Tatiana Hazel knows she was meant to shine | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Tatiana Hazel knows she was meant to shine 

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click to enlarge Tatiana Hazel

Tatiana Hazel

Damian Borja

Chicago native Tatiana Hazel has been on a journey that merges fashion, visual design, and music since she was 13 years old, when she began posting videos of herself singing and playing acoustic guitar on YouTube. Now in her early 20s, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has developed a solid following while deepening her talent for applying an optimistic, determined lens to her confessional reflections on relationships, sexuality, breakups, career impasses, and other life dilemmas. On her new EP, Duality, Hazel uses her velvety vibratro to share personal tales made irresistible with sugary pop hooks, all wrapped in shimmery 1980s-inspired synth textures and the occasional disco beat. Created almost completely by Hazel, Duality is a more confident, polished production than her previous work. When I spoke to Hazel last month—shortly after she won the Latin Alternative Music Conference’s Discovery Award, which highlights the work of up-and-coming Latinx artists—she told me that the songs on Duality emerged from her determination to resist being pigeonholed into any one category. “I feel a lot of duality within myself—-I’m known as a Latinx artist, but I grew up with American pop culture and spent a lot of time between Mexico and the U.S.” The EP’s upbeat, breezy tunes suggest that Hazel is resolving those tensions with ease. On “Right There,” when she sings “It’s going to be O-fucking-K,” she seems pretty convinced—and the feeling is contagious.   v

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