An interview with Thalia...
By JOEY GUERRA
Miami - Soap opera siren. Dance diva. Tabloid bombshell. Try as you might,
it is impossible to fully capture the essence of Mexican superstar Thalía.
At age 27, the multi-faceted entertainer has conquered hearts and countless
countries with her savvy mix of glamorous sexuality and warm girlishness.
One minute she’s vamping it up in an outrageous outfit, the next she’s
giggling with delight at a corny joke.
Perhaps now more than ever, Thalía’s potential is nearing full bloom. Her
latest album, Arrasando, is a sweltering mix of Latin rhythms and club
beats, and it is proving to be her most successful musical outing yet. Both
the album and the first single, Entre el Mar y una Estrella, have bolted
into Billboard’s Latin top ten.
“This album has different rhythms. There’s pop, because I’m a Latin pop
singer, and it also has the Latin rhythms that characterize me,” says
Thalía,” relaxing in her penthouse suite in between a day of interviews,
champagne toasts and late-night dinners to promote the album. “It also has
dance, rap, a little R&B, a little of everything. It’s an exact mix - como
un spaghetti al dente, yo creo.”
More success has come with Rosalinda, Thalía’s latest telenovela about a
poor little rich girl that is garnering big ratings in the U.S.
Thalía has also signed on as the official celebrity spokesperson for
Latino.com, the premier bilingual portal for the Latin community. Thalía
will make live appearances on behalf of Latino.com and will participate in
print, radio, television and online interviews, chats and other forums.
The topper, however, is true love. Thalía has been romantically linked for
months with Sony president (and Mariah Carey’s ex) Tommy Mottola. Given the
high profile of both lovebirds, it’s a relationship made in gossip-mag
heaven, a fact that isn’t lost on the star.
“It’s difficult to be someone famous, because everyone is always trying to
take photos of you - paparazzi, etc,” Thalía says. “That’s what the public
wants to see, but I don’t let anyone invade my private life. There are
certain limits ... but I am very happy, and I am very content with my life.”
The road to pin-up princess has been carefully planned from the beginning.
Thalía cut her chops as part of the kiddie groups Din-Din and Timbiriche
(alongside fellow pop tart Paulina Rubio), belting out frothy pop songs and
showcasing energetic dance moves that quickly got her noticed.
She honed her acting skills with small roles on the telenovelas La Pobre
Senorita Limantour, Quinceanera and Luz y Sombra. However, it was the
record-breaking Maria trilogy - Maria Mercedes (1992), Marimar (1994) and
Maria la del Barrio (1995) - that cemented Thalía’s superstar status.
Musical acclaim, however, took a bit more work. Thalía’s first three albums
(Thalía, Mundo de Cristal, Love) on the Fonovisa label were forgettable
pop-rock affairs, marked by unspectacular production and vocals.
It wasn’t until Thalía signed with EMI Latin that her musical talents began
to mature. Her first disc with the label, 1995’s En Extasis, produced the
hit Piel Morena. It introduced a lush, tropical sound that marked Thalía’s
next album, 1997’s career-defining Amor a la Mexicana, which traded in
sex-kitten oohs and ahhs for sweltering rumba, cumbia, salsa and merengue
“I wanted to give my sound some air - un nuevo ‘look,’ a new taste - for my
public,” Thalía says. “I always like to change, to evolve, to make my public
fall in love with me. To do that, you have to do things different each
Amor a la Mexicana also found producer Emilio Estefan Jr. taking a major
role in shaping Thalía’s evolving sound. His glossy touch has helped Thalía
grow considerably as a vocalist and interpreter.
“He brings all his experience to my work,” Thalía says of Estefan. “We have
a very special, very beautiful chemistry together.”
The new direction laid a firm groundwork for Arrasando, Thalía’s most mature
and accomplished album to date. Along with showcasing some serious
glitterball grooves on tracks such as Tumba la Casa and Suerte en Mi, the
album also delves into issues of death and rebirth on Entre el Mar y una
Estrella, Regresa a Mi, Reencarnacion and the title track.
“I can tell you my album is very aggressive and very danceable,” Thalía
says. “It was very organic, very easy. Everything fell into place, and the
album was born. The preparation for the album took 7 months - different
guitars, sounds and choruses.”
Another rediscovered challenge for Thalía was writing, something she had not
done since her early albums. She penned seven songs on Arransando and
co-wrote one. For the sexy singer, it was all a matter of timing.
“On my first albums, I had more time to write songs such as Un Pacto Entre
Los Dos and Saliva, lots of songs that were eventually hits,” Thalía says.
“When I started working on the novelas, my time was gone. Now that I took my
vacations after the novela Rosalinda to prepare this album, all the emotion
that I had stored up came out.”
Finding the motivation to write, however, proved a little more challenging,
given the singer’s hectic schedule. She often found the ideas coming at
“I almost always get inspired at the point of falling asleep, when I’m
thinking about things I’ve done during the day” Thalía says. “From there, it
suddenly comes, and I don’t fall asleep until early morning. Other times
it’s when I wake up and am still in bed, anticipating a new day.”
With so much success, and the current fascination with all things Latin,
Thalía seems a likely candidate for crossover dreams a la Enrique Iglesias,
Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony. An English-language album from Colombian
rocker Shakira is due this year, but Thalía could prove unstoppable in a
world where sexy entertainers such as Shania Twain, Britney Spears and
Christina Aguilera reign supreme.
Thalía has recorded tracks in English for albums released in Asia and for
the 1998 Dance With Me soundtrack. Unless America comes calling first,
however, don’t expect her to enroll in intense English lessons anytime soon.
“I’m very focused on my longtime fans, my fans who have always supported
me,” Thalía insists. “What I do in my career is very beautiful. Thanks to
the novelas and the music, I have been accepted internationally outside of
America. The novelas are shown in 180 countries.
“It’s something different. I go sing in Greece, Africa, the Philippines,
Indonesia, Spain, France. I already have that. If America likes it and turns
toward me, then welcome.”
For now, English-speaking fans will have to await the arrival of Mambo Cafe,
Thalía’s big-screen American debut. The romantic comedy centers on a family
in Spanish Harlem who devise a crazy plan to attract business to their
The movie, which was released in Mexico last month, was filmed two years
ago, and it co-stars Danny Aiello, Kamar De Los Reyes and Rosanna DeSoto.
“It was a great experience,” Thalía says of working on the film. “It was the
first time I made a movie in English, within the Hollywood system. I did it
as a test to see what it’s like to do something in another language, to act
in another language. That’s the way all big-screen successes begin.”
With so much going on, the young entertainer’s varied career should keep her
in overdrive for awhile. When the all-too-rare spare moment arrives,
however, Thalía insists she is just like anyone else.
“I like to go to new restaurants. I love food and I love trying new dishes,”
she says. “I see my friends, my family - like any other person.”
-Use your return button to go back-