Although born in New York and raised in the United States, Christina Aguilera was not far from her father’s Latin roots, a military man born in Ecuador. This was evident from the very beginning of his solo career, after his time at the famous Mickey Mouse Club.
And that is it, after shedding Disney’s patent for conquering the pop world with his eponymous debut album Find the Megaite “Genie in a Bottle” (which was recorded shortly after in Spanish for a Latin American version of the work), the virtuous singer released a production Officially another one that was shown entirely in Spanish, titled “My Thinking”.
Since then, much water has passed under the bridge, and she herself has continued to offer increasingly complex products in which bilingual moments overlap; But she is now ready to return fully to the tracks in our language thanks to an ambitious project that was initially revealed today with the premiere of the single.”for my girls”, in which Mexican-American Becky G, Argentine Nikki Nicole and Nathi Peloso collaborate.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times en Español, Aguilera spoke about this new topic, the standard material that will expand the concept, the way she has reconnected with our language, the peace she has achieved with her complex past and the direct support she offers to women and some minorities.
Cristina, you just released a new single, “Pa mis chicas”, which will be part of what will be your first production in Spanish in over 20 years. Took a long time!
Yes, it is time! I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but I’m glad I’m doing it now and not before, because my current view comes from a much deeper place, after everything that’s happened in my career, after raising my kids and being a mother, after I’ve made peace with my past and my childhood And many other circumstances that led to this being the most appropriate and relevant time for something like this.
I like that my kids will be able to see their mom celebrate something I don’t feel completely comfortable with, because it’s not my first language, but it’s an important part of my past, our legacy. I didn’t learn Spanish after my parents’ divorce, but every time I do something related to Latin I feel great.
I spent a month in Miami in February, immersed in the music that was all around me, along with beautiful artists and singers, and I was fascinated by the talent, energy and fun everyone has on this project. I’m so proud of them, so proud of the work of love we’ve created.
I imagine getting close to Spanish has always been difficult for you because your father’s relationship was so difficult; But I also know you’ve talked about it sometimes with your paternal grandparents. How has that relationship with our language changed over the years?
Things were complicated by what I went through with my father, something I had already talked about; But my mum was also fluent in Spanish, so the two of them spoke that language all the time when they were home. It is something that comes back to me easily; I understand it when I have the people who speak it by my side.
The scary part is that I feel insecure, but I think I represent the first generation of people who have grown up here and faced situations like divorce. [de sus padres], or whatever, and they are not comfortable speaking the language. Anyway, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from exploring something that I feel passionately about, which is part of my history and my roots, and is now also part of my children’s roots, so it seemed to me that it was a good example to show them that no matter where you are in your life, no It’s okay to celebrate something that might seem scary at first.
It’s a lot more challenging than having an English album, of course, but I did everything possible to get the best teachers and people to help me with certain accents, because one of the most interesting things about Spanish is that, everywhere you practice, it’s spoken in a different way. When you talk to someone, they pronounce it differently than the next person you call, in this case I had musicians from all over the world in the studio. The craziest thing was deciding the right way to express yourself [risas]. I worked with John Rodriguez, who helped me a lot in developing the vocal parts, step by step, because it was necessary for me to pay tribute to this in the right way.
What can you tell me about the upcoming album? Does she already have a name?
We record so much that I have music for 3 different albums [risas]. It was a fruitful process. Everything flows perfectly every day. So I’m going to release new music until the end of 2022, and I’m actually going to do it in three different chapters that are going to be like mini albums. The first would be called “La Fuerza” and would celebrate my strength as a woman, something that seems clear to me in “Pa mis chicas”, because Latin women are very strong and enthusiastic, as well as the backbone of a family.
Why did you decide to invite Becky G, Nikki Nicole, and Nathy Peloso for this first single? Becky’s case is interesting and somewhat similar to yours, of course, because she’s Mexican-American and has struggled with Spanish, although she’s dealing with it pretty well now.
I met Nathy when I was in Miami and was impressed by her talent, her music, her performance as an artist, and the fire that came out of her. It is a force of nature. I also discovered Nikki, and I love to support the young singers who come into the arena, because women have to support women. For Becky, yes, it was important to have someone who is not one hundred percent [fluida en español] But it represents who we are. Everyone treats it differently; There is no right or wrong way to celebrate your culture, and at this point, no one should feel ashamed or judged.
As we show in the video [de la misma canción]We are a society in which everyone must respect the other. We seek to create a very cinematic environment, something very exciting, very seductive; A world where everyone can be free and feel comfortable with who they are.
Speaking of which, you have been very clear in your support of the LGBTQ community, and this is an issue that is still rejected by various sections of the Latino community. What would you say to those who think this way, to the usual macho men?
I’ve never been afraid to speak my truth, even if it doesn’t make everyone feel comfortable with me. There are people who do not want to accept strong women. Progress has been made, little by little, and these are the messages I have always given, including my music in English. When she performed the song “Lady Marmalade” [con Lil Kim, Mya y Pink] And joined by all these strong women, the message was truly empowering.
But the “Pa mis chicas” video does not exclude men. What he suggests is a space for universal acceptance. There are people who have to change in order to have a more open mind. The more we talked about it, the more they understood that no one was trying to take anything from them or feel superior.
There are still many cultural stigmas around the world, but the only thing I can do is be who I am, and appreciate and respect all strong women. As I said, women are the mainstay of the family, and it is only natural that we honor them.
“Pa mis chicas” is musically influenced by Guaracha, and you mention that term specifically in the lyrics. What other Latin influences will the upcoming material have?
There are many. We scored a lot. I’ve always liked to be eclectic and love a lot of different things, from soundtracks to classical music. I’m everywhere. This is also related to Latin music. Once we got to Miami, I told everyone that I was a huge inspiration from Chavela Vargas and that I would like to be able to somehow invoke her spirit.
Her voice was harsh, very powerful and very real, and she approached the song in a very painful way. No matter if you speak the language, it is a feeling, a passion; She’s practically crying, with a kind of tremor in her voice. I feel like it was part of the project.
There are also other things I adore, more modern, such as the references to reggaetón; And even the song that made me feel so weak has something to do with my dad. It is a song that refers to the peace I made with my past, and as a mother, I am able to see things from another perspective. I can’t give you nicknames yet, because they’re going to kill me [risas].
Can you talk about the other collaborators on the project?
I think I am not yet authorized to do that. I’d like to share it all, but I can’t. There will be more cooperation of course; The people I adore, the people who inspire me. It is a project that will be revealed little by little.