Empress Of

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Empress Of
Empress Of performing in 2019
Empress Of performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameLorely Rodriguez
Born (1989-10-19) October 19, 1989 (age 32)
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
Years active2011–present

Lorely Rodriguez (born October 19, 1989), known professionally as Empress Of, is a Honduran-American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer based in Los Angeles, California. To date, she has released three studio albums via XL Recordings and Terrible Records, her critically acclaimed debut, Me (2015), Us (2018) and I'm Your Empress Of (2020).


2011–2015: Early releases, Systems and Me[edit]

After finishing a sound engineering degree at Boston's Berklee College of Music in 2011, Rodriguez moved to New York City and quickly broke into the local music scene performing in a Brooklyn-based band with Sam Owens called "Celestial Shore" but soon left the group to focus on her own music.[1]

In 2012, Rodriguez initially gained attention for anonymously releasing a series of one minute-long demos (via YouTube) prefaced only by a solid color entitled "Colorminutes".[2] Her first 7" single, "Champagne" was released soon after on November 5, 2012, through a limited run via No Recordings.[3][4] Lorely's stage name was inspired by a tarot card reading she did with a friend: "The first card he pulled out was an Empress card and I was like, 'It's me, I am Empress.' [...] the Empress card is connected to fertility and mothering and strength. It's kind of nice to have those feelings."[5]

On April 2, 2013, her bilingual four-track EP "Systems" was released via Double Denim and Terrible Records in the UK and North America respectively.[6] Since the release of her EP, she's showcased at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves and Pitchfork's Summer Music Festival[7] and toured as a support act with the likes of Jamie Lidell, Jungle, Kimbra and Florence and the Machine.

"Water Water", the first single off her debut full-length Me was released on April 14, 2015.[8] She also released a Spanish version of the track, "Agua Agua" "so that [her] mother listens [to her] music." Rodriguez's debut album Me, which she self-produced and recorded in Mexico was released on September 11, 2015, via XL Recordings and Terrible.

2017–2019: Us[edit]

During 2017, Rodriguez released a standalone single, "Go to Hell" on July 12. 2017 via Terrible. She also featured on two singles for Los Angeles producers, DJDS with the Billboard-charting "Why Don't You Come On" additionally featuring El Paso R&B singer, Khalid and a cover of Lana Del Rey's Lust for Life single, "Love" released on August 29, 2017, and December 1, 2017, respectively through Loma Vista Recordings for their third studio album Big Wave More Fire.

On April 11, 2018, double single "Trust Me Baby / In Dreams" premiered on Zane Lowe's Apple Music "Beats 1" radio show and released via Terrible. The former was co-produced by Cole M.G.N. In October 2018, she was featured on Khalid's first EP, Suncity.[9]

Rodriguez's second album, Us, was released on October 19, 2018. She supported Maggie Rogers on her fall 2019 Heard It in a Past Life tour.[10]

Her song "When I’m With Him" is featured on the soundtrack of the video game eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.

2020–2021: I'm Your Empress Of and becoming independent with Major Arcana[edit]

On April 12, 2020, Rodriguez's released her third studio album, I'm Your Empress Of via XL Recordings and Terrible. The album was preceded by the single, "Give Me Another Chance" released and premiered March 3. 2020 via Zane Lowe's Apple Music "Beats 1" radio.[11] Due to the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, no touring or live performances could be done to promote the album.

During 2020, Rodriguez founded and announced the start her own record label, Major Arcana via partnering with US-based artist management company, mtheory. The announcement marked the fulfilment of her contracts with XL Recordings and Terrible Records respectively, thus allowing all future releases to be fully independent under her own brand.[12]

On October 27, 2020, Rodriguez released her first single via Major Arcana, "You've Got To Feel" featuring Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Amber Mark[13] while subsequently releasing another single, "Broken" for the soundtrack of the Amazon Prime Video series, The Wilds on Nov 20, 2020.[14]

During 2021, Rodriguez was featured on American singer/producer, MNDR's single "Love in Reverse" released March 31, 2021, off her second studio album, "Hell To Be You Baby" via Watersound Records.[15]

On April 30, 2021, Rodriguez announced partnering with an Ad Council-backed national campaign called "Sound It Out Together". The purpose of the campaign being, to highlight youth mental health and create an outlet for adolescent school children of color, to express their emotions and experiences through music.

With assistance from professional songwriters (Rodriguez, KAMAUU, Lauren Jauregui and Tobe Nwigwe respectively), the subjects of discussion between the artists and the children featured were turned into fully produced songs and released as compilation EP for the campaign via Mass Appeal.[16]

Rodriguez's involvement included the single, "One Breath", a collaboration w/ a 14-year-old girl named Marianne on their shared experience of both being first-generation Latin Americans and balancing that duality or double consciousness through daily life.[17]

2022–present: Save Me[edit]

On Apr 8, 2022, Rodriguez premiered "Save Me", the first single from her forthcoming EP of the same name, which was released on June 24, 2022 via her independent imprint, Major Arcana.[18]

The announcement of the EP, produced by Rodriguez with additional production from frequent collaborator, BJ Burton and Johan Lennox was made through the release of the second single, "Dance For You" on May 25, 2022.[19] On Jun 7, 2022, Rodriguez was announced as the main support for Carly Rae Jepsen's "So Nice" North American tour scheduled for Fall 2022.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Rodriguez is a first-generation Honduran American.[21] She was raised by her mother, Reyna in the Los Angeles metropolitan area,[22] and her father Adán, one of the original pianists and founding members of the Honduran Latin music ensemble, Banda Blanca.[23] Lorely's first experiences with music were listening to her father's cassette tapes of the Beatles and Pet Shop Boys.[5] Rodriguez has a degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston.[24] She cites Julee Cruise, Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, the Zombies, and the Beach Boys as some of her musical inspirations.[25]


Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • Systems (2013)
  • Tristeza (2014)
  • Save Me (2022)


  • Colorminutes (2013)


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"Champagne" 2012 Non-album singles
"Realize You" 2013
"Water Water" 2015 Me
"Kitty Kat"
"How Do You Do It"
"Woman Is a Word" 2016 Non-album singles
"Go to Hell" 2017
"Trust Me Baby" 2018 Us
"When I'm with Him"
"Love for Me"
"I Don't Even Smoke Weed"
"Call Me" 2020 The Turning (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"Give Me Another Chance" I'm Your Empress Of
"Love Is a Drug"
"You've Got to Feel"
(featuring Amber Mark)
Non-album single
"Broken" The Wilds (Amazon Original Soundtrack)
"One Breath" [26] 2021 Sound It Out - EP via
"Sound It Out Together" Campaign
"Save Me" [27] 2022 Save Me - EP
"Dance for You" [28]
"Turn the Table" (w/ Jim-E Stack)

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Dance/Elec.
"The Way That You Like"
(Pional featuring Empress Of)
2016 When Love Hurts
(Darkstar featuring Empress Of)
Made to Measure
"Best to You"
(Blood Orange featuring Empress Of)
Freetown Sound
"Stonefist" (Remix)
(Health and Boys Noize featuring Empress Of)
2017 DISCO3+
"Why Don't You Come On"
(DJDS featuring Khalid & Empress Of)
30 Big Wave More Fire
"Love" (DJDS featuring Empress Of)
Zombie Conqueror
(Dirty Projectors featuring Empress Of)
2018 Lamp Lit Prose
(Khalid featuring Empress Of)
88 Suncity
"Red Wine"
( featuring Empress Of)
Forever Neverland
(Tommy Genesis featuring Empress Of)
Tommy Genesis
(Toro y Moi featuring Empress Of)
2019 Smartbeats
"Wild Girl"
(Kito featuring Empress Of)
Non-album singles
"Tennis Fan"
(Banoffee featuring Empress Of)
Look at Us Now Dad
"Note to Self"
(Jim-E Stack featuring Empress Of)
"Love In Reverse"
(MNDR featuring Empress Of)
2021 Hell To Be You Baby
(Jarina De Marco featuring Empress Of)


Title Year Artist(s)
(Empress Of Remix)
2015 Purity Ring
(Empress Of Remix)
2016 Chairlift
"Genghis Khan"
(Empress Of Remix)
Miike Snow
"How Do You Do It"
(Empress Of Remix)
Empress Of
"Never Enough"
(Empress Of Remix)
2017 Oyinda
"Ta Que Tiembla"
(Empress Of Remix)
2020 Buscabulla
(Empress Of Remix)
Tei Shi
"Man's World"
(Empress Of Remix featuring Pabllo Vittar)


  1. ^ "The Making of Me". September 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "Empress Of's 11 "Colorminutes" « PMA - Pretty Much Amazing". Prettymuchamazing.com.
  3. ^ "Empress Of – "Champagne" Video". Stereogum.com. November 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "Empress Of // "Champagne"". SoundCloud.com.
  5. ^ a b "Empress Of Takes the Cards She Was Dealt". Noisey.vice.com. September 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "Empress Of". Pitchfork.com.
  7. ^ "5 Minutes with Empress Of at Pitchfork Music Festival 2013". Sidewalkhustle.com. August 2, 2013.
  8. ^ "Empress Of debuts new song "Water Water"". Terriblerecords.com.
  9. ^ "All 27 of Khalid's Collaborations, Ranked: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "Maggie Rogers unveils fall tour dates". The FADER. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "Empress of Announces New Album, Shares Video for New Song". Pitchfork. March 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Empress of Didn't Start a Record Label Just for Herself (But It Helps)". November 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "Empress of enlists Amber Mark for new song "You've Got to Feel": Stream". Consequence. October 27, 2020.
  14. ^ "Empress of Shares Her Dark New Song 'Broken' from Amazon's 'The Wilds'". November 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "MNDR – "Love in Reverse" (Feat. Empress Of)". March 31, 2021.
  16. ^ "Empress of Releases New Song 'One Breath'". May 3, 2021.
  17. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Empress Of Behind the Scenes Extended l Middle School Mental Health l Ad Council". YouTube.
  18. ^ "Empress of Shares Video for New Song "Save Me"". Pitchfork. April 8, 2022.
  19. ^ "Empress of Announces New EP, Shares New Song "Dance for You": Listen". May 25, 2022.
  20. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen is Touring North America in 2022 with Empress of". June 7, 2022.
  21. ^ "Empress Of Pivots From 'Me' To 'Us'". NPR.org. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  22. ^ "Aha Moment: Empress Of's Lorely Rodriguez | Studio 360".
  23. ^ "Home". evokela.com.
  24. ^ "Empress Of Releases Her Debut Record 'Me' With A Newfound Confidence". Galoremag.com. September 10, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "INTERVIEW: GETTING REAL WITH EMPRESS OF". Allstonpudding.com. April 10, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  26. ^ "Album".
  27. ^ "Empress of Shares New Song "Save Me": Listen". April 8, 2022.
  28. ^ "Empress of Returns with 'Dance for You' and Announces the 'Save Me' EP". May 25, 2022.
  29. ^ "Empress Of : Why Don't You Come On Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  30. ^ "Empress Of : Suncity Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 19, 2018.

External links[edit]