It has been 25 years since her final artistry impacted US culture. The Tejano superstar, who brought Mexican women’s femininity in a domain, heavily dominated by men. Her name is Selena Quantinilla Perez, and her music is being remembered. Her sound has not been forgotten. In fact, hearing the first couple of notes in her voice, you recognize the face of the artist. Even if you never heard of Selena Quantinilla Perez, there was something about her sound, which had the ability to capture any crowd. It was not a problem for her to cross over. In fact, it made the experience of crossing over, that much more fruitful.
It has been 25 years since Selena released her final album, Dreaming Of You. The audacity for a Mexican-American woman to enter into the English-speaking part of music, was precious. Transitioning into mainstream US scene was iconic. She did it, and she did it, well! Listening to the various songs on the album, we are pressed into hearing a mixture of different beats. The album, Dreaming Of You, consists of slow, English-speaking ballads, and the vibrancy of Tejano music’s upbeat rhythms. “Captive Heart” takes on an R&B, Funk, Soul twist. There are simply a variety of different genres and styles, which colors the album.
Yes! It’s true. This album clearly establishes a level of uniques to Selena’s personality. It’s something many of her fans were not used to seeing. That’s one of the magical elements of this album. The power of musical travel grants an artista the ability to immerse personal vocality into another land. It takes a lot of work. A style of work, which is on a greater level. In fact, the complexity of the work is what makes it beautiful. The discomfort of having to move one’s vocality in a way, which is unfamiliar and unknown, is what makes such work, grand!
Listening to the album, Dreaming Of You, it is evident that Selena Quantinilla Perez is keeping her Tejano, musical presence within the project. That genre of Mexican music is familiar to her. Then, there are songs, such as “Missing My Baby,” “I Could Fall In Love With You,” and others. One of the songs, which takes her into the Soul genre of Black American people. Looking back on her earlier performances of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and Donna Summer’s hits of “Last Dance,” “Bad Girl,” and others, it’s not surprising, that she could perform such a genre. Her song “Wherever You Are,” from the album, was another venture into a Black American art form. It is known as Jazz. That, with a mixture of Soulful vocals was another atmosphere, covered in the album Dreaming Of You!
Obviously, Selena didn’t want the United States and Mexico to be the spaces, where she had ventured into, for her cross over phase. Jamaica’s dancehall beats in “Techno Cumbia,” was very apparent. Bringing a sense of familiarity to the song, Selena sings in Spanish. Interesting, isn’t it? Spanish vocals with musical whispers from Jamaican soiling. It is a beautiful take in understanding how the different art forms in Jamaican music have been embraced in Spanish-speaking nations. In the version of “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” on this album, we also hear the traces of Reggae music, within the song.
Ah! Were’nt we hoping the sounds of the mariachi would arrive? Clearly, they did in “El Toro Relajo” and “Tu Solo You.” Selena’s voice aligns so beautifully with both comparative rhythms. Making it known that in the nation of Mexico, and Mexican-American culture, there is musical richness; regarding the differing genres. Between both songs, we again hear a different side to Selena Quantinilla Perez. Same genre. Different style. Two beautiful songs, with differing colorings.
What is enchanting about this crossover album is that Selena continues to stay true to her Mexican/Mexican-American roots. “Crossing over” does not mean that she leaves her culture, behind. Not at all. In this cross over album, Selena presents how different musical styles can co-exist. In this musical project, you feel as if she is taking you on a mental journey of her personal diary, through these musical forms. It’s as if she is crafting a painting; describing each of the cultures she is truly exploring for the first time. I don’t mean singing this different genre of songs for the first time. No. I mean really exploring, and seeing the people of these unfamiliar cultures, for the first time. It’s fascinating how Selena utilizes her own culture’s music, as a guide into others. That, my Dears, requires a great level of musicianship, and artistry. It is a skill that many vocalists and musicians do not have.
In all honesty, Dreaming Of You, was more than what I thought it would be. I had never listened to the entire album. There were key songs making their way to my computer, via YouTube. Yet, in writing this article, it was very important for me to truly listen, and comprehend, the entire album of Dreaming Of You. From start to finish, and in between. In listening to each song, I truly learned something new about the late Tejano singer. That’s one of the blessed treasures when a great artist leaves their music behind. There is always a different experience, each time you listen to it. You learn something unique, every time. Its these moments, which permits fans and listeners to feel as if they have never left. That aura of them still being, near. It’s vibrant. It’s energizing! It gives hope, comfort, and healing to the human Spirit.
And so, in the many dreams that we have for ourselves, let’s continue our paths in letting music be our guide. Wherever we are in the world, whatever our cultural backgrounds, allow Heaven’s gift to lead you through the treasures of the human Spirit. Its healthy. It’s sacred. It leads us through many waters in Earth’s matriculation. Music is Heavenly water! Furthermore, it is another attribute for true understanding into how humanity is able to understand what’s, unfamiliar.
The very texture of Dreaming Of You is a dream, in every sense of the term. Every song feels as if you are passing through different worlds. It’s a splendid wonder. In fact, it brings a wealth of Universal dreams. This time, listeners are able to flow through various cultures, in revelation of these myriad dreams. You are floating; permitting yourself to acquire mental flight. It’s phenomenal! Your imagination becomes rich, with all kinds of wonder and inspiration. Love is sacred and beautiful. Creativity is filled with all of the tools, necessary for love. In fact, it is creativity, which invites love’s wonder, into our energy sectors. Music is the water, celebrating that love. That’s the very aesthetics of this entire album. After all, it is through dreams, where you find the very essence of, YOU!
To listen to the album, Dreaming Of You, by Selena Quantinilla Perez, you can click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFG3QP3gxpvuSfkZtMAXxy5wiagABSNrg