Meet this month's DIGITAL COVER star, the one and only Becky G.
“Music is what’s gotten me through a lot of the pain and experiences I’ve had from such a young age”, Becky G tells tmrw, “even when I don’t have the answers to everything, I feel like I can always turn to music to try and figure it out”. After a decade of musical evolution, expression and success, it’s definite that the feeling is mutual: the world of music loves Becky G just as much as she loves it.
The love affair was clear back in 2013, when a 16-year-old Rebecca Marie Gomez dropped her first track under the name Becky G. An ode to J.Lo – who she still cites as one of her greatest inspirations (“artists like Jennifer López, Selena Quintanilla, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Shakira have all influenced me so much personally and professionally”) and who appears in the final moments of the video – ‘Becky from the Block’ proudly celebrates her working-class upbringing, her Mexican heritage and her Californian hometown Inglewood. By the following year, Becky G was topping the charts with her 2014 hit ‘Shower’, collaborating with the likes of Pitbull and Will.I.Am, and getting signed to a record label all before the age of 18.
Recording herself singing back in 2000, Becky was discovered on YouTube as a preteen and she quickly garnered an avid audience: “it was crazy because I honestly uploaded videos that showed my authentic self and expression, but I didn’t know if they’d resonate with others”. It was there that she learnt how important her musical expression was, and that there was a whole bunch of people out there who not only related, but connected deeply and loyally. “I’m so glad that we have these platforms that are catalysts for young artists to share their talents and hopefully be recognised for what they have to say and how they want to say it.”
But we’d have to rewind to actually find where it all began: “I think ever since I was a young girl, I was around music all the time. I personally feel like as I go through my life, I collect memories that turn into my personal soundtrack. I fell in love with music when I saw the moments it created between my loved ones and how it connects everyone. The songs that played in the kitchen when my Abuelita was cooking, or the songs my parents, siblings and I would belt out together in the car on our way to Disney – my favourite place on earth”, Becky G laughs.
In fact, it was a vital part of Becky getting in touch with her roots: “In Mexican culture, music is everything. It was everyone in my household and something that we used to bond and celebrate life moments together. From heartbreaking rancheras to cumbias that were the backyard boogie anthems and had me dancing nonstop since I was little, I feel so blessed to have such a rich background in music from my ancestors and heritage.”
“On top of that, music is what makes me the happiest and what allows me to express myself”, Becky G explains, “I feel very blessed that I can also share those lessons and that journey with my fans as I work on my projects and release music.” Of course, that’s not to say that working in such a tumultuous industry is without it’s faults, especially for a young Latina woman. “There’s a lot to prove when you are a young, Latinx female and even though we’re all going through our own struggles, I started working at the age of 9 and I don’t think you can ever be ready for some of the adversity that you inevitably face in this professional world of music. However, all those moments only made me stronger.”
“Music is what’s gotten me through a lot of the pain and experiences I’ve had from such a young age...Even when I don’t have the answers to everything, I feel like I can always turn to music to try and figure it out."
It did take time, though, for Becky G to find her place in the music industry, fighting imposter syndrome and going up against those a lot more privileged and connected, she earned her spot on the charts and hasn’t looked back. “[I found my place] through a lot of trial and error! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. There was a lot I needed to learn and try before I could feel like I was at least sure of the artist that I didn’t want to be. I think I’m always going to be experimenting and finding my place in the industry, but I definitely think that I also tried to always be open to new sounds and opportunities, so I can still continue to learn and grow within this career.”
A huge part of that development came about when Becky G decided to begin singing and releasing tracks in Spanish, and successfully crossed over into the world of Latin music. It was a vital decision for the ever-evolving artist, although she was “was a little nervous at first” Becky G was also “so excited to finally dive into [her] roots”: “I grew up listening to tons of Spanish music and it felt very natural. I enjoy doing English music as well, I started in English music so it always feels like home. But I did find my sexy in Spanish.” Honing in on her heritage was a powerful musical move to make, and empowering for her personally too, allowing Becky G to step into her new musical era where she was able to “own [her version of] sexy”. “It allowed me to speak to my experiences, Latinidad and femininity. Music is everchanging, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.”
At just 24 years old, Becky G has grown meteorically and been reborn with every new project, delving deeper into herself and sharing what she finds with the world: “I think it’s been a really unique journey, that I’m excited to keep going on since it always turns into avenues for connecting with new audiences and listeners. I love connection, so I love being exposed to other sounds and styles, which then influences me.” Having given us so much already, it’s definite there’s still so much more for Becky to create. And not just in the musical sphere: “I’ve always loved film and TV, but beyond acting, I also love being on sets and learning from production and crew. Everything about that world is fascinating to me, so hopefully, I’ll be more involved in all aspects in the next few years…An all Latinx badass film with female directors, producers, etc. would be my dream situation!”
Up next right now though, Becky G promises that “we have some very cool projects coming up, in a lot of exciting fields that I can’t wait to share with you all”, she teases, “I think there’s a lot in store that I can’t wait to share with my fans, and that includes new music and some more creative projects that will allow me to continue to connect with people, create safe places to share our truths and help share our Latinx culture and world with everyone.”
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