Demon Jam opener and her return to Chicago.
Hues of red and orange gleamed on the stage as Nezza made her appearance for the 2023 Demon Jam. Nezza, short for Vanessa Hernandez, is a singer/influencer with a Colombian and Dominican background that she incorporates into her music.
Nezza recently visited Chicago in November during her first tour, “Club Solita,” named after her first EP. Before her music career began, Nezza started on YouTube, documenting her life with friends and exploring Los Angeles.
Nezza sings in Spanish and English, which has allowed her to grow a wide fan base. DePaul University senior Elizabeth Amaya is a follower of Nezza who has admired her since 2018. Amaya attended Nezza’s tour in November and was astonished with her performance. Demon Jam was another chance to see her idol up close and personal.
“I was very excited that [the Depaul Activities Board] announced that Nezza was an opener for this,” Amaya said. “One, I love her and I loved her performance, but at the show in November, I wasn’t as close as I wanted to be, so I was excited to get the opportunity.”
Nezza sang some of her favorite songs like “Thirteen,” “Good Love” and “Temporary.” Her music has bouncy beats with a complementary mix of reggaeton and R&B. She may be the artist for anyone interested in Hispanic music looking to switch up their daily mix up. Nezza’s style of switching between languages resembles the style of Kali Uchis, another Colombian female artist.
Amaya connects to her Mexican culture through listening to Hispanic music. Songs like “Poison”and “Corazón Frío” remind Amaya of the music she grew up on.
Whether Nezza was singing of heartbreak or going out with her friends, she kept the performance lively with her dancing and interaction with the audience. As a professional dancer, Nezza followed her voice with every movement and let her personality run free.
The artist’s presence had a wonderful energy. Nezza connected with the crowd through tearing up while singing “Better Days” and inviting the audience to sing “Kill Bill,” a song by her favorite artist, SZA. Tattooed on the side of Nezza’s rib cage is SZA’s album title “Ctrl.” The tattoo has sentimental value since the album helped Nezza through a break up.
This performance, being a day prior to the artist’s birthday, was especially personal as she shared moments of gratitude with the audience. The passion came through in her voice. To celebrate, the audience showered her with gifts and bouquets of roses. Amaya was one to give Nezza a gift, and she had the chance to meet Nezza after the performance.
“It was incredible, and I really appreciated that she took some time to come out and meet people,” Amaya said after having a one-on-one chat with Nezza. “She is incredibly sweet. I was freaking out, and I was really excited to get to meet her.”
Header Illustration by Magda Wilhelm