Disney’s ‘Encanto’: Why It Was Important for Luisa’s ‘Surface Pressure’ To Have a ‘Cool’ Sound

Luisa’s the strong one. She’s not nervous. Well, under the surface is a different story. This Disney character from Encanto sings about her yearning for relaxation. According to composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical genre of this track is just as important as the lyrics themselves. 

Here’s what we know about “Surface Pressure” from Disney’s Encanto.

Disney premiered their animated film ‘Encanto’ in theaters and on Disney+ in 2021

Disney fan event for Disney's 'Encanto' at El Capitan Theatre
Disney fan event for Disney’s ‘Encanto’ at El Capitan Theatre | Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Disney’s Encanto tells the story of one magical family living in Colombia, blessed with a miracle and unique gifts. Dolores can hear a pin drop from a mile away. Isabela creates beautiful flowers. 

Only one member of the family, named Mirabel wasn’t given a magical gift. However, when her family’s magic is threatened, it’s up to this character to save her family and home. Moana, In the Heights, and Hamilton composer, Miranda, is the musician behind songs like “La Familia Madrigal” and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

This artist even shared how he reflected each character’s personality in their solo songs. Additionally, Miranda showcased some of the most exciting aspects of Colombian music. For Luisa’s song, that was a reggaeton sound. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SInRhMepICw

‘Encanto’s’ ‘Surface Pressure’ tells the story of Mirabel’s older sister named Luisa

The cast of Disney’s Encanto appeared in an official featurette titled “A Journey Through Music.” Some of the creators elaborated on their musical choices, especially Miranda, who shared that after finding the “pulse” of each family member, he tried to translate that into their songs. 

That’s especially true for Mirabel’s older sister named Luisa, who has the magical gift of strength. As the oldest sibling, this character often serves the Madrigal family and the surrounding town, collecting stray donkeys and even carrying pianos. Jessica Darrow voices the super strong yet overworked Luisa, also singing the solo song “Surface Pressure.”

“When you hear from Mirabel’s sister Luisa it’s a very contemporary, Colombian, reggaeton sound,” Miranda said. “Because she’s got this very cool, very tough exterior, and then I wanted to kind of peel away and destruct that over the course of the song.”

‘Surface Pressure’ is one of the most popular songs from the Disney ‘Encanto’ soundtrack

Since Encanto’s premiere, several songs included in the movie musical became Disney fan-favorites. Along with “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” “Surface Pressure” is one of the most popular songs from the official Encanto soundtrack. On the music streaming platform Spotify, this track has over 20 million plays. Miranda added that Luisa’s experience is a shared feeling of many eldest siblings.

“Luisa, who is accustomed to bearing everyone’s burdens that is sort of a fantastical outgrowth of something that I think plagues a lot of oldest siblings in families,” Miranda said in the same featurette. 

“And so musicalizing that was really exciting…,” he continued. “I just wrote the most wild and crazy internal rhymes and then exposed how much Luisa longs to relax.”

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