One of the eclectic atmospheres regarding Latino/a culture is the Blackness, within. There is something about that special world, where Spanish-speaking nations and cultures are forced to grapple with the richness of Blackness, and it having been seeded, within those nations soiling. When Blackness is moved, spoken, and sung through the richness of Spanish-speaking soiling of South America, Central America, North America, and the Caribbean, there is a kind of perfume in the air. Based on the different countries, there are myriad timbers arising from each of the soils. Yet, in order for such experiences to happen, Blackness must be celebrated. That includes its physicality. It means that those colored in Blackness must have pride in their retention of its visibility. Shame is not allowed in this game, for it disallows the blooming of blessings.
In whatever garden it derives from, through whatever nations and cultures where being Latino/a is met with pride, one must illuminate the atmosphere of Blackness. There is no room for in-between. Either you stand in it, or you don’t. Blackness doesn’t hide, and it embraces those, who celebrate her very essence. Yes! Blackness arises through Spanish tongue-in all of the dialects, within. For the Dominican Republic, the treasures of Blackness have too often been masked with shame; especially, for those who are unable to celebrate her, due to societal perceptions and prejudice. However, for one Mother figure of Dominican soiling, Blackness is vigilant. And, she has no problem watering herself, in it. This Mother image, with an Afro-Latina twist is none other than. . .
If you want to hear the watering of Blackness in Republica Dominicana, then the voice of legendary singer, who has been given the title as the “Queen Of Fusion.” There are different context to such layering, in fact. Yet, what cannot be denied is the wonder of her voice, and how it peaks the imagination of velvet glacing herself across the Earth. Not only is it glacing, but gliding through the very flavor and texture of Blackness. Her voice brings a softening touch to the sensory of Dominican culture and music. Furthermore, she adds a unique style to the texture of Spanish-speaking music and oratory, in its own right. The timber is low, deep, and a Spirit of richness, which pours honey on the Soul. There is an essence of vocality, which highlights the aesthetics of going deep, without being too heavy. She creates a soft journey in her ability to move listeners through Blackened tales, while feeling safe and garnished in that journey. Through, Xiomara Fortuna, Blackness is normal, in the Dominica Republic. In fact, it is as natural as drinking water. Bridging through societal complexities and the tainting of its very name. Through Xiomara Fortuna, there is a texture of fulfilment and nurture. Any listener, regardless of their national or cultural origin, is able to collect the healing treasures of Blackness, while blessing her in the process. Through Xiomara Fortune’s performance of Blackness, healing feels natural, and fluidity of order becomes a necessity.
There are particular collections of her work, which have illuminated the context of Blackness in the Dominican Republic. Whether that is sung directly, or performed through the rhythm and texture of her songs, what is for sure is how it brings a symbol of light and wellness into the picture. There are certain rhythms and movements in the patterns of her vocality. Regardless of the speed, Fortuna has mastered the ability to keep that steady softness of Blackness, which makes it comfortable for those beginning the initial journey, within it. Songs such as “San Antonio,” “Kumbajei Xiomara,” “Bruja,” “No Coho Corte,” “Hay que Cambiar,” “Levantate Mehta,” and “Tu y yo,” are simply a few, which have highlighted that dark softness, captured within her songs. Its vivacious and euphoric! It doesn’t matter what time of the day you may hear her sound. Days can feel like nights, and nights can perform in the fountains of days. That’s the very power of her artistry.
Another intertwining feature of Xiomara Fortuna is that she also includes Black American musical styles of Rock and Jazz. This form is known as musica raiz, and it is a mixture of these two styles, with Afro-Dominican musical rhythms. Fascinating! It leads one to reflect upon one island style of Blackness, with that of another, through peculiar gardens of US soiling. It is a true tale-a living, breathing tale-of Diasporic love!
Xiomara Fortuna’s background is further enriching. Much of it being that she was born in a province of the Dominican Republic, called Monte Cristo. The area is close to the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It says a lot. In fact, it alludes to a performance of having made acceptance with another side of the island, where Blackness is common. Where the visibility of Blackness is more celebrated. Perhaps, just perhaps, being near that area, made it possible for her to spread Blackness’ comfort in the Dominican Republic. There was a way of movement, a form of rhythm, where Fortuna’s voice has spread Blackness’ rhythm, into the island, and have made it acceptable. She does not say it, but she says it, through every song: Blackness is a whisper, that we must all breathe. Some day. Somehow. No matter how we are trying to avoid it.
Being around water, clearly has its advantages. Being surrounded, and immersed in water, gives you a wealth of stories and lines. It presents you different paintings. There are mirrors of fiction’s reality, that reveal themselves to you. Giving you that beat, rhythm, dance, artistry, and overall coloring, for how you can perform the delicacy of Blackness in paradise. It is a perfect contextualization between our journey into the imaginary psyche and bringing it into the Earthly sphere. What’s even more invigorating about this journey is how an artist or performer is able to move their listeners and audience to see that. Singing until they desire to go on that invisible journey with you. Its intriguing. Its invigorating, and it is the very essence of life’s willingness to release. Listening to XIOMARA FORTUNA, you cannot help, but to heal the call. . .release and surrender.
While Xiomara Fortuna maintains that constant vibe and flow, one cannot help, but to feel and immerse in the power of Heavenly order and flow, in the sacred comforts of Blackness’ Divinity. Again, softness pervades the arena. Fears are erased, and the unfamiliar becomes a curiousity. In fact, its the very opening of peace, as the spiritual and mental barriers are broken. Not only is she an artist, musician, songwriter, and singer, but XIOMARA FORTUNA is breaking open the realm of beauty and awakening for the atmosphere of race in the Dominican Republic. She is the living proof that activism can come through, in a different realm. Sometimes, the best form of change is presenting how beautiful and phenomenal change can be. Here, this living, breathing legend us doing, just that!
Wrapping up, we return to the element and kisses of water, in XIOMARA FIONA’s sound. We guided back to water, through her very sound. Blackened waters, that is! The song is over, and the dances have been performed. Gathering near the water, we stretch out our arms and hands. It is a call for the release. Bringing them back to cradle us, holding ourselves tenderly. with tenderness’ embrace. If we are on the island, we get to experience it, in the physical. If we are away, we imagine it, until it becomes, real. Either way, we are nourished in blackened velvet, reminded of past journeys, before. Never to forget the lessons. Preserving their memories, EVERMORE!
To stay up to date, with the latest from the legendary XIOMARA FORTUNA, you can go to the following: https://open.spotify.com/album/40XPBSOW02ruygFYrDMVw4?nd=1