Humility is a quality that is often removed from chart-topping artistry.
Still, on a balmy summer afternoon, Becky G, the Mexican-American singer, actress, and spokesmodel is stretching her itinerary as far as she can to accommodate New York’s 103.5 KTU radio station. Sitting pretty on hits like, “Mayores” featuring Bad Bunny, “Sin Pijama” with Natti Natasha, and “La Repuesta,” with Maluma — the Inglewood-born songstress challenges the mainstream’s notion of what American music is.
Becky G has even grown to be a fan favorite on the English-language iHeartRadio station. As KTU’s personnel questions whether or not she wants to meet outside with additional press, Becky G cheers, “let’s do it!” Already prepared for the heat, Becky G sweeps her ponytail back, as she adjusts herself to take the carpet, giving her makeup a quick double-take. Soon lightbulbs flash, and questions about her Premios Juventud statues and the Latin American Music Awards flood her.
Visibly maintaining her “Becky from The Block” aesthetic, the singer dons a baggy golden tracksuit and matching sneakers. Her entourage hoovers, understandably protective of the starlet. But Becky G’s demeanor is warm and sincere towards each event affiliate she interacts with. And amid the #KTUphoria commotion, Becky G connected with The Knockturnal to discuss Latinx genre labels, the power in her bilingual verses, and her solutions to the “lack of opportunity and acknowledgment” within música urbana.
The Knockturnal: Becky G, your song with Digital Farm Animals, “Next To You” featuring Rvssian created a segue into the summer. There has since been a slew of remixes released, including one with the singer, Davido. What are your thoughts on this UK-meets-Jamaica-meets-Nigeria-meets-Latinx collab? [Laughs]
Becky G: I love it. Yes, I love it so much! [Laughs] I am coming from the Latin side of the music world. I have been living in it for some time. It has really inspired my music. If you look at it, every song has its own remix.
There is a remix. And then, there is a remix of the remix, of that remix. [Laughs] I think it is nice to give a song that people have heard a new spin. There is a new vibe. So, yeah, I am just happy it is out for the vast majority.
The Knockturnal: How was your recording session with Maluma for “La Respuesta“?
Becky G: “La Respuesta” is such a fun song. If there is anything that people should know about me, it is that I am a girl’s, girl. I am all about female empowerment.
I am all about taking a message, and showing that you do not have to be a girl, to be a girl’s girl. You can be a man that supports women, too. Maluma is like a brother to me. He actually brought this song to the table. He was like, “I want you to do this with me.” I said, “Perfect! Let’s do it.”
The Knockturnal: The latest Zumba video was pretty dope. Did you know about this one in advance?
Becky G: Yes, I did! [Laughs] I did, and I am so excited for this Zumba collaboration. Honestly, it is something that is going to be so fun. We have a show coming up. So, it is going to be awesome.
The Knockturnal: How do you feel when mainstream platforms group Latinx artists’ music under the term Latin, as if the overall culture of these different places and peoples can be encompassed as a single genre?
Becky G: Right! Uh, it is interesting. I think we have made progress, but I believe there is still a lot of work to do. I think we are in a really interesting and exciting time in music. We are noticing that genres do not really exist [within those parameters].
I recorded my first country song this year. That was dope, and it was in Spanglish. It went to no.1 on Spanish[-language] radio. That goes to show that music is a universal language. It is meant for everybody to enjoy.
I have always felt that way since I was a little girl. The fact I get to ignore the boxes that people try to put me in, and I get to make the most out of every opportunity — is kind of like a challenge to me. I live up to it! I love it.
The Knockturnal: What is your hope for the mainstream representation of Latinx artists’ accomplishments. For example, Bad Bunny recently sold out Madison Square Garden.
Becky G: For instance, Bad Bunny! The truth is, it is not that there is a lack of talent. There is obviously a lot of talent. I think there is a lack of opportunity and acknowledgment. So, I think it is going to come down to [Latinx artists] working together and staying united.
Also, there is a sharing of gifts. If you notice one thing about the Latino community, well, I know this for sure — we love to share our culture. Like, we get excited when we see Will Smith speaking in Spanish and rapping in Spanish. [Laughs] We love that people love our food.
We love that people love our language. It is a beautiful thing to share. I think as we are able to continue to share more, people are going to say, “Oh! I want to be apart of that.”