AAC Sound Series Mix #34: duendita

For our 34th AAC Sound Series Mix, we’re bringing you a brand new mix from Queens artist duendita. Read our short interview and listen to the mix with duendita below.


I thank God for placing my very first breath in New York City!! This mix was created with an overwhelming gratitude for my family, culture and upbringing. We’d clean the crib to the very best music — disco, funk, freestyle and break beats. Very free! Very Nuyorican. My dad is from The Bronx and would DJ with his “crew” in the park during the earliest days of hip hop. My mom grew up in The Lower East Side and still keeps a delicious collection of vinyl records. Heavy on the disco and electronic music, I first learned about the sacred art of sampling from my mommy!! When she’d visit Puerto Rico in her early 20’s, her favorite freestyle records would play in the club too. Knowing and loving this music is a blessing. Dance music is so soothing even as it keeps us moving!! I would not be the artist I am today without this cultural context.

I dedicate this mix to my family and all New York City Natives. May we continue to center and celebrate our lives through beautiful music.

Interview with duendita

Who are you listening to lately?

ọmọlólù. Bree Runway. JWords. Leikeli47. Young M.A. Anysia Kym. MIKE. Amine … i’ve been living and riding my bike to their music this week!

What inspirations do you draw on when creating your music?

nature, how one seed can grow a forest …  breath and my body … feelings … color … embracing all inevitable existential happenings … regeneration … my friends, family .. their smiles … memories of the times we were rocks … gas … dust 

How has growing up in New York City influenced your musical practice?

Long card rides from Queens to The Bronx to see family, singing out the window to Aaliyah. Hillside Ave… Van Wyck… BQE… harmonizing to Radio Disney. My parents would park near the Queens Central Library and take out a few books for me… we’d have beef patties and grape soda… spend the day reading poems and stories in the car.

I’m a proud New York City public school kid and we had the illest school trips/art experiences… the impact is still felt in my living body! Deep gratitude for the educators and nurturers who put me on to incredible art on the daily! Especially my parents… it’s all love and care! I learned great music at home and school that rocked my world and we were singing all the time!

How do you think music helps express emotions?

Music is of the body and for the body. The molecules that make up our reality are oscillating right now, vibrating at different frequencies. Basically, we are instruments. We all have songs inside and a sacred relationship with sound. I believe certain frequencies and interval sequences can even cleanse the body. With that in mind, whether I am privately listening, collaboratively making music or enjoying a song on the dance floor with strangers, music has helped me process feelings and form deeper emotional ties within myself that keep me grounded and part of Earth, my home!


duendita is an artist from Queens, New York. They write and produce their own music, imbuing it with a reverence for their ancestry and faith. With their achy, bass-coated tones and mix of jazz, piano, soul and R&B, duendita’s music is evocative of the complexities and sentimentality of the human experience.