Aérea Negrot, the Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based singer and electronic musician who frequently collaborated with Hercules & Love Affair, has died. Negrot’s label, BPitch Control, announced the news earlier this month in a post on social media. “Her light, music and beautiful uplifting voice, her one of a kind artistic approach and performance have touched every soul they have ever encountered,” the label wrote. “A classically-trained ballet dancer, singer, songwriter and an uncompromising DJ, there never was a stage she did not make her own. We are forever grateful to have had the honor to cross our path with such a giving and talented human and artist.” Negrot was 43.
Aérea Negrot was born in Caracas in 1980 and raised by a family of professional dancers. She was classically trained in ballet like her parents and grandmother, but refocused on nightclub performances after sustaining a knee injury. As a 16-year-old, she would put on lip-synching shows, often interpreting songs by Erykah Badu. Around that time, she formed the group La Familia Felíz with Fata Kiefer and Milton Fermat, who had a small international hit with their track “La Disco.”
Negrot, whose real name was Danielle Gallegos, first performed under her stage name in Amsterdam when she was 17. “Aérea” referred to flying, as she told Remezcla in a 2016 interview. She apparently adopted the name after having a tryst with a flight attendant—who booted Negrot out of their home. Negrot relocated to Berlin in 2004.
Negrot released her debut album, Arabxilla, in 2011, though she has been an active performer and DJ since the late 1990s. In 2005, Negrot met Hercules & Love Affair’s Andy Butler at an Antony and the Johnsons concert in Berlin, sparking a years-long collaborative relationship with Butler and his project. Roughly a year after meeting Butler, Negrot joined the group’s touring lineup.
Negrot featured prominently on Hercules & Love Affair’s 2011 sophomore LP, Blue Songs, and has collaborated with a number of artists in the ensuing years, including Tobias., Miguel Toro, Billie Ray Martin, Massimiliano Pagliara, System of Survival, and more.
In her 2016 interview with Remezcla, Negrot reflected on her relationship with performing. “Performing was for me always an extension of that passion and ambition I got from my family,” she said. “And was pretty good at it, even before I could walk.”
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