Buscabulla Pays Tribute to Iconic Nydia Caro and to the Returning Diaspora
With grooves reminiscent of the ’70s, the Puerto Rican indie duo Buscabulla tapped into the Puerto Rican zeitgeist and found its way back home with a new album called Regresa, which means return in Spanish, giving voice to our diasporic nostalgia.
Since Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle, who conform Buscabulla, returned to the island after a brief stint in Brooklyn, New York, they have honed a new experimental sound simmered in politics and nostalgia. Buscabulla – which means one who likes to pick a fight in Puerto Rican slang– , with a wide international audience, returned home after the devastation left by Hurricane María in 2017. The storm wrought an incredible toll on the island: over 3,000 people were estimated to have died.
President Trump arrived like an emperor at the battered island, threw paper towels at people, and told Puerto Ricans that they “wanted everything done for them” as the island’s citizens were trying to put their lives back together.
Regresa, out this Friday, showcases Buscabulla’s latest single entitled “Nydia.” The song was released with a video filmed entirely in their home on an iPhone 11 and directed by the duo, according to a press release.
“Nydia” pays tribute to a beloved entertainer in Puerto Rico and Latin America: Nydia Caro. Caro, an iconic singer of the 1970s, won the Festival de la Canción in Ibague Colombia, in 1970. and toured the world with compositions that included some by Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias.
“The video is a homemade psychological thriller about a woman struggling with feelings of isolation set in a house in the beautiful setting of Puerto Rico,” Berrios said.
“Invoking Nydia Caro’s iconic feminine aura made popular through her legendary TV appearances and soap operas, the video is a magical-realism take on the dark period when I was struggling with feelings of self-doubt and writer’s block,” she said.
Berrios also explains how their new work is inspired by the band’s return to an island torn by catastrophic events and colonialism.
“The song was written during an uneasy time when I was struggling with feelings of self-doubt and writer’s block after leaving New York and adjusting to being back in the Island,” Berrios said.
“One day we had a chance meeting with Nydia, whom I have always admired. We ended up visiting her a couple of times, each time having really amazing conversations about womanhood and beauty in the music biz, parenthood, and living in Puerto Rico. She became a type of mentor that helped me shift my perspective on my new life and home,” she said.
After Maria, the artists decided to return to Puerto Rico and re-engage with their island and the reconstruction of Puerto Rico.
Since then, and after the success of singles such as Métele, Vámono and Tártaro, Buscabulla released the trailer for a Regresa mini-documentary, which explores the duo’s journey back home.
“The album reflects the joys of being back but it’s also melancholic,” Berrios said. “You can feel like a stranger in your own home because the island is going through very hard, weird times. Most people our age have fled. We have also changed after being away for so long.
The album was recorded entirely in the artists’ studio in Puerto Rico, and their songs revolve around the reality of the island today – devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes, an ousted governor, corruption, colonialism, and now COVID-19.
“Regresa is about self-acceptance of oneself with all our imperfections, and the acceptance of being back in Puerto Rico, with all its flaws,” Berrios said. And this is the mantra of all returning sons and daughters of Borinquen.