Few artists can take you on a journey through decades by attending a live concert. Julieta Venegas is one of them. She can take you back to 2003 with her hits like “Andar Conmigo” and Lento,” then slingshot you back to the present with her experimental sounds like on “Lo Siento BB:/” and “Mismo Amor.” It’s a journey she took fans on during her performance at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA, on Dec. 1. The night’s setlist had the crowd singing her hits and equally captivated as they experienced Tu Historia live.
Point blank: the Mexican singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has music that relates to any stage of life. And after seven years, she recently released her newest project Tu Historia, which for her, is a way to accept her full life story and encourage others to do the same. “I am in a place right now that I want to recognize all my past and make it a part of me as I look into the future. I felt like [this album’s title is] also a way of working with autobiography, and I think there’s also a very self-assertive way of speaking of your own story and to choose to tell your story,” she tells Remezcla in downtown Los Angeles.
She mentions how in the past – especially for women – having a history was, at times, something to be ashamed of. With Tu Historia, Venegas hopes to combat those outdated misconceptions of “being innocent little flowers” and encourage others to recognize that their stories are a way of self-reflection. “It’s like, ‘Hey, this is who I am, this is what has built me.’ And it’s not typical. It’s not like what perhaps has been expected of me as a woman, but I think it’s cool to be able to recognize who I am and to look into the future now.” Her album also touches on other significant female subjects, like the dangers of walking alone in the dark on “Caminar Sola,” something she experienced during the album process.
Tu Historia is truly an introduction to a new era for Venegas — not only a personal one but a sonic one too. For the album, she worked alongside the Chilean artist and longtime friend Álex Anwandter, who helped bring in new material. “My best decision was to trust – he’s the one with the artistic baton. A lot of the different turns that the album took at one point were very important doing them with him because I really trust him, and I really like his taste artistically,” she says about Anwandter’s producing direction.
Their friendship dates back years; she says they often make a point to hang out whenever they’re in the same city. During the pandemic, while she was working on Tu Historia, she asked if she could send him some songs, including “Brillaremos,” which she thought would be a perfect collab with him. That’s when Anwandter told Venegas that he would love to work with her, which caught her by surprise: “I’m like, ‘What? Me?’” The result? Not just one song but an entire album produced by him.
“‘This is who I am, this is what has built me.’ And it’s not typical. It’s not like what perhaps has been expected of me as a woman, but I think it’s cool to be able to recognize who I am and to look into the future now.”
But this isn’t the first time Venegas is open to exploring new genres – she says it’s because she’s always curious about trying new things as a songwriter. Another recent testament to this is that 2021’s unexpected collaboration with the Puerto Rican hitmaker Tainy. “What I really loved about Tainy inviting me to do this collaboration with him and with Bad Bunny was that he’s like, ‘I have a song, and I would like you to answer what Benito said in the song. I was wondering what you would say to him.’ And I’m like, ‘You got me. Send me a song right now. I need to listen to it,” she shares, laughing as she reminisces. “I was very curious, and I thought it was really generous of him to invite me that way.”
What was especially significant to her was that she was part of the writing and collaborative process rather than just sending a chorus. Whatsmore is that her part was originally going to be the outro for the song, but the two Puerto Rican artists decided to use it as the intro. “I just thought it was genius when I heard it because, if you do it as an outro, the climax has passed,” Venegas says. “I mean, Benito’s sung already; everything’s already done. But the fact that they put it in the beginning was really cool because it’s such a super melodic, sort of sweet sort of entry, and all of a sudden his answer comes, and [the song] explodes.” Though they received a Latin Grammy for the track, she hasn’t met Bad Bunny yet. She says she would love to sing it live with him one day.
Her sound exploration doesn’t stop there, though. Since Venegas has lived in Argentina on and off for about five years, she has tapped into the country’s trap and freestyle movement. “There’s a really interesting movement in Argentina with trap music right now. And it’s really exploding, from Ca7riel y Paco Amoroso to Wos – well, he’s more hip-hop – but he’s definitely one of the most amazing artists I’ve heard in a long time.” Another Argentinian artist she mentions is Lara91k.
“I think that there are phenomenons in every country. Chile has its own. Mexico has its own. Everybody has their own trap movement. I think it’s just a new generation of people exploring and making music and collaborating. Collaborating is really cool also because I think that what I was saying before about collaboration coming from writing, I think makes everything a lot more interesting. So I’m really enjoying looking through that,” she concludes.
Listen to Tu Historia below.