Angélica Maria Aguilera shares her music process, love for poetry


Courtesy of Angélica Maria Aguilera

Angélica Maria Aguilera posed in a multi-colored dress in front of a curved brick wall.

By Sarah Rose, Senior Lifestyle Writer

Angélica Maria Aguilera is a poet, singer, educator and master storyteller. Recently, she visited NIU where she hosted a poetry workshop and presentation. Over the past few years her work has brought her across the country, visiting over 100 college campuses where she has shared her music and poetry with students. 

“I went to the National Poetry Slam with a team called House Team, and after that competition is when I kind of started to get invited to present at universities, sometimes museums, different art centers, and then realizing that that was even a thing that people did,” Maria said. “The first show I did at a university was probably about three years ago. And then from there, I linked up with my agency, who’s an amazing agency, Conscious Campus.” 

Conscious Campus is an agency whose mission is to bring conscious artists to schools and universities. Inspirational speakers, workshops and leadership training are provided by Conscious Campus to spread acceptance and love.

As a singer, Maria’s love for music came to her before her love for poetry. She started singing when she was in kindergarten and wrote songs for her dad on the playground.

“I grew up singing, but I think I just had this idea that to be a singer, you had to be rich and you had to be kind of from a certain background. So I just never considered myself a singer. But it was always something that was definitely on my heart,” Maria said.

As her love for music began to flourish inside her heart, a new interest revealed itself to her. 

“When I was older, probably like 18 or 19 years old, I learned about poetry competitions. Interestingly enough it was easier for me to call myself a poet than a singer,” Maria said. “I went to an open mic and then I joined a slam team and then we went to the National Poetry Slam, and then I did a TEDx talk and it was kind of just like this thing that snowballed really quickly, and I can tell that I had this natural pull towards it.”

Maria believes poetry and music can inform and inspire each other in an organic way. Recently, Maria released a song – “Que Placer De Ser Mujer” – with an all-Mexican women orchestra and collective called I.M YONI.

“A friend of a friend introduced us just because it was like ‘you’re both artists, you should meet, you should hang out’ and so we’re hanging out and I was so impressed by them,” Maria said. “I was so excited by the fact that they have creative control over everything that they do. I just thought that was so cool. To see these positions that are usually dominated by men completely occupied by not only women, but Mexican and Central American women, it was just so inspiring.” 

To Maria, being a Mexican woman has the juxtaposition of being able to be strong and overcome obstacles as well as still having a delicate sweetness. She transfers this juxtaposition in her music, having some moments be sweet and others be really fierce. 

“I think that the juxtaposition is common in all of the women that I grew up around, and it’s something that’s really inspiring to me. So trying to find ways to transmit that through music is really fun for me,” Maria said. “For softer things you can use things like harmonies and then if you want something to sound rougher you could play with the instrumentation, the composition.”  

Her music can be found on all music streaming platforms and her YouTube channel. Maria finds herself honoring her process in both music and writing. Her message to the world is for anyone struggling with self worth or identity.

“Honor your process. I think so much of our self doubt and critique comes from this idea or this need to be perfect or this need to be successful or this need to be something. And the reality is that we’re all constantly in processing and we’re constantly growing and evolving,” Maria said. “So if you deny yourself that because of fear of being rejected or fear of being seen in some type of way, you’re really just limiting yourself. Allow yourself the space to mess up, allow yourself the space to grow and honor each part of that process.”

This month Maria launched a Kickstarter to be able to fund her first EP with the collective I.M YONI. Anyone can donate at this Kickstarter link. The Kickstarter ends Friday. The description details that if enough funds are raised and more than five people from the United States donate $3000, the group will be able to afford and produce a live concert in the U.S.