For Becky G, striving for personal connections through music has always been a declaration of liberation. Even now, that same devotion comes from needing to be seen herself, flourishing these sentiments to nourish more than ever in her newest album out today (May 13), Esquemas. Frankly, it’s Becky at her most vulnerable, contrasting together super-glued confidence, an element that even Becky can’t stretch or rip apart. But when you peek closer, the Latina superstar wants you to do just that — break the borders, admit the pain, and hit the refresh. It’s something Becky G has done often. Considering she’s been in the industry since getting signed at 14, she’s moved with an unmistakable resilience that most would trade off as a feeling of jadedness without really knowing it.
As for Becky, she’s been there, done that. So this time around, the “RAM PAM PAM” popstress knows she doesn’t have it all figured out — she’s OK with that. Yet with pain, there’s beauty; it’s a duality, just like the record Esquemas conveys top to bottom, left to right, and lyrically. In one sitting, you sense it in the portals of sounds she moves through, too. She glides ever so playfully through contemporary Latine pop, reggaeton, the easiness of doo-wop, and experimental electronica with “NO MIENTEN,” one of the early singles off Esquemas with exhilarating speed.
In many ways, the astronomical rise of Becky G — including the success of “MAMII,” the collaboration with Karol G that made history with their first No. 1 Latin Billboard hit — is not feasible without the grit of creating a table of her own so other Latina women can take a seat. Now, Becky G is at the table feasting for the birth of Esquemas, ready to be devoured by fans.
Remezcla chatted with the Latina pop star about Esquemas and what it takes to bridge the gap of Latine fame as a woman.
This record is insane, and I mean that in the best possible way. You’re bringing to life new sounds in this record, and it’s incredible to see you transform this unique sound into a new era. So why now?
It’s interesting you say that because this concept of life was mentioned to me, about how we go through most of our lives unlearning who we’re not to become while finding who we always were. And I’m realizing that Esquemas is me getting even closer to who my true self is because the reality of it is that I grew up representing two flags. I grew up listening to English and Spanish music. And that’s not just the language, even the sonics of it, so you can hear that in Esquemas with the production. But I’m not a one genre kind of girl. [Just] look at the list of collaborations that I’ve had in the past. So to say that I’m just a reggaeton artist doesn’t really do what I’m able to accomplish as an artist justice. And that doesn’t just go for me. I want our community and our youth to see that we shouldn’t be limited to just one box because that’s where they put us, and they said that’s where we have to stay. We are boundless. We are limitless. We can accomplish anything we put our hearts and minds to.
Definitely, you see it all the time. From the way the industry places women to how they dress and even the unnecessary feuds. But you’ve really taken that in your career and smashed it. You’ve had incredible collaborations with women such as Karol G and the success of “MAMIII.” Did you implement that collaborativeness with the creation of Esquemas?
Since the very beginning of my career as a young girl, there’s been a lot of pressure to grow up quickly. You’re around adults all the time. And then you realize you’re the only female in the room most of the time. And so, for me, it was kind of lonely when I looked at certain phases in my career. I think my want and intention to collaborate with other artists — specifically other female artists — was always with that intention of connection. Because who else would understand that position than someone else who does what you do as a woman? Most importantly, someone who understands the sacrifice and hardship you sometimes have to face. So it’s always been intentional to collaborate with other women.
“To say that I’m just a reggaeton artist doesn’t really do what I’m able to accomplish as an artist justice. And that doesn’t just go for me. I want our community & youth to see that we shouldn’t be limited to just one box.”
How was that dynamic growing up in a Latine family?
I’m very lucky that I grew up in a very female empowered family. I’m the oldest of four kids, and I had to become the man of the house at a very young age, which is not like Latin culture. Especially with machismo-thinking that still exists today. But I was always empowered to make my own moves, make my own decisions, and make my own money. My mom and dad always told me I needed to go build my own table in the industry. So I always knew I had to do that and create a table where anyone can sit no matter what you identify as. Where everyone can eat.
More than ever, we’re experiencing this new class of Latina artists that are coming out onto the scene. And to see that come into fruition now has been beneficial, not only for the youth, but also for the industry. So now, with the release of Esquemas, how do you want the world and even yourself to see the record, especially as a young Latina in music that’s been working for so long and made it on her terms?
A lot of life is unlearning. As we get older, we enter other levels of consciousness, and certain things trigger this growth in us. And you don’t realize it’s growth sometimes because it’s so painful that you just feel like, “Oh my god, what the heck is happening, and why is it happening to me? And, this is the worst time.” But it’s the best thing that can happen to someone. The pain or the resiliency that comes from that can suck. For a lot of our youth, we feel we have to wear our traumas as some kind of barrier to take more shit through life. We’re literally bruised, bleeding, missing an arm on one side, and an eyeball out on the other. Yet we’re still cheering on that we are here showing up. Honestly, how about you take a nap? There’s nothing wrong with rest. There’s nothing wrong with healing. There’s nothing wrong with feeling, you know? Which is something that was really evident for me while creating Esquemas.
I’m assuming your self-realization of pain and spiritual growth was hitting you all at once while putting Esquemas together. And having those realizations are never easy.
Yea, exactly. I think with Esquemas, I was in that phase where I was very much so triggered, and I still am, to be honest. Especially with growth. I was so confident as a young girl that I knew exactly who I was and exactly where I was going. And sometimes I wish I could talk to 14-year-old Becky and be like, “Where did you get that confidence from?” Sometimes you need that untainted perspective of life before society throws all of this shit your way. Esquemas is literally telling people the molds you gave us to fit in, they were never meant for us to fit in. The line that we weren’t supposed to cross to the other side is something that means so much to me. So I’m going to cross that line. And I’m going to go there because I want to, not because you said I can’t.
If you could put Esquemas in terms of maybe one to three words, what does it mean to you?
Genre-less. Empowering. It takes you to so many different places, like this fun little adventure about who I am and all of my inspirations. Esquemas is adventurous from start to finish.
Listen to Esquemas below.