Entertainment

Record Labels Told Her No Because She Was ‘Too Latina’ So She Said Screw It And Created Her Own

LaLa Romero does it all. No, for real, she does. With every endeavor, LaLa takes it upon herself to build something, from the ground up.

This Chicana is an independent artist, soon-to-be founder of her own label, co-founder of her lifestyle brand Bella Doña, and a radio host for Apple’s Beats 1. But it didn’t come easy. When record labels told her there wasn’t a demographic for her music, she created a label herself. Streetwear brands weren’t catering to Latinas, so she and her business partner, Natalia Durazo, started one. “We weren’t in the forefront of the brands that existed, so we created our own,” she says.

mitú met up with LaLa for lunch at Escuela Taqueria in Los Angeles to see what the life of a real life boss looks like.

6:45 a.m. Daily


I’m forced out of bed by my bulldog, Biggie. He scratches at the side of my bed until I open my eyes and tell him good morning.

7:00 a.m.

?GOD BLESS?

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I do a guided meditation first thing in the a.m. Being quiet and still is really hard for me, so meditating is a serious challenge. Usually, I start off good then move into daydreaming about what I want to eat and completely lose focus. I try to do this daily before I open my emails or social media because once I’m in work mode there’s really no turning back. This guided [routine] is one I do off YouTube; it has you run an inventory of all the things you’re grateful for. I think this is an important way to start your day. All of the most successful, extremely busy [people] I know meditate. I’m hoping I get the hang of it soon and zen my vibe.

7:30 a.m.

She was a smart girl, until she fell in love. ??? #NewMusicComingSoon

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I journal daily. I have this Inner Guide planner my mentor gave me as a gift that has changed my life. She is the busiest woman in the music biz, anything she advises me to do, I’m on it. I update this journal every morning; it helps me sort my heart and work for the day.

8:00 a.m.


I walk Biggie to Starbucks and check all my emails. I’m basically juggling three different sectors of my career and brand, so I have to stay really organized or else all hell breaks loose and shit starts falling through the cracks. I spend around 20 minutes each morning in emails for each category: Music stuff with my manager, Beats 1 business with my producers, and Bella Doña with my business partner Natalia – which always turns into gossip sessions, since we are best friends, basically sisters.

9:00 a.m.

?

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The gym is like my therapy. If I skip it, I’m grumpy all day. It sounds corny, but working out gives me a cool, natural high and keeps my anxiety issues at bay. I listen to my Beats 1 show talk breaks from the day before, then listen to Zane Lowe because his show is a roadmap for many things I’ll touch on during [the] request [segment]. I learn so much by listening to him broadcast.

10:30 a.m.

???

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I grab more coffee and walk home. I walk instead of drive because it gives me time to listen to music and vibe in the sunshine. Nature, blooming roses, the fall leaves scattered on the ground all make me feel. I currently have Mac Miller’s new album “The Divine Feminine” in heavy rotation. I mostly get a lot of creative inspiration from heartbreak, so I’m always intrigued when people are in love and write about it’s upside.

10:40 a.m.


I check in and call our Bella Doña assistants. I break down daily objectives and put out any fires. We discuss customer service stuff, etc.

11:00 a.m.

Recent thrift find!! #22bucks

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I get ready for my day! I don’t do full hair and makeup daily, so I can then move pretty quick.

12:00–3:30 p.m.


I work on Bella Doña early afternoons. I try to go into our office three times a week and take meetings outside the other two days. Designing, photo shoots, styling–all concepts, Natalia and I handle it all except shipping. On Fridays, which is the only day I’m not on air for Beats 1, we do photo shoots.

The brand mimics our life, taste and sense of humor. It’s really hard to pass the baton and hire people to do any of these jobs because no one gets us like us. One of our goals with the brand was to create opportunities for women from the neighborhood. Our office manager Karmen was the president of my MySpace street team back in the day. She did so much for me I vowed to hire her one day when I could afford to. It’s been dope to hire from within our community. Models, photographers, everyone we work with is from our community, and I’m really proud of this.

Our office is filled with music and tacos. It’s a super fun creative environment where everyone is fighting over the aux cord to put each other up on new music or some shit we think the other has never heard. Music is the catalyst of why I started the brand. Bella Doña, all of it, was inspired by my struggles as an indie artist and me trying to find other creative ways to push my music and message.

Basically ???

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We have a taco stand on the corner up from our office. We reward ourselves with tacos when we finish our to-do list every day!

3:30 p.m.

✨BEATS1✨

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I head to Beats 1. If I’m busy with Bella Doña or my music stuff, I Uber so I can continue to work.
I get an oatmeal peanut soy smoothie every day [around this time] when I get to the studio! I’m a creature of habit. This smoothie is like a sweet reminder I’m halfway through my day!

4:00 p.m.


I start my show prep, run through new music and my show with my producers. It’s like dress rehearsal because my show is live!

5:00 p.m.


From 5–7 p.m., I’m strictly in BEATS 1 mode. I’m checking out new music, playing requests and talking to listeners. For those two hours, I force myself to not to even look at my texts or emails. I like to stay in the music and in the moment; the rest of my life gets put on hold for those two hours. I get so hype to crack the mic every day that if I think about it too much, I get nervous. I’m broadcasting to the entire world, and I’m among people like Ebro Darden and Elton John on any given Monday.

I’m extremely passionate about Beats 1 because of the platform it offers artists, especially indie artists. I’ve been indie my whole career. I know the struggles personally. I was tired of the music business telling me there wasn’t a market for my music. They weren’t understanding that this is viable. There’s no one speaking for this demographic of people, where are the people telling our stories. We exist. Our stories are important.

7:00 p.m.

Spent the day in studio with this beauty!! @reverielove X @kinglilg X me coming soon! ???????

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Once I wrap my show, I switch gears and start working on my music. Today, I was dealing with logos for my new record label. I have a bunch of deadlines to meet for my mixtape and for my next two music videos, which I’m finishing up now.

8:00 p.m.

Love hard 365 ❣

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I order delivery for dinner so I can work on my mixtape release. Currently, I’m working on video treatments, and locking in locations and styling. As an indie artist, it’s like five times the amount of work when I shoot a video. But I’m a total control freak, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love planning and shooting videos. It’s so much fun bringing my songs to life!

12:00 a.m.


I read a little bit before bed. I’m obsessed with memoirs and biographies. Right now I’m reading Kim Gordon’s “Girl In A Band” and Angie Martinez’s “My Voice.” These two books just happen to be about women who kicked down doors and lit the way for so many in the music business. It’s a pretty cool note to fall asleep on!

1:30 a.m.



I walk Biggie and time for bed!

Photos courtesy of @lalaromero‘s Instagram


READ: Meet Lora Arellano, the Latina Makeup Artist Rihanna Swears By

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Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Entertainment

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Pop music is far more complex and deeper than Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift (no offence, ladies). In a multicultural society like the United States, we have to rethink what we consider as mainstream. This term is generally used for artists whose work is consumed by Anglo audiences. Think about it, an African-American rapper “breaks into the mainstream” when white folk start paying attention, right? Otherwise, the artist is just “niche”. That is why we gotta reconsider what “mainstream” means when it comes to Latino artists and shows. 

Which brings us to Pepe Aguilar, perhaps one of the most popular singers in the planet and who is taking Mexico and the United States by storm with his Mexican rodeo extravaganza “Jaripeo Sin Fronteras”. The show brings together charreria, songs and a good doses of good old Mexican pride. 

So who is Pepe Aguilar? (as if you didn’t know, right?) 

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

His full name is José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez and he is Mexican-American as it comes. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his parents were on tour. He was raised in Zacatecas, where he first became a rock musician and had a band called Equs, which was influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who! Can you imagine that? Well, one thing led to another and he ended up going back to his Mexican roots and becoming one of the best-selling ranchera acts of all time. 

He is, of course, the son of the late great Tony Aguilar.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Pepe Aguilar has ranchera en la sangre. He is the son of Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, two legendary musicians in their own right. Tony Aguilar was also a strong presence in the Mexican film industry. Aguilar senior recorded over 150 albums, which sold over 25 million copies. Can you get more mainstream than that? Well, Pepe is making sure that the family legacy lives on. 

Introducing Jaripeo Sin Fronteras!

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

This amazing show has Pepe Aguilar as the lead, but includes acts by his kids Angela (what a voice on this lady!), Leonardo and Antonio Aguilar Jr. Marichis and rodeo acts are also included of course! The show is touring non-stop in 2019 in both sides of the border, bringing a message of unity. Just look at what they did in Mexico City.

Let’s not forget that for the Aguilar family showbiz is like second nature.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

The show just flows like the musical blood that runs through those Aguilar veins. This is Pepe with his brother, perhaps the only Aguilar not deep into showbiz! In an interview for CE Noticias Financieras, Guadalupe Pineda, the famous Mexican singer and Pepe’s cousin, says of him: “Pepe is a great dad, he’s doing the best for every one of his kids. As an aunt, you simply know and feel that we can all be wrong and that the boy is very young and has every right in the world to get ahead”. 

So, of course, the show includes the next generation of Aguilar talent!

Credit: Instagram. @angelicaguilar_mxfan

Angela Aguilar followed the family tradition of being born while on tour. She came into the world in Los Angeles while her mother was accompanying Pepe Aguilar on tour. And you can tell that musical talent is there. Her version of “Shallow” is enough to make anyone cry! And she had Lady Gaga’s blessing, as Angela said in the Mexican TV show Ventaneando: “Suddenly I’m playing the piano trying to practice and concentrate. Lady Gaga said yes, practice, you’re going to sing it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die! I mean, Lady Gaga knows who I am is like. wow!”.

The show includes all sorts of equine acts, and the horses are quite unique.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Some of the amazing horses in the show are shaved by the amazing Rob Ferrell, a barber who is so dexterous with the blade he is able to imprint a Mexican aguila y serpiente on the equine’s skin. You can look at his work (on human and horse surfaces!) here: https://www.instagram.com/robtheoriginal/  

The show has been a sold-out in localities North and South of the Border.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Look at the Honda Center in Anaheim: un lleno total, carajo! Pepe Aguilar is a consummate businessman and he knows that every city is slightly different. He explained the concept to Billboard: “It’s basically a modular concept, where you can change the pieces. The fundamental parts are the horse shows and the Mexican traditions. In some cities we’ll have special guests, in others, only the family is going to perform”. There are still some dates available this year: 

September 20 — Atlanta, Georgia @ Infinite Energy Center

September 22 — Chicago, Illinois @ Allstate Arena

September 27 — Tacoma, Washington @Tacoma Dome

Even if you are not a fan of ranchera culture, you have to admit the show is quite spectacular: the whole Aguilar family makes an appearance, look at Leonardo riding that horse.

Credit: YouTube. @STO

Leonardo is the latest success story in “La Dinastía Aguilar”. He has been nominated for two Latin Grammys despite his tender age: only 20 and he is already a great act. He released his first record when he was only 12-years-old, Nueva Tradición, a collaboration with his sister Angela.

And of course Pepe Aguilar has been super amazing with fans, because that is just who he is.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

You don’t get to be on top and stay on top without being an approachable and kind celebrity. Pepe Aguilar knows well who pays his wages: the millions of fans that love him and his multi talented family. 

And of course Mexican cities are embracing the show with sold out venues.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has had a huge appeal in Mexico, which tells us that being “Mexican” goes beyond national borders. No one cares Pepe Aguilar was born in the United States: we share one identity and one heart. 

So can haters admit Mexican culture is mainstream now?

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has performed in the main arenas of almost every major city in the United States. See what we meant with rethinking what mainstream means?

And yeah, those are some of the most beautiful caballitos we have ever seen.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Just look at those ojitos pispiretos, beautiful beasts. And as Billboard reports, no animals are harmed, so worry not: “Pepe, who rides several of his Andalusian horses in his own equestrian performance, also specifies that no animals are hurt during this tour”. 

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Things That Matter

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Yolanda Saldívar, the woman convicted of killing the iconic singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, is demanding a new trial. In an exclusive interview with Radar Online, the late “reina de Tejano music’s” former fan club president alleges there is evidence that could free her from her lifetime sentence for the 1995 murder.

Saldívar claims that the prosecutor in her case, Carlos Valdez, has been holding exculpatory material evidence.

According to Saldívar, it is proof that is favorable to the defendant and shows that Valdez did not disclose to the defense or the jury in the trial for Selena’s 1995 murder more than two decades ago. She says that Valdez discussed the alleged evidence, a pair of high top white Reebok sneakers and a black baseball cap, during an interview with Spanish-language media.

“The Petitioner paraphrases Mr. Valdez’s media interview where he stated that he and the defense counsel, the late Mr. Douglas Tinker, discussed what [evidence] would or would not be introduced to the jury,” reads court paperwork of a Second Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Saldívar on March 28, 2019.

“How could this be? It is the jury, no less, that would decide the fate of the Petitioner, between [life] in prison and [freedom]. The jury, NOT the defense or the prosecutor is the trier of fact of all relevant material evidence and they alone should and DID determine between conviction and acquittal,” she writes.

In layman terms, Saldívar contends that allegedly relevant evidence in her case wasn’t presented to the jury.

This information is obligatory, and suggests that leaving out the information was “a nefarious attempt to obscure a verdict against the Petitioner.” According to her, including the hat and shoes in the evidence could impact the case against her.

In the interview, Valdez passively says that Saldívar was wearing the bloody hat and sneakers. He attests that Saldívar stepped in Selena’s trail of blood as she followed the late singer running for her life. However, Saldívar, who claimed the shooting was accidental, asked that if the shoes and bloodstains on them could prove she committed the crime, then why did the prosecution exclude them as evidence.

“The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers read. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.” 

She continued, saying she had “no doubt” the prosecutor “impaired the verity of the evidence by not only withholding the evidence but claiming that those tennis shoes belonged to the defendant, inciting and infecting the public’s sediment even more against the Petitioner before, during and now with his recent media interview.”

Saldívar went as far as accusing Valdez of knowing “those tennis shoes belonged to the victim” and said “withholding them helped get the conviction of the Petitioner practicing a travesty of justice to the rule of law and violating the constitutional rights of the Petitioner.”

Despite her demands, however, Saldívar’s case was dismissed without prejudice because the Petitioner filed the petition in district court and must seek permission from the Fifth Circuit.

Saldívar, a former nurse, founded Selena’s fan club in San Antonio. She became the club’s president and was later also promoted to manager of the late artist’s clothing boutiques, Selena, Etc. 

In 1995, six years after Saldívar had started the club, Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, was receiving complaints from fans that they weren’t receiving their paid items and heard rumors from fellow employees that Saldívar had been embezzling money from both the fan club and the boutiques. As a result, Saldívar was fired. 

On March 31 of the same year, Selena met with Saldívar at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi to retrieve financial records Saldívar had been refusing to give to the Quintanilla family. While the “Como La Flor” singer was leaving the motel room, Saldívar shot her in the back, severing an artery. Selena, in critical condition, ran toward the motel lobby. Before collapsing, an employee claims the songstress named Saldívar as her shooter.

Selena was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. 

At the time, she was 23 years old. Soon after, at the Days Inn, Saldívar was in a nine-hour-long standoff with the police, calling the shooting an accident and threatening to kill herself before she was arrested.

On October 23, 1995, jurors found Saldívar guilty of first-degree murder. Three days later, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole in 30 years — the maximum prison term in Texas at the time. She is currently serving her time at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She will become eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.

Read: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled