Spotlight: La Bruja

A Singer of Many Talentos

By Erika Martinez Jan 15, 2007

Put aside what you’ve been taught and relearn–that is what La Bruja (Caridad de La Luz) wants from her audiences. Brujalicious, her debut CD under her own label, De La Luz Records, combines her talents as a poet, singer, actor and activist. She introduces audiences to an unexpected blend of spoken word, hip-hop and Reggaeton beats. In between the tracks, characters from her one-woman show, Boogie Rican Blvd. , make appearances as fans. Her alto voice flows between Spanish and English seamlessly, making them one language and delivering messages that inspire. In "Olvidate" she raps: "I wanna see peace throughout the land, to make you comprender el amor es algo espiritual, nada puede comparar con un día lleno de alegría, gente, cultura…" She infuses the positive into hip-hop and collaborates with artists like B-Real, The Jungle Brothers and Tony Touch.

Born and raised in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, La Bruja began studying dances like flamenco and ballet at age 4 and went on to train as an actor at the Bronx Theater. It was from her grandmother that she learned to write poetry, and in 1996, La Bruja began performing at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City. The training paid off when La Bruja appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam. Now, she makes that national platform work for her politics. La Bruja participated in the "Stop the Bombs" campaign to close the U.S. Navy Base on Vieques Island, and she teaches her "How can I change the world?" writing workshops across the country.

Famers is the title of her latest endeavor, a screenplay about people who look for fame by doing graffiti in the Bronx. She wrote the script at night while her husband and two children slept. It was during those late hours that La Bruja became engulfed in this story. She encourages people to explore their creativity because she believes in the healing power of art. "It’s what saved me from the streets," she says. "It saved me from myself."

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