Want more of our September 2014 cover star Adrienne Bailon? Check out these exclusive quotes from her cover shoot and don't miss the rest of her interview on newsstands August 12!
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On speaking Spanish and keeping that part of her culture alive:
“My niece, we’re only speaking to her in Spanish. She’s only two years old, but she only speaks Spanish. We’ll be like, “Había un sapo que nadaba en el..” [singin]. So my friends get around her and they’re like, “Hey, little girl! How are you?” and she’s looking at them like, “I don’t know what you’re saying to me.” She only speaks Spanish. It’s part of our culture, being able to speak Spanish, and I always felt so grateful that, even though I’m first generation here, that I’m able to speak Spanish. Like, me defiendo. My grammar sucks. I sound like a Nuyorican for sure…”
On representing Latinas and being on the cover of Latina:
I’ve done interviews in Spanish and I’ve been like nervous thinking like, “Oh my God, grammatically, I probably sound frickin’ crazy,” but siento que soy Latina and I’m very proud of Latina. So, to be on the cover of Latina, you don’t understand… When I found out I got the cover, I called my mother and my sister on Face Time, and I was crying.
On being half Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican:
“My generation, the coolest thing was being Puerto Rican. Like, growing up here, like if you were Puerto Rican, you were hot. I didn’t know that many people who were Ecuadorian. And you know the saying, like “100 por ciento Boricua”? I’d be like, “But I’m only half!” My mother would be like, “It’s okay. I’m your mom. I carried you. Tu tienes la sangre Boricua.””
On growing up and singing:
“I grew up singing Spanish music, so I grew up singing La India, Marc Anthony, La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Selena. When Selena came out, I was obsessed. Me and my sister used to joke that we had a religion; we’d be like, “Selenate!” We thought Selena was like god. We used to sit there and listen to every song. But I grew up signing coritos at church, that was like the big thing. And then, from there, I always said, like, “Oh my God, I wanna be a singer,” and “I wanna be an actress” ‘cause I also used to participate in church plays. And there was something called the Shakespeare festival for children around here, and I actually auditioned for it and got in and traveled to all different places at like 7 or 8 years old. And, from there, a guy from a company called Ta-Da!, which was this agency… It’s so funny the things you remember. And they approached my mom, like, “We wanna sign her.” And my mom was like, “Hell no!” You know, la ignorancia. She didn’t know. She thought everybody was gonna try to kill her kid, kidnap them…”
On being in control of her image, public and private:
Unless I can have 100% control over what [a project] is going to be, I don’t really wanna do that. And I think you have to live life and make mistakes and learn from them. And you can’t do the same thing twice and expect a different result. I am in a relationship, and I’ve been in a relationship for five years and I didn’t want to show that because I didn’t want it to be a repeat of what I’d already done.