NEW YORK – Becky G finds every bit of herself represented in the songs on her new album, “Esquemas.”
“I can feel the parts of me that feel strengthened. I can feel the parts of me that feel sexy. I can feel the parts of me that feel strong. I can feel the parts of me that feel vulnerable,” said the Latin star.
The 14-track “Esquemas”, which is released on Friday and can be roughly translated, includes the hit “Mamiii” with Karol G, as well as previously released singles “No Mienten”, “Fulanito” with El Alfa, “Bailé Con Mi Ex” and “Ram Pam Pam”, with Natti Natasha.
It opens with the uplifting “Buen Día” and invites you to dance and move with a mix of rhythms like pop, reggaeton, cumbia and hip-hop, in titles like “Tajín”, “Guapa” , the murky banger “Kill Bill” and the sultry “Una Más”.
Her lyrics promote female empowerment, self-confidence and self-love.
“That was definitely the intention,” the Mexican-American singer said in an interview.
“I think throughout the pandemic, we’ve all had our own personal experiences,” she said. “For me, it gave me time to think about things that were more important in life. Not about ticket sales or how many streams I’ve had on a song… but (about) my family, my health, my sanity. And I was able to create music just to create music.
“’Esquemas’ is literally a genre or no genre album. His songs are really about storytelling, real emotion and empowerment, that’s for sure.”
Becky G, real name Rebbeca Marie Gomez, also spoke about “Dolores,” a touching song inspired by her “abuelita” (grandmother), and how important it was for her to honor her immigrant grandparents in staying true to her roots and singing in Spanish.
Notes have been edited for brevity and clarity.
AP: You open the album with the uplifting “Buen Día” (“Good Day”), where you sing that you woke up wanting to eat the world and that you weren’t born to lose. Tell us a bit about this song.
BECKY G: “Buen Día” is intentionally put as the number 1 song on my album because it’s even a reminder for me of the bad days that it’s never too late to have a good day, and that a day above ground is a success in itself, and life is beautiful! You know, it’s an affirmation. There is a lyric where I say: “Hice un pacto con la mujer del espejo / si yo estoy bien, ella está bien” (I made a pact with the woman in the mirror / if I’m fine, she’s fine ), basically like , this connection you have with yourself is so important, and take care of yourself and accept yourself for who you are. That’s what I love about “Buen Día”. When I go on tour and I’m tired and maybe have a (expletive) day, I’ll sing this song and say, “Listen, Rebbeca!”
AP: The album ends with the hit ‘Mamiii’, which had huge success on the global charts with over 350 million streams worldwide. How did this collaboration with Karol G come about?
BECKY G: I’ve invited Karol to be a part of so many songs in the past and it never happened, not because we didn’t want to work together but because of the timing or because it wasn’t the right song. The coincidence of it all was that I wasn’t looking for it – as my grandmother says, “Si Dios quiere (God willing) is when it’s going to happen”. And that’s what happened.
(Producer) Ovy sent it to me on vacation. I loved the chorus, I loved the production style he was leaning into and I said to him, “I want to add more regional Mexican elements, more guitar and a little ‘grito’ (scream) to the beginning” because, you know, it’s a song that reminds me of the feeling my mother would have when she was listening to artists like Ana Gabriel or Jenni Rivera, songs that you scream because it’s so good and so cathartic. I guess Ovy played it for Karol and she FaceTimed me saying, “That’s it, that’s the one.” I am so grateful.
AP: You have a song called “Dolores” where you tenderly try to comfort and uplift a crying woman. Who is Dolores?
BECKY G: “Dolores” is a song that I would literally dedicate to myself younger, to my “abuelitas” (grandmothers), to my mother, to my little sister, to any woman in my life who has already felt invisible or misunderstood. “Dolores” is literally if you ripped pages out of my diary, and I think that’s what’s so special about “Esquemas”, that in every song I can hear myself. “Dolores” is one of those vulnerable songs. I was specifically inspired by my grandmother, who is not called Dolores, by the way, her real name is Guadalupe but my “tíos” (uncles) jokingly call her Dolores (pains) because “Ay Guadalupe, todo te duele” (Oh Guadalupe, everything hurts you). I think this song is really special.
AP: You are perfectly bilingual and although you mainly sing in Spanish, you have also recorded music in English. Where do you feel most comfortable?
BECKY G: You know, I feel comfortable in Spanglish. I can do interviews in Spanish and English, and I will always end up speaking Spanglish anyway. It’s part of who I am and how I grew up. My “abuelitos” (grandparents) only speak Spanish, so I learned Spanish at the same time as I was learning English. But I think I feel more confident expressing myself through music in Spanish. I found myself as a young woman in my sound and my music in Spanish, and I think you can really hear that, because I was so young when I signed – I was 14 and I am 25 today.
I only started in English in music because that’s how it was, but I’ve always been proud to be Latina, Chicana, Mexican-American. You know, my “abuelitos” came from Jalisco, Mexico, with their clothes on their backs and not a penny in their pockets, and if it wasn’t for their sacrifice, I wouldn’t be where I am today. . So it gives me a lot of pride to be able to sing music entirely in Spanish because I AM Latina and because I can look at my “abuelitos” and say: “Sí valió la pena”. It was worth it in the end.
Sigal Ratner-Arias is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner.