WHO: Candace Camacho aka DUENDITA
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Candace Lee Camacho is an internationally recognized composer, songwriter, and performance artist. She is probably most known for her work under the stage name duendita. In late 2015, her breakout record “one of one” went viral, impacting the lo-fi hip-hop scene forever. Her music has been sampled by hundreds of producers, notably TomppaBeats, PHILO, simon eng and Ken-I-Produce.
In 2014, Candace scored the French feature film Swim Little Fish Swim which received nods from SXSW Film, Gen Art Festival and Créteil International Women’s Film Festival. She then worked on an audiobook containing ten original songs for The Museum of Modern Art’s retrospective The Mystery of The Ordinary: Rene Magritte.
Recently, after completing an artist residency with Summit Series, Candace scored an off-Broadway production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Los Títeres de Cachiporra (1925).
Last spring, she became the first musician in the world to broadcast a concert in virtual reality.
Candace is currently writing, recording and releasing new material. Her latest single, dream of me was featured by Skrillex’s NEST HQ and on Spotify’s Fresh Finds, a playlist described as essential highlights surfaced by Spotify’s tastemakers. Keep up via Instagram and Soundcloud @duendita.
What got you started with making music?
When I was about two years old, my parents and I went on a road trip. I obviously don’t remember this, but they remember the first tune I ever sang. It was the record Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer and, according to the story, I sang along in pitch— with words too, even though I wasn’t really speaking yet.
I haven’t stopped singing since. My parents played a lot of disco in the house and at the same time, I studied classical music, specifically choral work. It’s my first language.
It’s a cliche story! I was 18, working in Paris and falling out of love. It’s a period piece that captured a really beautiful and innocent time in my life. The record addresses my first interactions with loneliness, intimacy and loss.
The funny part is, I don’t know what the real one of one sounds like. When I wrote it, I recorded a voice note as reference, as I always do. After a very long session, I decided to record one more song, and I chose one of one (the working title was No Chorus). The tricky thing was, I lost that reference recording so when I went to do the take, I improvised. That’s how the record was made. I hope the original sounds like what’s online. If not, my life is just hilarious.
I love one of one, but I feel as though I have evolved in every way from the girl in that recording. I am so grateful that the record has reached the people it has reached. It gave me confidence, and confirmed my suspicion that I may have access to magic. Before that song, I didn’t think a career as an artist would be possible. Now it’s the only thing I can see for myself.
I’m anxious to release new work that represents the woman I am today. I can sing circles around my younger self. I’m excited to share my new feelings and experiences with whoever wants to hear them.
Do you have any plans for future releases? Ep?
Yaaaas. I just finished recording a really cool feature for simon eng, who sampled one of one to produce the backbone of our record dream of me. I am currently working on an EP. I am also perfecting my live setup so I can begin touring. It is just the beginning for me, and I already feel so lucky. I can’t wait to offer this world more of myself.
Thank you so much! also can you send us where you want us to be playing your song from in the post? Soundcloud/etc?