Barbara Cuesta has come a long way. From indie-pop up-and-coming talent with a major label contract, who released his first German-language album in 2005, to working as a theater musician (Westfälisches Landestheater), to the second English-language album “Shine” (2011). This, too, was more than ten years ago. A time in which the singer-songwriter not only became a yoga teacher, but also a self-confident queer woman with the ability to critically reflect on her position within society: “I intensively researched the topics of origin, my migration history family and also dealt with my privileges as a white person with access to education and funding,” Cuesta summarizes this path. A development that has now culminated in a new, politically mission-conscious album and in the founding of her own label, Santianes Records, named after her family’s home village in Spain.
Released on her own label, Euforia takes a queer approach that sees music as an intersectional art form. As a medium that asks questions – not only about what is being talked about, but also about who is actually speaking here: “All genders are represented among those involved in the production, everyone is queer and/or has a migration background,” Cuesta sums up the approach together, which goes far beyond the content-related aspects of their album. In this way, “Euforia” not only consistently focuses on the perspectives of queer, female, non-binary people and migrants in terms of lyrics, but at the same time forms a kind of platform on which all these people speak for themselves through music and production. Cuesta answers the question of participation as simply as it is consistent and is aware of the privilege of being able to record an album for the second time through the support of Initiative Musik: “Women and non-binary people in particular should be paid for their great work. My team and I share the vision of mutual support, solidarity and diversity.”
Also, or precisely because their political approach in the ten indie folk tracks on the record, sung in English, German and Spanish, does not obtrude loudly, does not shout its relevance into the world glaringly and with an affinity for the media, “Euforia” is a successful album. Cuesta and her musical team walk quietly through the glass walls of race, class and gender and thus nonchalantly deliver a queer album at the height of discourse.
A foretaste of “Euforia” was already provided by the album track “A Head Will Roll”, which was selected for the 2021 edition of the Berlin Music Commission’s “Listen to Berlin” sampler series.