EXCLUSIVE: Get to Know Luz Rios

As one of ten children, Luz Rios grew up immersed in music – mariachi in particular. The sounds familiar to the Mexican-born singer would influence her music career tremendously – landing her a hit single titled Aire with legendary singer/songwriter Joan Sebastian and Latin Grammy nods. 

Now, Rios is tying loose ends on her upcoming album, Liberación. A departure in sound for the 30-year-old, the album is a blend of ballads, cumbia, and even reggae. “I Love You Boy,” Rios’ first single off of the album, is an up-beat song drenched in California vibes. The singer recently debuted the music video for the single, out on iTunes now. Liberación will be released on Jan. 9.

With six albums already under her belt, this is an exciting time for Rios. The singer recently stopped by Latina’s office and spoke to us about her new single, sound, and what she loves most about being Latina. Make sure to check out Rios’ music video below!

Congrats on your new single “I Love You Boy”! Tell us about the sound and how the song came about.

It’s a Spanglish love song with a very up-tempo beat – I was very inspired by Diana Ross & The Supremes. It’s just about the typical girl-guy fight, where the guy leaves and then she’s like, ‘What did I do? I didn’t do anything wrong!’ Usually guys walk away from fights but girls, no. We like to argue! [Laughs] She realizes that she’s totally in love with the guy and he means everything to her. It’s just a really sweet, lovey-dovey song – pero bien Latino tambien [but very Latino too]!

This is your seventh album – that is huge! Describe the album’s sound and how its different from your past work?

This album is going to be a very liberating album. There’s a very interesting fusion of sounds like reggae, but with a Latin flavor touch – always. It’s a very positive, fresh, and free-spirited album because of what’s going on right now in the world and the economy being upside down.

At first I was going to do something more serious, but then I thought, ‘No, I want something positive that maybe brings a smile to peoples’ face.’ That would make my day.

Tell us about how your childhood in Mexico has helped influence your music.

I came here when I was a teen; We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had this beat-up old radio so I used to love to listen to the radio because that’s how I learned my songs. I didn’t have money to buy CDs.

Growing up, I loved to listen to everything. There were not a lot of stations, but I would hit every single station from mariachi to cumbia to pop. I love all kinds of music and, of course, mariachi was a big influence in my music… and then when I came here to the U.S., I started listening to a lot of music in English and fell in love with rock n’ roll.

What do you like most about being Latina?

If I was born again, I would pray to God to be Latina again! [Laughs] La cultura (the culture), la familia (family). We’re all about family and loved ones and to me, that’s beautiful. It’s part of your identity. I was raised in a big family with 10 brothers, so to me, family is wonderful.

Who are some Latin artists you would love to record with?

Oh my God, there’s so many! I love Celia Cruz, I would have loved to do something with her when she was alive. I thought that she was phenomenal and she’s someone I look up to, not only as an artist, but she came across as such as sweet, down-to-earth lady. I would love to do something with Juan Luis Guerra – he’s an amazing writer and musician. I love Vicente Fernández – I think he represents us well.

Check out the new “I Love You Boy” music video below: