Christina Aguilera is an ever-evolving artist, mother, and big-time gamer of anything related to Nintendo. That’s why when Remezcla sat down with her, after a fierce Mario Kart 8 battle, it wasn’t just her music that we wanted to talk about. She wanted to talk about her life, what she loves with all her heart, and what parts of herself she holds dear enough to pass down to her children.
Most people know Aguilera for her expansive musical career. From her early days in 1999 when she released her self-titled album, to her EP La Fuerza, she’s continued to win the hearts of her adoring fans with her tireless work and dedication. But if there’s anything that Aguilera wants you to know about her music, it’s that it’s been an evolution.
“I think it’s a beautiful evolution of coming from being a little girl in this industry, baby Christina, into the grown woman that I’ve become over all these years,” Aguilera told Remezcla, “The few decades I’ve been doing this has been truly amazing. And growing up in the business is never easy. But you learn so many lessons and dig deep within yourself to keep evolving.”
One of those things that keep evolving is her voice, something that is so distinctive that you can easily pick up that it’s Christina Aguilera when one of her songs comes on.
“My voice in particular, I love how I can tap into more of a gritty tone, and it’s just matured over the years in ways that I’m such a huge lover of,” Aguilera explained before getting nostalgic and once again thinking about her younger self. “But baby Christina didn’t really have the chops yet to have the grown woman tone that just comes with time and comes with living life. So I do love the instrument [my voice] that I’m able to work with now and tapping more into the feeling and emotion of what I do and the life experiences that I’ve had and bringing that to my music.”
“Growing up in the business is never easy. But you learn so many lessons and dig deep within yourself to keep evolving.”
As for what comes next for her music, La Fuerza being her first Spanish language EP in 20 years, there’s more to come. Aguilera told Remezcla that there are two more chapters to go when it comes to “tapping back into a language that I love.” She continued on by saying, “There’s nothing like Latin love. So it’s been such a joy to get back into something that does feel like home. But it’s also very challenging not being my very first language.”
This part is what hit home in particular because we all know someone, or are that someone, who grew up as a second, third, or fourth-generation Spanish speaker who struggles with balancing the language of our homes and where we live now. And some of us hold onto it as much as we can, full of pride for our language like Aguilera is. That’s why she said the following, “But growing up in a Spanish-speaking home, it’s still something that is again nostalgic to me, but very important for me to always again learn something new about [it and] myself.”
And even though Aguilera could wax poetic about music for ages, her real love is passing down her heritage, her music, and her likes to her children. Part of that is sharing in her music. Her children love when she makes music in Spanish and request that she sing those particular songs as often as possible, whether it be at home or at private events. And they do this, not only because they love their mother, but because they bond with her through their shared heritage of coming from Ecuador.
“I think it’s really great that I can show my kids too, that even though it’s not my first language, I get to educate them on my father and where he came from Ecuador; coming into this country with his grandparents as immigrants and making the life that they did for themselves,” Aguilera said, thinking back about the time she spent living with her grandparents, the lessons they shared, and even the recipes that she can now hand down to her children.
Another thing that she shares with her kids, and what started this interview off in the first place, is her love for anything and everything Nintendo and gaming. It’s one of the few things that are absolutely sacred to her, her family, and her kids. Because Aguilera grew up playing Mario, Donkey Kong, and the rest of the fun and timeless games the company is known for. It was a sacred time then that brought her family together and it’s the same thing now with her kids and loved ones.
In fact, it’s what grounded her and her family during the pandemic; something many of us can absolutely attest to when we look at our gaming time on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But back to Aguilera. She’s proud that she can pass on her family’s love for gaming to her kids, specifically saying, “I can now pass on to my kids [my love] for the Mario Party family” and anything to do with Mario and Luigi games in general. She even cited how Super Mario 3D World + Bower’s Fury was something that she beat alongside her daughter and that kept them both entertained and going through hard pandemic times.
There’s even a special place in her heart that combines her love for gaming with music, something that she also hopes her kids appreciate. Because if given the chance, Aguilera would absolutely do a cover or remix of a Nintendo beat, in particular, one found in Donkey Kong Country 3. ” I [loved] the Donkey Kong Country one when you came into the water world. They had some really cool pieces of ethereal-sounding music I remember. And there’s a lot of good music in that game. I don’t know who did the music to that one, but yeah, they got cool and moody in that one.”
And who knows, now that the idea has been planted, maybe Christina Aguilera will surprise us with the Nintendo crossover that we desperately need in 2022.