Alejandra – “calle ikigai”


A new single from Mexican American neo-soul and R&B artist Alejandra, the hypnotically mellow “calle ikigai” plays as an antidote for the overwhelmed — particularly those feeling lost when thinking ahead into the future. Uncertainty is reflected in soaring lines “I don’t know what life is telling me,” amidst serene guitar trickles, jazzy percussion, and flourishing vocal emotion — ranging in tone from lush contemplation to escalating passion.

Neo-soul, bossa nova, and dream-pop intertwine gorgeously throughout this showing from Alejandra, who elaborates further on the single:

“Calle Ikigai” is a song for anyone who feels lost or overwhelmed by the future. There is a level of uncertainty that comes with self-evolution and feelings of frustration at the world’s silence. But there is also this romanticization of the unknown. If only we were given a blueprint for our lifetime… This song was written at a time in my life when I was at a crossroads between choosing a life path that provides security and choosing a path that leads to happiness. The mix, production, and vocals are as vulnerable as the feeling of this uncertainty and as romantic as the thought of achieving the life you had always envisioned for yourself.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of August 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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