The day before her performance of “Remember Me” at the Academy Awards presentation—where it won the Oscar for best song—Natalia Lafourcade performed it in Salt Lake City at RootsTech 2018, the world’s largest family history conference.
Mexican pop-rock singer Natalia Lafourcade sings during RootsTech in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
Lafourcade is the Mexican singer-songwriter-guitarist who recorded the song with fellow pop star Miguel for the movie “Coco,” which also won an Oscar for best animated feature.
Lafourcade made an instant connection with her audience at the keynote session on Saturday, March 3, the fourth and final day of RootsTech, no doubt due to the movie’s family history-oriented narrative set during the Mexican national holiday, the Day of the Dead, which is observed October 31-November 2.
It tells of 12-year-old Miguel, who goes to the land of the dead, where he discovers his ancestors and solves a mystery regarding his great-great-grandfather. Thus he creates a strong personal connection and finds a greater sense of belonging.
For the RootsTech audience, Lafourcade gave the song its first live performance, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar.
Just before performing the song, she was asked about her family roots.
“My last name, Lafourcade, is like a French name, but we still don’t know why,” she said. “My father told me it was because of pirates that went to Chile, but I think it is just a story he made up because he loves pirates.”
But after the performance of “Remember Me,” FamilySearch product manager Tamara Stansfield came on stage to enlighten Lafourcade about her family history.
“You were born in Mexico City, but that’s not where your story began,” she said. “By locating and examining the records of your ancestors, a heritage rich in courage, intellect, and music was discovered.”
Her paternal roots did begin in France, where her great-great-grandfather Pierre Lafourcade was born in Bordeaux in 1842 and later immigrated to Chile.
“Maybe he spoke with a pirate accent,” Stansfield quipped.
Lafourcade was visibly excited and touched to have the information.