.
Velasquez says she was ready to release the album last year, but was moved by the results of the presidential election to re-write and re-record her songs’ lyrics to “to reflect her feelings about the state of the world.”
On “Barras de Oro,” she firmly raps a personal declaration of independence as a woman who, while worth her weight in gold, can’t be bought at any price: “The flag that I carry does not belong to any one group/ I’m not just a woman, not just a mother, not just a singer/ I do what I do/ I do not ask permission/ I have bars of gold in the bottom of the ocean inside of me/ They are not for sale/ They are my riches.”
In the video, premiering today (March 1) on Billboard, SLV rides with her posse on some awesome tricked-out trikes. Watch “Barras de Oro” below.