Mexican-American singer Solomon Ray is paying homage to his roots with a cover of the classic “Costumbres.” He stays mostly faithful to the ballad that was popularized by the late Rocío Dúrcal.
“As a little gay boy I would dance around my room and pretend I was her,” Ray tells Remezcla. “She’s such a huge inspiration to me. I’ve always been drawn to boleros. I love sad songs. I love mariachi. Those are genres that I adore.”
Ray has previously graced our 11 Queer & Trans Artists Making Reggaeton and Dembow More Inclusive list with Latin bangers like “El Otro” and “Over You.” He slows things down with “Costumbres,” which also doubles as a tribute to Mexico’s most fabulous divo, Juan Gabriel, who wrote the song.
” Juan Gabriel is such a huge inspiration to me,” Ray says. “This is such a huge song in our culture. When you do a cover I feel like there’s a certain amount of respect you need to pay to the original creator and I didn’t want to change too much.”
His voice glides over the familiar haunting melody of “Costumbres.” He digs deep vocally to evoke the heartache and hope that Dúrcal once commanded. Ray’s connection to Gabriel’s lyrics is palpable in his performance. With Dia de Los Muertos near, his cover is a beautiful tip of the hat to those greats.
“That song resonates so much with me,” Ray reveals. “I do fall into those habits with someone in particular. We both find ourselves in this situation where we find ourselves right back with each other.”
He will shoot the music video for “Costumbres” later this month in Mexico City. The timeless song will be included on Ray’s new EP that’s due out sometime next year.