Entertainment

AB Soto Is The Queer God With Absolutely No Time For You Machismo On His Schedule

Abraham “AB” Soto is here, queer and unapologetically Mexican. Having grown up in East L.A., Soto has channeled his experiences, culture and love of fashion to make bold, in-your-face statements. He really gives no f*cks what you think about him or his fusion of Mexican and gay culture because that’s who he is. PREACH!

First, AB Soto wants you to know that he is his own person and has no time for your machismo, Latin-men-should-do-this BS mentality.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I think there’s a lot of homophobia within the Latin community, and I think that there’s a specific ideal of what a man should be,” Soto told mitú. “There’s a specific role of what a Latin man should be, should look like, should act like, should dance like, and I’m not really interested in that. I’m my own person. If I want to wear a cowboy hat, and I want it to be pink, and I want the quebradita outfit to be sparkly sequins, get into it.”

And, yes, he does have a pink cowboy hat with a matching, sequined quebradita outfit, and it slays, honey.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I can be masculine, and I can be feminine, and I’m comfortable in my own skin, and if you have a problem with that, that’s kind of your problem with it,” Soto said. “If you want to leave a comment [laughs] in the comment section, go right ahead [laughs harder ?]. But, like what RuPaul said, ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.'”

Soto is addressing those who are offended by him wearing mariachi outfits – and he’s not biting his tongue. He wants the world to know he’s embracing what it means to be LGBTQ and Latino.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“They’re [haters are] like, ‘Oh, well, you’re making fun of our culture.’ And I’m like, ‘How so? I’m proud of my culture so I’m wearing it, but this is about homophobia,” Soto said. “Just because I’m gay, you don’t like me wearing it and, in your own words, I’m not a man because I’m wearing the mariachi outfit? But if I was straight, there would be no problem with it.”

But his social commentary goes much deeper than just his outfits.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

Soto, who studied fashion at Brooks College, can definitely put a jaw-dropping outfit together with no problem, but he also uses music to push his message. It isn’t just about embracing his Mexican background. His music and artistry also offers him a platform to get his culture out to the world.

He is using his name and his fame to let everyone know that you can be as Chicano and queer as you want, hunny.

There is nothing wrong with opening up and accepting all of your identity. Whether or not other people accept you is none of your concern. Just follow the energy and words of AB Soto and own your identity. By being a beacon of queer Latinos in the U.S., AB Soto is opening a pathway for so many other queen Latinos to follow him. That is a legacy worth fighting for and something we know will make life easier for so many people.

He stands up for and is a fighter for all of his communities.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

AB Soto navigates the same identity as so many queer U.S. Latinos. One where people have to determine what it means for them to be American, yet Latino. From a culture that is hyper-masculine, yet being a part of a community that is all about sexual freedom, liberation, and fluid identity. The constant pull between all of the different identities is something that so many people relate to and can see themselves represented in the performer.

“I was listening to a melting pot of music,” Soto recalled of his childhood in East L.A.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“Whether it was house music; whether it was Selena; whether it was my dad playing Vicente Fernández, corridos, charros, cumbia, like, everything, I was watching MTV and listening to pop,” he added. It was this melting pot experience that would later encourage and guide Soto to become the entertainer he is today. He has connected his two cultures and identities into one unapologetic, badass persona.

Soto, inspired by his life in East L.A., and decided it was time to try his hand in music, still tearing down machismo-enforced walls.

After trying rap and banjee ballroom music, Soto decided to go back to his roots.

“Making music, for me, isn’t really like a vain endeavor. It’s another paint brush for people to listen to my message,” Soto said. “So I said, ‘What area of music really needs a make over, really needs a voice?’And I, literally, was just like, ‘Well, I want to embrace where I come from and my Latin roots. So, I think that I need to, like, jolt this area of music that needs, like, a makeover.’ That, and also I wanted people to know that I’m [dramatic pause] Mexican!”

And it isn’t just the Latino community’s mind Soto is trying to open. This fierce Mexicano is also challenging the LGBTQ community’s thoughts on masculinity and beauty.

Yaasssss!!!! For too long, men within the queer community have tried to control what is and is not sexy for the community. There has been a toxic focus on masc for masc and an overwhelmingly accepted idea that “no fats, no blacks, no fems, no Asians” is just a preference. However, that is unacceptable in a tolerant and accepting society. Calling someone too fem shows a deep-seeded issues with gender norms and constructs, Soto argues.

He is constantly flirting with the line between masculinity and femininity through his dancing and clothing.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I want people to think. It’s like, I’m the same person, these are just articles of clothing, and if an article of clothing turns you off, there’s something there,” Soto said. “It might be homophobia, it might be your own fear of a drag queen. I want to jolt people into feeling these uncomfortable feelings.”

“Anything can look hot,” Soto said. “It’s just more of, like, the energy.”

“We’ve been trained that if you have the right outfit that you’ll have confidence,” Soto said. “If you have the right amount of muscles, you’ll have confidence, but it’s the other way around. Everything else is just drag for lack of a better word.”

AB Soto’s authentic and unapologetic sense of self and music has taken him far and wide, like to Tokyo, Japan.

Who would have guessed that there would be a bigger audience for queer, Latino music outside of the U.S.? Honestly, AB Soto is deserving of the global recognition and love he has received for his music. He keeps things real and never shies away from defending his sexuality and his background. He is the strong queer Latino lead so many younger queer Latinos can look up to.

Watch AB Soto’s hit music video “Cha Cha Bitch” below!

READ: 9 Things Only #Gaytinos (Gay+Latino) Understand

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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