Chiquis is back with her new album Abeja Reina. The Mexican-American singer is continuing to push banda music to new places on the 18-track LP. This time around, Chiquis tells Remezcla that she “doesn’t give a fuck” and does what she wants with this album, including an homage to her late mother Jenni Rivera. In an interview, Chiquis opens up about making Latin Grammy history, her favorite songs on the album, and her mom’s legacy.
Abeja Reina is a nod to Chiquis’ fan base, the Boss Bee Nation, who crowned her queen bee. It also reflects the struggles that she has overcome in her life. “I became a queen because I survived so many different things,” Chiquis says. This is Chiquis’ first album since she made history in 2020 as the first female artist to win the Latin Grammy Award for Best Banda Album. Jenni Rivera was previously nominated two times in her lifetime but never won. “I feel like the things she wanted to accomplish, I’m also accomplishing for us,” Chiquis says. “I always saw us as a power team. I see it as a win for both of us. It’s crazy. I feel like it’s all coming full circle.”
Like Jenni, Chiquis remains a powerful voice for women in the male-dominated banda genre. On Abeja Reina, she’s also updating the genre with new sounds. In the empowering title track “Abeja Reina,” Chiquis fuses banda with a bit of a corridos twist. “It’s basically just telling a story with just balls,” she says with a laugh. “I felt like I’m standing in my own power and I don’t care what anyone has to say.” Chiquis keeps the peda going in “Entre Besos y Copas.” “I feel like you’re going to need tequila with this,” she says about the track that was inspired by Jenni’s “No Llega El Olvido.” And for those going through heartbreak, Chiquis has the sexy cumbia anthem “La Ex.”
The sexiest song on the album is Chiquis’ cover of “De Contrabando,” one of Jenni’s biggest hits. She supplies the classic track with some sultry vocals while also giving it a fresh R&B spin. It’s a beautiful tribute to her mother. This December will mark the 10th anniversary of Jenni’s tragic passing. Reflecting on mom’s impact, Chiquis says, “It was like a woman of her size physically & with five children wasn’t supposed to make it, & she did. I want people to remember that because if she could do it, we could all do it. She was a strong woman full of courage. Era muy luchona.”
“It was like a woman of her size physically & with five children wasn’t supposed to make it, & [my mom Jenni Rivera] did. I want people to remember that because if she could do it, we could all do it. She was a strong woman full of courage. Era muy luchona.”
As a woman in banda music, Chiquis also has a strong LGBTQ+ fanbase. On her album, she dedicates the fierce “Lo Que Está de Moda Soy Yo” to them. “I’m with you guys!” Chiquis says. “I love you guys! Be proud and don’t let anyone dim your light.” With the music video, she plans to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. “I want transgender people in the video!” she adds. “I want drag queens! I want to be in drag! This song is for the LGBTQ+ community.”
As for what’s next, Chiquis has plans to tour the Abeja Reina album. She is also working on her other projects, including two books to follow her recent memoir, Unstoppable, and looking into more opportunities with her skincare line. “I want to keep expanding [my empire] even more so,” she says.
Listen to Abeja Reina below.