It begins with a descending piano line, two falling notes that spill into a chord. Then the voice melts over the piano: “Lonely, but not when you hold me.” The melancholy is understated—far from weepy. Later, she sings, “Lovely, I can't believe you love me / On a warm spring night you stunned me,” as the piano gets a bit louder, the poetry of each syllable more insistent.
“One of One” is the most popular song on the Spotify profile of duendita, also known as Candace Lee Camacho, a senior at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and an alum of the institute’s Future Music Moguls program for high school students. (The song has surpassed 750,000 plays on SoundCloud.) Duendita’s status as an up-and-comer was solidified in October, when Spotify chose her as one of five emerging stars to feature in a video announcing the public launch of Spotify’s “Spotify for Artists” platform.