Tell Me Más: Ambar Lucid’s Healing Journey Is Transforming Her Music
In our Q&A series Tell Me Más, we ask some of our favorite Latinx artists to answer the questions only their BFFs know about them, revealing everything from their most recent read to the songs that get them hyped. This month, singer-songwriter Ambar Lucid takes the test, and we are all ears
Ambar Lucid may only be 21 years old, but the young artist is wise beyond her years. In the past few months alone, we've seen her evolve not just as a music artist, but also as a person. In less than a year, she moved to Los Angeles and dropped a number of singles since her 2020 album "Garden of Lucid," including "girl ur so pretty," "Dead Leaves," "La Torre," and "Timeless," all off her upcoming album "Estrella," named after Lucid's alter ego and set to release later this year. The "Estrella" tour kicked off this summer with the first few shows selling out, and if you can believe it, her new stuff is even more euphoric than her first two albums. While some may refer to Lucid's music as "dreamy pop music," the truth is her sound really can't be categorized — it's incomparable to anything else out there. She's also so much more than just a talented vocalist and singer-songwriter. The girl is deep. She has embraced radical self-love and empowerment to heal, grow, and work through generational traumas, and the transformation shows in her work. There's a reason why her latest releases feel so soothing — at times even spiritual. That's because the Capricorn sun, Cancer rising, and Aries moon has focused this year on getting grounded. Therapy and her own spiritual practices have all played a role in getting her to where she's at today, and she's very intentional about integrating all those lessons into her art.
"This past year has been a huge transitional year for me in terms of self-growth, love, and discovery. It was also one of the hardest years of my life because it required me to face a lot of my trauma and learn how to live with it, and this project really takes you through that journey."
"This past year has been a huge transitional year for me in terms of self-growth, love, and discovery. It was also one of the hardest years of my life because it required me to face a lot of my trauma and learn how to live with it, and this project really takes you through that journey," she tells POPSUGAR. "After this album, I've already started brainstorming an EP to follow. I'm feeling creatively inspired at the moment, so a lot of exciting things to come."
Lucid's maturity stems from experiencing very adult things at a very young age. Lucid who was born to a Dominican mother and Mexican father and raised in New Jersey, where as a little kid, she watched her dad get deported to Mexico. It was a traumatic experience that in many ways robbed her of a real childhood. She moved around a lot with family between the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, and from the ages of 10 to 17, was responsible for helping her mother watch over her younger siblings. Music became her everything at the time: her escape, her therapy, her hope, and her creative outlet.
"I want to take people out of their isolation and just be a voice that gives them comfort and a sense of security."
"It was really important for me to share that part of my story because I remember how lonely not talking about it with anyone made me feel or feeling like I couldn't really relate to anyone on that specific topic. And I feel like the way experiencing that has affected like just me as a person, it caused me to be more independent as a kid, which now as an adult I have the ability to just be emotionally independent since I didn't have my dad around," she says. Lucid goes on to explain how she uses her music as a vehicle to help people who have experienced similar feelings of loneliness and isolation to serve as a reminder that they aren't alone. "I want to take people out of their isolation and just be a voice that gives them comfort and a sense of security," she adds. "My job is to spread the message that you know, we all go through stuff and we're all here together to experience it with each other. We don't have to suffer alone."
Aside from writing music and talking to a therapist, one of the things that have also brought Lucid a lot of healing is reading tarot cards. In fact, tarot has become such a big part of her life that it even inspired her single "La Torre," which is about the importance of experiencing and embracing necessary change and transformation. The song plays ode to the Tower card found in tarot card decks, which is associated with liberation. The song is a true embodiment of who Lucid is today and her Estella alter ego. Lucid says her spiritual journey began after reading "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coehlo. Shortly after, she began to teach herself how to read tarot.
"I've had dreams where my ancestors have shown themselves to me. And I just feel very loved by them. I do tarot readings. I check up on my ancestors and I'll ask them what I need to know. The way they communicate with me is like they're seeing synchronicities and just spiritual experiences and dreams," she says. "Through tarot, whenever I get readings, I've noticed a consistent pattern with different psychics and astrologers telling me that I have a lot of ancient energy attached to me and I always know because I feel them."
Lucid says that her spiritual journey hasn't just allowed her to heal through traumas and let go of pain and thoughts that no longer served her, but it's also brought her a lot of joy and perspective. It's helped her get through dark moments while appreciating and having gratitude for the good ones. She even makes it a point to incorporate ancestral spiritual practices into her self-care regimen like limpias or baños. "I have to regularly cleanse my energy just because I'm constantly meeting people. I'm constantly around new people. And I'm being perceived by so many different people at all times and so you never know what kind of intentions they might throw at me," she says. "I'm constantly carrying a lot of extra baggage around my aura, so it's very important for me to do cleansing rituals. I try to do rituals every day, at least 5-to-10 minutes, where I just sit down and say affirmations while I hold my crystals. But the real rituals that I do are usually during the new moon or full moon."
Her single "girl ur so pretty" is another recent track she wrote during her healing period. The song is about the intense feelings that come with having a new crush. "This song is really the first introduction to 'Estrella," my alter ego. She's basically the confident, yassified version of Ambar Lucid that everyone is going to see throughout this album cycle," Lucid says. "She's really helped me to step outside of my comfort zone and start being more open and vulnerable in the songs that I'm writing and the creativity around those. The 'girl ur so pretty' music video is one of my favorite videos I've ever done because I'm getting to show a personal side of myself that makes me who I am. And even though that's kind of scary in ways, I know I have to do it for myself, my art, and for my fans to find themselves in it too."
The artist's most recent single "Timeless" encompasses Lucid's relationship with her human self and her more evolved self. She shares that the song was "inspired by the feeling of intense interconnectedness when you meet someone and your connection is so deep that it overrides all sense of time and space." She even illustrated the artwork for it where she portrays two characters: herself and a character named Lila that represents her higher self. "The artwork shows the two of them meeting in another realm, and represents learning to have that deep connection and love within myself, which is something I've been discovering and practicing over the past year of making my upcoming album," she says.
Keep reading to see what else Lucid has to say about the healing powers of music, her Latina orgullo, and what's inspiring her these days.
POPSUGAR: How has music healed you?
Lucid: Music fuels my spirit. It keeps me going on a daily basis; it always has and it always will. I've had different relationships with my music and my creative process throughout the years, but I feel like recently I've really gained my confidence in knowing exactly what type of music I want to make and what I want to say with it, and I have the confidence to voice that no matter what room I'm in. That's been super healing for me in both my professional and personal life.
POPSUGAR: What do you love most about being Dominican and Mexican?
Lucid: I think when it comes to being Dominican, I just love the liveliness of our people and how loud we are just about anything and everything. Also, like we're so joyful. We can come up with a joke about literally anything, like even the most unnecessary thing that doesn't need to be addressed. I'm going to be honest, I feel like a little bit more in tune with my Dominican side, just because I grew up with my Dominican family. But as I'm getting older, I'm getting more in tune with my Mexican side and I feel like I just get a lot of inspiration from my Mexican side of my ethnicity . . . and I feel when it comes to my ancestors for some reason, even though I grew up with my Dominican family, I feel more in tune with my Mexican ancestors. I feel like they have a lot of knowledge and ancient energy that they share with me, which I recently tapped into which is cool.
POPSUGAR: What's the last book you read?
Lucid: I've been reading a ton lately. I love to read. But the most recent thing was "Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthrough of Remarkable People."
POPSUGAR: What's the last show you binged?
Lucid: Peaky Blinders
POPSUGAR: What was the last song that you listened to?
Lucid: "El Blue del Ping Pong" [by Los Misterios and Rita Indiana]. I'm super inspired by this song and genre at the moment.
POPSUGAR: What's the last piece of advice you received that changed your life?
Lucid: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great" by Mark Twain.
POPSUGAR: What do you love most about being a Capricorn?
Lucid: I love being grounded, or at least having the ability to be more grounded. I love the bad bi**h energy that comes with being a Capricorn. And I just really enjoy and love that my star sign is an earth sign. Because I feel like the elements of earth are very important for what I do. Being an artist, it's very important for me to stay grounded, and to be emotional, and to be like, emotionally in tune because these things are kind of essential for everyone else. And I feel like it's important for me to project my qualities as a Capricorn for other people, to inspire them to also embody those qualities as well.
POPSUGAR: Do you believe that music is spiritual?
Lucid: Yeah, definitely. I believe it is. It's a portal. It's a portal to the nonphysical realm. And I believe that anything that anybody creates is spiritual, anything that inspires anything that makes you feel good. I personally think that anything creative is a spiritual experience.
POPSUGAR: What do you think your purpose is?
Lucid: My purpose is to create art and to expand consciousness. I try to create a safe space for everyone to be their true selves and feel a sense of connection and community by sharing my own experiences and emotions through art.