Dear Dualidad rocks out


Photo creds: Willem Flaugher / The Advance-Titan– Dear Dualidad is a duo made up of Giselle Olivia and Javier Roman, both UWO graduates.

Kelly Hueckman, Opinion Editor

Music, dancing and community. UW Oshkosh alumni duo Dear Dualidad brought all three to Titan Underground last Thursday as they played their hour-long set in celebration of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. 

The duo is composed of Giselle Olivia and Javier Roman, both graduates from UWO with bachelor’s degrees in music.

Olivia, guitarist and vocalist, said that the two bonded over their Mexican-American heritage and musical background while taking music courses.

“When we first met … Javier and I were the only Latinx people in the music program,” she said. “We naturally found each other because of our cultural background. However, we mainly connected because we found out we both had a mariachi background and began to jam in the practice rooms.”

Olivia said that she and Roman named the band with inspiration from the duality that comes with being Mexican-American.

“We had a hard time choosing the name because we weren’t sure if we wanted our name in Spanish or English, so we decided on both,” she said. “Finally, we decided that Dear Dualidad was perfect, as our music would be a love letter to our identity and heritage.”

Olivia said the duo hopes that their music will resonate with others with similar backgrounds. 

“We wanted our music to be an open conversation between ourselves and everyone else who might have struggled in the past with this blend of cultures,” she said. 

Dear Dualidad’s music is reminiscent of a multitude of different genres, which Olivia said she and Roman credit to their heritage. They draw inspiration from other Latinx musicians such as Selena, La Santa Cecilia and Los Ángeles Azules, as well as popular genres in American pop culture including alternative rock, funk and jazz.

“The beauty of our duality allows us access to draw from different realms of music,” Olivia said. “We try our best to fuse genres because it is so hard to stick to just one!”

Honing in on Latinx culture, Dear Dualidad encouraged their audience to fill the dance floor.

Photo creds: Willem Flaugher / The Advance-Titan– Dear Dualidad: ‘a love letter to our identity’ brought spanish rock to Titan Underground to share Latinx culture during Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.

“In Latinx culture, dance is a huge component of celebrations,” Olivia said. “We want to get people moving and dancing because it elevates the mood of the whole performance.”

Roman, guitarist, accordionist and vocalist, said he has always loved including the audience by getting them to dance. He said cumbia, a Colombian dance genre, is his secret weapon for doing so.

“I have always been drawn to cumbia engaging rhythm and love the way the groove just makes people unable to help… but move along with it,” Roman said. 

Dear Dualidad performs around the Fox Valley and Milwaukee areas at events like Neenah’s Art After Dark and Milwaukee’s Mexican Fiesta and Frida Fest.

Although the duo performs some cover music during their sets, Dear Dualidad said they are looking to release new music as soon as possible. 

Currently, they have three singles available on Spotify, two of which are original songs.

Olivia said that although Dear Dualidad plays their own music now, they were hesitant at first to share their songwriting in college.

“I felt that our peers would not understand our music and I often felt hesitant to share it,” she said. “In the end, music is a universal language and I’ve learned to feel comfortable in that.”

Roman said that it was during this time that he felt a strong sense of community with like-minded people.

He said that  he appreciated the “unique and rare it is to be living and working with so many other people that have the same appreciation of music as us.” 

Roman said that by building relationships with these people, he’s been able to find a way to create music with others.

“It is true when people say some of the connections you make in school will be some of the most important in your life afterward,” he said. “We are proof of that!”