Ambar Lucid makes dreamy bilingual alt-pop with Latin and psychedelic influences

Ambar Lucid is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who injects psychedelic rock and Latin influences into her music.

Lucid dropped her debut album “Garden of Lucid” in 2020. It’s an introspective bilingual, alt-pop journey of radical self-acceptance accentuated by her brassy, lush vocals. 

“When I was younger, I was not the best singer,” Lucid told In The Know. “But I was very, very confident and I wanted everybody to hear me sing. I had been playing guitar for a few years and I also used to do a lot of covers. I used to post some on YouTube. And one day I just got tired of singing other people’s songs.” 

Lucid, born Ambar Cruz, grew up listening to Latin music like reggaeton, merengue and bachata with her family. But like any budding artist, her tastes began to expand as she got older. 

“The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors,” she said. “After that I kind of got more into psychedelic rock and I think my sound kind of stems from there.” 

Although her family helped cultivate her musical preferences, Lucid lived between the tension of tradition and modernity as a first-generation immigrant. When she was 8 her father was deported to Mexico. 

“I feel like people are more free to express themselves here or maybe at least like my generation is,” Lucid said. “I knew how I felt growing up and thinking about my father and how he was deported. And that was something that was forbidden to talk about. Like I could never really relate to anyone in that sense.” 

Lucid’s mother, who’s from the Dominican Republic, didn’t really talk much about the issue. Lucid reunited with her dad in person for the first time in 2019 when she visited Cabo San Lucas to see him. The reunion was documented in the short film “Llegaron Las Flores.” 

“But I feel like seeing him kind of made me realize the emotions that I was just, I guess, suppressing or the emotions that were in my subconscious that I didn’t even realize were there that were caused by being away from him for so long,” Lucid said.

Ultimately, she hopes that her music will inspire people to liberate themselves. 

“What I want people to take from my album and all my music in general is that they have the ability to live the life that they want to live,” Lucid told In The Know. “And that many people experience similar things as them, that they’re never alone.” 

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