Selena Gomez shouldered a broad spectrum of questions from journalists, artists and fans around the world for her latest cover story following the release of her album, Rare. The Texas native spoke to Dazed about her new music, of course, but also took the opportunity to try and further connect with her Latinx audience.
In 2010, Gomez released a Spanish-language version of “A Year Without Rain.” The teen pop star was finding her element and that wasn’t quite it. Thinking back on her early music in general, the actress admittedly cringes at the style she adopted on her way to finding her own path. She released a few more translated tracks since, and most recently hopped on DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki” and Tainy’s “I Can’t Get Enough.” Now, she says you can expect more where that came from.
She also addressed immigrant family separations, referring to the entire thing as “animalistic.” In the fall of 2019, the 27-year-old singer penned an op-ed for Time about her family’s immigration story from Mexico and her thoughts on the U.S. immigration crisis as a whole. I suspect it was the first time many onlookers saw her directly tap into that side of herself. The piece was intended to serve as a primer on the artist ahead of the release of Netflix’s documentary series Living Undocumented, which she produced.
All in all, it seems Gomez is more intentionally and overtly tapping into her Latino roots. Here’s where she’s at today:
On representing Latinos + making music in Spanish:
“[I represent Latinos] one thousand [percent]. I’m always very vocal about my background, as far as me talking about immigration, and my grandparents having to come across the border illegally. I wouldn’t have been born (otherwise). I have such an appreciation for my last name. I’ve rereleased a lot of music in Spanish as well, and that’s something that’s gonna happen a bit more. So there’s a lot more I would love to do because I don’t take it lightly, I’m very honoured.
-Question from Bad Bunny, urbano king who owes us an album
On publicly sharing her family’s experiences with immigration:
“My goal was to simply humanise my people, because they were being called aliens, criminals, and I can’t even imagine what these kids being separated from their families are going through. It’s something that is going to traumatise them for the rest of their lives. And it just seems animalistic; it is scary but I think it needs to be talked about…”
-Question from Natascha Elena Uhlmann, writer and immigrant rights activist from Sonora, Mexico
On what her favorite Latin song is:
“‘Obtener un Si’ by Shakira.”
Question from Tainy, genre-bending producer
On how her family & those on Living Undocumented are ”fully American”:
“They believe in the American dream. They don’t want to cause hurt: This is meant to be one of the greatest countries for that reason. And to hear them be so proud of being a part of our country is beautiful. They just want to live a healthy, safe life with their families and children. (They’re) contributing huge, huge amounts.”
-Question from Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist