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Awesome Mix, Vol, 3: Anything for Selenas

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This is a very special Awesome Mix, mis amigos, because on Friday, Nov 3, 2017, a legend will get her due. La Reina, La Leyenda, the one and only Selena, will get her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And if you think I’m talking about Selena Gomez, escuchame:
Selena is Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Latina icon whose music, fashion, and life still inspire legions of loyal fans long after her tragic death 22 years ago. She was known as the Queen of Tejano, a remarkable feat in and of itself because Tejano was a male-dominated genre until she took the stage. In fact, she was the first Tejano artist to win a Grammy for the Mexican/American Album in 1994– though this is only one of the 67 music awards to her name. During her lifetime, she recorded 13 albums, designed a fashion line sold in her two boutiques, starred in telenovelas and children’s education programs, and was the face of Coca-Cola.
Homegirl was everywhere, but what made us love her was that she was one of us: she had her crazy tight-knit family involved in her career and life, she had relationship struggles she overcame to be with the man of her dreams, she hustled her butt off, and she ate medium-pizzas all by herself! Not only did we love her for it, but that love was clearly returned. She was humbled by and ever-grateful for the support of her fans, never missing an opportunity to let that shine through.
She and her family had hoped that that loyalty would carry over when she began working on an English crossover album in early in 1995. Unfortunately, that album was never completed. Selena was murdered in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas by her fan club manager on March 31, 1995. The few songs she did record in English will always have us wondering what could have been. Still, the enduring legacy of her entire discography continues to inspire those of us who miss her.
And that love is finally getting the mass-media cred it deserves. Selena shirts can be seen on celebrities like Drake; MAC Cosmetics debuted a Selena-inspired makeup line last year; and she got her own Google doodle in early October. Needless to say, we Selena fans see this star as long overdue. May this mix show you why.

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
IF THIS DOES NOT GET YOU HYPE ABOUT LOVE, NOTHING WILL! This is all about how your heart’s reaction to your crush radiates through the rest of your body. Even if you want to deny your feelings, your heart, your dancing feet, and your singing is gonna betray you. Don’t fight the feelings!

Baila Esta Cumbia (Dance to this Cumbia)
By now, you should understand that, for Latinos, our priorities are family, food, and dancing. That’s our air, water, and earth. We need nada mas. And this song fulfills our desire to dance until 5 am. Join us, won’t you?

La Carcacha (The Hoopty)
The literal translation to the title is “The Jalopy,” but honestly, hoopty is the same thing. This cumbia is about the hoopty Selena’s song boyfriend is driving, and a little about the fact that he’s a bit of a hoopty himself. But hey, he treats her like a queen! And the car gets them where they need to go! So quit judging and just dance, people!

Amor Prohibido (Forbidden Love)
Everyone’s had that one person (or two, or five) their parents, their friends, their everybody did not want them to date. Well, dear heart, you’ve got Selena in your corner, so you win. She had to deal with haters when dating the guitarist in her band, Chris Perez. But the two endured, defying everybody by eloping. She meant what she sang here, folks: “El dinero no importa en ti y en mí, ni en el corazón (Money doesn’t matter to you or me, nor in the heart).”

I Could Fall in Love With You
One of Selena’s rare English singles, this is all about the moment you realize you’ve gone from “like” to “love”. It was the first song released after her death, giving a glimpse at what would have been her first foray into English-language pop music. Between the beats and her silky vocals, it proves she was ready.

Si Una Vez (If Only Once)
And now for something completely different: this is Selena scorned. Be warned, y’all: you screw up with Selena once, there is no second chance. You don’t get another opportunity to make her go loca over your mess, she is one and done.

No Me Queda Mas (I Have Nothing Left)
There is, of course, another side to heartbreak. If you’re on that mourning side, then this is your song. You’d swear Selena was about to start crying with each verse. The lyrics are full of anguish, but man, does she make pain sound pretty.

Tu Solo Tu (You Only You)
Then we add mariachi to the melancholy! Tu Solo Tu is an old song that has the singer blaming their lover for their drunkenness, their depression, the darkness in their life. Heartache never sounded so damn artfully beautiful.

Dreaming of You
For years, I associated this song with the final scene of the Selena movie, so I could not listen to it without crying. Then it was played at my Spring Fling dance in high school. I quickly learned how to hold back the tears and sway with the sorrow that day. But those of you free of my baggage of emotional association will hear it as a wonderful slow jam about a crush turning into a relationship.

Como La Flor (Like a Flower)
I was not gonna leave you in tears here, folks! Undoubtedly her most famous song, this was Selena’s first #1 hit. You sing this to any Latina, you better be ready for a singalong. This one’s deceptive, because it’s an upbeat song about heartbreak. Unlike the other lovelorn songs in this mix, though, this one gives you the sense that despite how much it hurts to let someone go, it’s all gonna be ok.

Baila esta cumbia with the playlist on Spotify! Search AM#3: Anything for Selenas.”

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Awesome Mix, Vol, 3: Anything for Selenas