Gloria Trevi looks back on 40 years in the music industry – Billboard

In January 1990, Gloria Trevi recalls, she learned that her first single, “Dr. Psiquiatra,” was due to debut on radio at the inopportune hour of 3 a.m. So, “I drank a lot of coffee so I could stay up and listen to my song and ask for it multiple times,” she says.

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Trevi, 54, no longer needs to fall asleep to hear his music. The pop artist, whose wild hair, ripped tights and leather vests established her as the first Latin female rock star – the “Mexican Madonna” as she was then known – continued her hitmaking career for 40 year. Although “Dr. Psiquiatra” quickly gained popularity in Mexico, it was “El Último Beso,” his cover of blue-eyed, white-pumped soul artist Wayne Cochran’s 1961 single, “Last Kiss.” , which earned Trevi its first entry on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs Chart later in 1990. Since then, she has released a string of hits – most written or co-written by her – that have become Latin music staples, including “Pelo Suelto” and “Con Los Ojos Cerrados” in 1991. in 1992. Along the way, she scored roles in three Mexican films of the 90s: Pelo Suelto, Zapatos Viejos and Una Papa sin Catsup.

But his budding career came to a halt in 1999, when criminal complaints were filed against Trevi and his then-manager, Sergio Andrade, accusing him of corruption of minors, rape and kidnapping. The following year, Trevi fled to Brazil, where she was captured and arrested, then spent more than four and a half years in Brazilian and Mexican prisons. In 2004, a Mexican court acquitted Trevi for lack of evidence.

“I felt like I had lost my career,” Trevi says. “But I kept a positive attitude and believed in myself. You can lose a battle but not the war, and that mindset was very consistent in me.

Trevi released new music the same year, releasing Como Nace el Universo, an album that was about his time in prison and featured material written behind bars. The record peaked at No. 2 on the Latin Pop Albums Chart and at No. 4 on the Top Latin Albums; then, in 2011, Gloria became his first No. 1 on this latest chart. “How did I envision my return? Well, I’m an Aquarius. I’m a dreamer and saw this as something huge,” she says.

There were also other accolades. In 2009, Trevi won the Billboard Latin Music Award for Female Pop Song of the Year with “Cinco Minutos”, received the BMI President’s Award in 2016, and received the 2021 Premio Lo Nuestro Special Trajectory Award. BillboardOn the Latin Albums charts of , she placed 24 entries, including four No. 1s on Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums.

In August, Trevi will launch it divine island tour (produced by Live Nation, Great Talent Entertainment and Latino Live) at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, then played more than 40 dates in the United States in celebration of his 13th studio album of the same name. A biographical series about his life, produced by Carla Estrada, is in pre-production.

Gloria Trevi

Gloria Trevi performs during her Diosa de La Noche Tour at American Airlines Arena on October 4, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

John Parra/GI

How would you describe your almost 40 years in music?

¡Que fuerte! (How strong!) But if I think about it, it’s over 40 years, because it all started when I took ballet lessons at my mother’s academy in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. My mother always thought she was in Russia – she was very strict as a teacher. She was [involved with] a popular festival in the city, and I remember the first time I got on stage I felt, at the very young age of 6, that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

How has your writing process evolved since your early rebellious years?

I am inspired by classical music and poetry – you would never think a 16 year old would write songs like “Mañana”. I started using poetry and metaphors with real situations and street life, and it became something special. I like to use magical realism and combine it with colloquial language. I invented songs like “Psicofonía”, where I talk about the romance between a ghost and a crazy girl, symbolizing that men are like ghosts that come and go and that we women are madly in love.

Living in grief, living in anguish and being deprived of my freedom taught me a different kind of language from prison. When I regained my freedom, I became very empathetic with people. From this experience were born songs like “Doña Pudor”. I also have songs that help you let off steam, scream and cry like “No Querías Lastimarme” and “Con Los Ojos Cerrados” to songs like “Todos Me Miran” and “Grande”, to songs from my new album, divine islandwho were born from the unity of a pandemic.

What about your music that has remained consistent over the years?

I love learning from the present and I love the future, but I don’t just follow trends. I have to believe in the song, the rhythm and the production. For me to get on stage and champion a song, I have to love it, and I have to convey that to my fans so they can love it too. If I have doubts or make music [just] so it’s gonna go viral, fans will feel it and it won’t connect.

Do you remember a time when you had to defend your art?

Shortly before “Dr. Psiquiatra” reached No. 1 [in Mexico]I was invited to play on [the Mexican musical show] Siempre in Domingo, and at that moment, I didn’t want to be forgotten, so I threw myself on the ground. I didn’t think my undies would show because I had socks, ripped leggings and ballet tights, but [it did]. As you can imagine, because of Mexico [social customs], they told me to brush my hair and stop showing my underwear, otherwise I could never play there again. I refused to brush my hair and told them I could fix the underwear problem just by taking it off! I was banned from the show until [“Dr. Psiquiatra”] reached the top of the rankings in the country. It was then that they invited me to come back without any conditions.

Gloria Trevi

Is this how your timeless hit “Pelo Suelto” was born?

The main reason I wrote “Pelo Suelto” was that my maternal grandmother, Gloria – who was very religious and well known in conservative Monterrey society – wrote an open letter to a newspaper in which she told me publicly reprimanded. It really bothered me, because she should have called me privately to tell me how she felt. Her reason was that she didn’t want to change me but rather wanted people to know that she didn’t agree with my decisions. I went ahead and responded with an open letter. Looking back, it was very immature of me, but I don’t regret the girl I was, because it’s part of my story and shaped the woman I am today.

“Cinco Minutos” marked your first Billboard top 10 and was your longest track on Hot Latin Songs. Was this a turning point in your career?

I think “Tu Ángel de la Guarda” opened doors for me internationally, but the first song that helped me get back on my feet was “Todos Me Miran”. Even though it didn’t get airplay, it became one of my biggest hits and connected me in an impressive way with women and the LGBTQ+ community. After that, “Cinco Minutos” was born. The first time I heard this song [written by Erika Ender and Amerika Jimenez]I was preparing my album Una Rosa Blu, and I believed he was strong because of his message. It’s about a relationship that hurt you but you got up, and when your ex came back, you gave him five minutes to get his things, to beg you, but there’s no going back. back.

After the hardships you went through in the early 2000s, how did you prepare for your comeback?

I was in the darkest hole of my entire life. I felt judged, punished, defamed and my family suffered because I was in the middle of a huge scandal. I was getting fan letters that moved me and reminded me that good people still exist. Everything that’s been said about me [in the press] was awful, but my fans still stood up for me. I am very grateful to those brave and kind fans who cheered me on. It is thanks to them, and to the family that I had to win back, that I told myself that I had to get up, that everyone be proud and not ashamed. They say you never know how strong you are until you have to do it, and it’s because of them that I had to do it.

What do you want your legacy to be?

My music. My story. I want my music to be studied and enjoyed for a million years. And that the dark times I lived through and overcame also contribute to my legacy. I would like my life story to help change and transform people’s lives. I think I’ve already achieved that.

This story originally appeared in the August 6, 2022 issue of Billboard.

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