Meet Jackie Mendoza and Her Revealing Musical Odyssey

The title Galaxia de Emociones couldn’t be more fitting for Jackie Mendoza’s first full-length album. That’s the feeling caused by delving into the songs made by this Mexican-American artist: a galaxy of multiple emotions that inspire that dreamy bedroom electro-pop music. A constellation of heady melodies and hypnotic vocals, of psychedelic techno and catchy rhythms, of campfire ukuleles and synths from outer space.

When creating Galaxia de Emociones, I was seeking the power within to heal myself and express my reality through music. There are endless emotions, some of which I can’t put a name to; but the one I could clearly see and learn to focus on is love. Written in times of political turmoil, and a global pandemic, I found love and power within myself to create songs that speak to my truth and vulnerability, encouraging listeners to accompany me in looking within and connecting with their own galaxy of emotions,” she described, to confirm that it is a very personal album, powerful but also tender.


Jackie Mendoza was born in Chula Vista, San Diego, a California border city near Tijuana, Mexico, where she also lived for a while. In her late teens, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, and joined a few dream pop bands. At the same time, she began uploading solo material, in an acoustic format, like “Closer”. Without losing that more intimate and minimalist side, she later plunged into the jumping beats of electronica, like “Islands”.


Years later, Jackie returned to the West Coast heartbroken but ready to refocus on her solo career. First, she sealed a collaboration with local musician Coastal, to release “La Luz” and make clear her fluency to go from English to Spanish in the same song. Around then she also began working with producer Rusty Santos, formerly known for his job on Animal Collective and Panda Bear records. 


Jackie credits Rusty for encouraging her to embrace her Latin roots, notably the reggaeton groove that drives “Mucho Más”, the opening song of her 2019 debut EP LuvHz. “I grew up surrounded by Latin music in my house and I liked pop music, but reggaeton never quite convinced me. Rusty loves it and wanted to introduce that rhythm to my sound,” she declared at the time on the Spanish blog Mindies. This EP doesn’t feature the melancholic single “De Lejos” – released a few months earlier – but includes six songs that deal with monogamy, polyamory, overcoming anxiety, and coping with a long-distance relationship.


Jackie Mendoza declared herself bisexual five years ago. It wasn’t an easy step, given her origins. Many of her new songs tap into those emotions, to account for the complexities of her experience as a first-generation Mexican-American woman who actively challenges and criticizes the machismo and conservative culture that surrounded her growing up. “This album is about finding the courage to not only face my emotions, but also sharing them by singing them out loud,” she says about the upcoming Galaxia de Emociones.

From the happy tune of “Let’s Get Maui’d” to the heartfelt sorrow of “Pedacitos”, Galaxia de Emociones goes through it all. “Mousetrap” is the third and last single before the release of the album, scheduled for this Friday, March 3. “I named the demo ‘Mousetrap’ because I thought it was a fun play on words relating to the trap beats, but it painted an image in my head about how some relationships are like mazes and the breakup is a mousetrap,” she explains. Its sound formula, of course, is too effective: trap-style beats, fluttery hi-hats, a slappy snare, 808 basslines, guitar, and ukulele.