Can you believe the first two letters of Mariachi were taken from the word Machismo??? Don't. It's my silly attempt to get your interest :) Still with me? Good. While it's true that this genre has been dominated by male figures, artists like Chabela Vargas, Lola Beltran, Lucerito and others have dared to claim a spot. Today it represents pride, not just a sign of masculinity. And as evolution does its magic, this tradition continues to expand its horizons.
In his "Reyna del Mariachi" contest, Pepe Aguilar, son of the great Mexican artist Antonio Aguilar, searches for the next queen of Mariachi in the US. This competition is made up of hundreds of women whose objective is to be the genre's next ambassador. (You can find out more about it at www.lareinadelmariachi.com).
I came across "Reyna del Mariachi" at the celebration of Mexican Independence in City Hall San Francisco. Two young sisters, Xochilth of 15 and Perla of 18, proudly sang songs like "Mexico Lindo y Querido," "Paloma Querida" among others. After they got off the stage, Perla shared about the contest and asked for my support. It's clear she wants to win the competition but her sister is in it too. With that in mind, I was a bit confused--who should I vote for?
You be the judge!
Perla Aceves: 18 years old; 13 years singing. Aspires college degree to be a role model to her younger siblings-- sings at Children's Hospital, nursing homes and Churches.
Favorite artists: Pepe Aguilar, Alejandro Fernández, Rocío Dúrcal, Aida,Cuevas, and Juan Gabriel.
Xochilth Aceves: 15 years old; 10 years singing. Plans to study music in college. She's proud of her Mexican heritage and enjoys bringing smiles through her singing.
Favorite Artists: Aida Cuevas, Pepe Aguilar, Alejandro Fernandez, and Rocio Durcal.