Paloma Mami does things her way. The Latin music star has been proudly marching to the beat of her own drum since debuting in 2018. She couldn't care less about current fashion trends, and when it comes to self-expression, her blended cultural background and eclectic music taste is what fans love her for. With Paloma Mami's full-length debut album, Sueños de Dalí, she's sprinkling English-language lyrics in with her usual Spanish ones. And if there's one thing to know about the Chilean-American singer, it's that she takes a little bit of inspiration from each sector of her cross-global experience.
Paloma first put herself on the map with her January 2021 cross-genre collab "QueLoQue" with Major Lazer, stealing the show as the protagonist of the music video. Though it's been a long time coming, Paloma is ready for the world to hear Sueños de Dalí, which hits streaming services on March 19.
"I'm just more anxious to release it already, it's been so long. I honestly feel like it's perfect," she tells Elite Daily. "For me, I'm a super perfectionist, so I kind of went to all these lengths for this album to be what I wanted it to be music wise."
So what can Paloma's fans look forward to with the new record? Expect the unexpected. "I think the album is so versatile," she says. "It has a bunch of different producers from Chile to LA, to Spain, to everywhere around the world. I think that it has sounds you've never heard before. Everything is just so fresh, I think that's the best way to put it. It's so fresh and original. I think my fans are going to go crazy with it."
Most importantly, Paloma believes her record represents the changing landscape in Latin music, which has reached a wider, more mainstream audience. "It's so amazing people can appreciate the music and not even care what the person is saying," she says. "The Latin world is blowing up in the US and all around the world. And I have English in my music as well, so it's a perfect balance."
Ahead of her album release, Paloma opened up about some of her most colorful social media moments and the unique story behind each one.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Big Apple Born & Bred
Elite Daily: You captioned this shot "Don't believe the hype." Do you consider yourself a hypebeast? How would you describe your style?
Paloma Mami: I am not a hypebeast. Hell no. I try to shy away from the hype, you know? I like a couple pieces, like the Off-White pieces that are super hypebeast, but I usually try to find low-key underground designers and see what's going to be the hype. That's what I'm more into. My style is definitely like that. I like to wear things that haven't been seen before and kind of start the trend rather than ride the wave.
ED: You were born in New York City. Is it important for you to rep New York as an artist?
PM: Yeah, of course. I always rep New York because of the fact [that] it influenced me so much with my music. If it wasn't for New York, I wouldn't have the flow that I have. I wouldn't be able to talk the way I talk or walk the way I walk. New York is such a cultured place and everywhere you go, you learn so much. I learned so much about Spanish music growing up in New York. I'm always going to rep it because, thanks to New York, I am where I am now.
ED: What streetwear brands are you filling your closet with right now?
PM: Sneakers that I've been wearing lately; I've been wearing a lot of Yeezy. I've bought a lot of Yeezys out here shopping in New York. More than anything, I kind of just have custom clothes in my closet. More pants than tops. I have mad custom pants.
ED: Do you ever get homesick for New York whenever you're traveling?
PM: Oh, yeah. When I got to New York [I realized] I hadn't been here since the pandemic started. I had a show here [last year], literally, it was right when lockdown started. It was the day before I think everybody shut down. Thank God I got to have my show. I hadn't been back since then. It's been like a year and I when I got here, I was like, "My God, I've been missing out for so long. I love it so much."
Fashion Mogul In The Making
ED: Where was this photo taken?
PM: This photo in particular was for a music video and this was a piece I didn't wear. This is actually from a girl in Chile who does these corsets. I think she does them by hand, I'm pretty sure. She sent them over, and this one I didn't wear, and it was the day after my video. I just put it on. I was like, "Before I send it back, let me just put it on and take a pic, please. We have to get it for the content."
ED: Do you ever wish you could keep the clothes you borrow for a photo shoot or music video?
PM: Yeah, there are so many times where I'm like, "Oh my gosh, these shoes!" It happened to me the other day with this designer. His name is Dingyun Zhang. He does these crazy puffers and everything is super oversized, it's such my vibe. So I was sad I had to give some of those clothes back.
ED: Do you prefer casual fashion and streetwear or high fashion?
PM: I definitely prefer streetwear always because that's what I'm most comfortable in. That's why I always wear my sneakers, you know, I'm a person where my clothes kind of always speak for myself. I always have to look fly, and I feel the most fly when I'm in streetwear. I always like to mix streetwear and high fashion, though. That's the perfect mix.
ED: What's your favorite Pokemon character?
PM: I think I would have to say Pikachu. He's the boss. I love Pokemon. I thrifted that shirt, too. I think I was in Puerto Rico when I thrifted it. I love thrift-shopping, by the way. But yeah, I thrifted a bunch of Pokemon shirts that day, a bunch of different ones. I got a Pikachu one, too. I haven't worn it yet, but I'm gonna show it off one day.
ED: Are you an anime fan outside of Pokemon?
PM: I love anime so much. I've been watching it since I was a little girl. I think my parents would just put on a bunch of different foreign movies. I would watch a bunch of different anime movies, and then I started watching Pokemon when I was little, and Naruto. I never got to follow Naruto that much. I got to start watching it again.
ED: Does anyone ever make fun of you for your love for anime?
PM: OMG, yes! My cousins. My little cousins, they'll always be like, "Otaku, Otaku!" which is a thing people say when you're super into anime. They always make fun of me. But I don't care, I be showing them fire anime movies and they're like, "Oh, OK, this is really good."
Additional reporting by Noelle Devoe
In Elite Daily’s I Can Explain… series, we’re asking celebrities to revisit their most memorable photos and tell us what really went down behind the scenes. Read more here.