The pioneering Tejano star died 25 years ago.
25 years ago, Mexican-American Tejano sensation Selena Quintanilla was murdered.
In her short 23 years, Selena shook the Latin music scene by storm throughout the late '80s and early '90s, playing an unprecedented role in driving the genre towards the mainstream in the United States. Some of her greatest influences included Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, and the Jackson family, though her father encouraged her to pay homage to her roots by singing in Spanish and implementing Mexican cumbia and mariachi into her music.
With hits like "Dreaming of You," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," and "Como la Flor"—as well as an unmistakable, but often replicated, sense of style—Selena was a phenomenon with a lasting legacy. Reactions to her tragic death by gunshot wound in 1995 were comparable to those following the deaths of John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and President John F. Kennedy. Two weeks after her death, George W. Bush—then governor of Selena's home state of Texas—declared her birthday, April 16, Selena Day in the state. In honor of her, we've rounded up 11 artists who've cited the Queen of Tejano as an influence in their own careers.
Hailing from the same state, it shouldn't be a surprise that the "Lose You to Love Me" singer looked up to her namesake. "I am named after her. She was a big deal to my family and growing up from the get-go, I knew who she was and who I was named after," Gomez told The View in 2012. "I got to visit her grave. I've actually met...some of her family, and it's such an honor to be named after someone so amazing."
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Bandcamp is waiving revenue shares today, and you should support POC artists.
Today is another Bandcamp Friday, meaning until midnight tonight, the platform will be waiving revenue shares and letting artists take 100 percent of profits.
Now more than ever, as Black Lives Matter protests occur around the world, it's extremely important to lift marginalized voices. The music industry has repeatedly erased Black voices throughout history, despite the fact that most mainstream genres were invented by Black people.
The singer's third album is filled with lyrical meandering, and not much else.
Back in 2017, Jhené Aiko sat down with Billboard to discuss the tepid reception to her sophomore album, Trip.
"I was working so long on it and there's so many layers to it–it did feel a little like, 'Oh, hey, no one noticed all [that] hard work..." she said. "At the end of the day, I have to check in with myself and ask why do I really make music?... It's not about accolades and attention." The day before, Aiko had released her first-ever poetry book, 2Fish, and was gearing up for a supporting book tour. "I think that there is depth in simplicity. I feel like there's genius in simplicity," she said of her writing process. "At the same time, it's very personal and very much so comes from my heart."
On Chilombo, Aiko's third outing, she embodies these statements quite literally. Her two lead singles, "Triggered" and "None of Your Concern," border more on spoken word poetry than sultry R&B and were poorly received as a result. "When is someone gonna have an honest conversation about the mid that Aiko is dropping?" said Joe Budden. As a pair, the tracks were indistinguishable from each other; both relied on soft 808's and breezy piano chords, both thematically dissected her tumultuous on-and-off-again relationship with Big Sean, and both hooks were heavily camouflaged, bogged down by Aiko's lyrical meandering. The songs sacrificed their musicality for Aiko's message.
The remaining 18-tracks are much of the same. Slow, brooding instrumentals, with Aiko taking front and center with loosely-stitched anecdotes of love, heartbreak, and self-realization. "Life's no fairytale, I know all too well," she sings on Chilombo's most buoyant track "Tryna Smoke." "Gotta plant the seed sometime, then you let it grow." The lyrical content continues as such, much of it reading as corny self-help quotes. "Whenever I'm feeling low, anytime there is a void," she croons on "LOVE," "I choose to fill it with joy." Even some well-placed features can barely resuscitate the album's weakest moments. Miguel and Future, despite their best efforts, can't save "H.O.E."–which stands for "Happiness Over Everything"–from bordering on mawkish, and John Legend's fluttered crooning on "Lightning & Thunder" doesn't save the track from its stiffness.
While Aiko has prided herself on her brevity, she minces her words–and often her production– to her detriment here. Trip explored the experiences of grief riddled drug use and described the way different drugs brought on different stages of the grieving process, while Chilombo barely touches on its themes of self-love. Aiko's best moments have come from when she's loosened up, but for now, they'll have to settle for: "It's a party on a boat, somebody make some gumbooo!"
Still, Chilombo feels like a personal step forward for Aiko. She has spoken extensively on how she's grown to really love herself, and the album cover is a testament to that change. She is literally glowing, facing forward, moving forward, and learning to accept her creative process for what it is. It's a beautiful experience to watch, and in hindsight, it seems that Chilombo was created during an epiphany for Aiko as a human being, and that's a very valuable thing.
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