Femina-X kicks off the New Year with an Aztec Futuristic video for “Black Tongue.” The San Antonio based New Alternative Rock/Latin band, uses music and performance as corporeal approach to socio-political themes and creates multi-sensory works by finding the intersectional Native/Latin/Afro rhythms, symbology, and instrumentation. The release of their critically acclaimed debut album Multiverse(March 2017) encompasses their approach and so much more. An album highlight, “Black Tongue,” is about overcoming human struggles of death, betrayal, lust, and finding love; portrayed through Aztec Mythology in the “Black Tongue” video, premiered on January 31, 2018 with KCRW’s Pan Caliente. Watch here
“Black Tongue” was written by front woman and lead singer Daniela Riojas, who wrote about her experiences of feeling betrayed and in a failing relationship. Daniela incorporated the Aztec goddess Tlazoteotl story, “The Filth Eater,” who purified souls of sinners, into the number. She identified with the visual of the priestesses and temple keepers of Tlazoteotl, who could be seen in Aztec society with black mouths, attained by chewing on black, organic material.
For Daniela, “This visual became the center point for developing the character (me) in a situation where her toxic relationship becomes the antithesis of Tlazoteotl; where instead of being purified, her partner injects toxicity and filth into her and they become inevitably entangled in suffering.”
Right before setting to film the video, Daniela lost her mom after a long battle with cancer. Visions of serpents appeared to her in life both symbolically and literally, setting the framework of the video into motion. Daniela comments, “The last scene of the video, “The Purge” is specifically in commemoration of my mom’s battle with cancer and what I experienced watching her soul leave her body.”
Directed by Diego Lozano, “Black Tongue” video is presented as a conceptual narrative film loosely based on the Aztec story of Coatlicue, “The Serpent Goddess” and mother of the gods, sun, moon and stars and Mictlantecuhtli, ruler of the lowest underworld. Set in an Azteca Futuristic Aesthetic, Coatlicue is betrayed by Mictlantecuhtli and is overcome with grief and anger, as she is trapped deep into the underworld. Following the song, the video calls to use negative experiences as fuel to become better, and wiser versions of ourselves and to find clarity amidst darkness.
For Diego, ”It’s about being broken by a toxic relationship and the psychological experiences one goes through as one comes to terms with depression, anxiety, and lust. I chose these themes because I find beauty and solace in darkness. I wanted people to see and accept imagery they often repress and run from, so they could transcend some of their fears and judgments. Our protagonists are gods and they make mistakes and suffer. There are no antagonists in this music video, just characters experiencing different paths and outcomes.”
He continues, “In this era of Donald Trump, where people like him seem so powerful and out of this world, I wanted people to remember that he too is just a human that will be overcome.”
Femina-X is a 4-piece band made up of Daniela Riojas (vocals), Alex Scheel (guitar), Jeff Palacios (bass), and Jai Roots (drums). “Black Tongue” was recorded by Ross Ingram at Sonic Ranch Studios and released on TIMEWHEEL. The production for the video was exceptional and included, Diego Lozano (director), Daniela Riojas (executive producer), Edwin Mendoza (cinematographer), Michelle Millette (producer), Gerardo Arrellano (art direction), Nina Hawkins (costume direction), Zachary Smith (make-up), Fabian Alejandro Diaz (costume and jewelry design).
Femina-X live sets are not to be missed as Daniela’s intoxicating performance leaves concertgoers mesmerized. They will be touring in July and August in select cities.