Editor’s Note: This is a repost of my third interview as a contributing music & entertainment writer at Popular Hispanics, originally titled Stefani Vara: Don’t Call It a Come-Up…I’ve Been Here for Years and originally posted here. I’ll be posting it in 2 parts here at THE REAL popolio.
Stefani Vara is that Mexican-American around-the-way girl from H-Town, who also happens to be that pop star that’s been grinding for a decade. That’s okay, because she’s been told it takes that long to become an “overnight success.”
If she has anything to say about it, and I believe her, she will be hitting your radar faster than you can say, “Oye como va.” She’s that Latin thang you should know about, but maybe haven’t heard about…quite just yet.
The sexiness is a moot point; it’s her music that she wants you to care about. With pop, dance, R&B, and, of course, Latin influences, she hopes to make music that, not only, makes you wanna’ dance, but that you’ll remember for years to come.
In [what was] this EXCLUSIVE no holds barred Popular Hispanics interview, Stefani Vara answered whatever we threw at her with grace, tact, and dignity.
Listen to Stefani Vara’s new single, “Middle of the Night,” coming to iTunes and Napster, for your downloading pleasure, very soon. So, check for it!
Click the first pic to go to her official site and second, at the end of the interview, to get to her Facebook Page.
1. Who is Stefani Vara? Stefani Vara is a determined woman who continues to create a path to her own destiny!
2. lt seemed like you were on your way in NYC having signed to indie label, Siri Music, with your debut release, Storybook Diaries, and all the fashion campaigns, red carpets, high profile events, and crazy media coverage. What happened? Nothing happened. I am here and still running! You can still see me performing, supporting various events/charities, and walking the red carpets. It was great experience working with a label, but we had creative differences and it was time for a new path.
3. During that time, you were in a lot of magazine features, but had not quite achieved cover girl status. Is it about paying dues? Do you want to be a cover girl one day? I’ve been told by many veterans in the entertainment industry that it takes ten years to really make it in the industry and have a name…I am currently in my 10th year! The experience is different for everyone. For some, fame and fortune comes quickly with no hard work, but that is not my destiny. I feel the challenge of learning and understanding the business has taught me and shown me that there can be longevity in a career rather than easy come, easy go! So, WHEN I finally become that cover girl, it’s going to mean much more to me than someone who didn’t pay their dues.
4. You were at one of Chris Brown’s release parties. Was that before or after the Rihanna incident? Any thoughts on that? The Chris Brown event I attended was before the incident. The incidence of domestic abuse is always wrong and, unfortunately, this tarnished his career as a young pop star for awhile. I am not here to judge anyone; people make mistakes. Some small, some huge. I know that he learned from his past mistakes and hopes to be a better person.
5. How did the 2008 Southpole Footwear and Azzure Denim campaigns come together? Are you still signed to them? Do you want to do more modeling and fashion campaigns? The Southpole and Azzure ads came through my [former] record label. I am no longer signed to them, but I support them and thank them for all the support they gave me. It was such a great experience to be the face of a brand and in the campaigns! I am still modeling and auditioning for fashion campaigns, television, and films. I recently had the opportunity to walk in my first NYC fashion week show last year which was exciting and fun!
6. If you could get everything out of your system regarding your debut release, Storybook Diaries, what would you say about that experience? I would say my experience was bittersweet. If you know the music industry you know that just because you are with a label doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily “made it” and can just reap the rewards. On one hand, I recorded an album and that is exactly what I went to NYC to do. On the other hand, with the ever-changing industry, I never received a hard copy…I feel it could have gone a lot further if it wasn’t lost in the shuffle of the constant changes of the industry. It has been a learning process and I know I had to go through it in order to know what I really want now and where I would like to go!
7. In a 2010 interview for another online publication you’re quoted as saying that your debut “…only slightly touches on who [you are] as an artist” and that, “There is tons more passion, culture, strength, and flavor that [you] want to give and show.” Give me one example of each (passion, culture, strength, and flavor) and how you would bring that musically, lyrically, or otherwise.
- Passion: My love for music and entertaining.
- Culture: I want to bring in more of my Mexican roots and [a] live band sound.
- Strength: My continuance to keep going in this business.
- Flavor: My sexy style and fun personality.
All of these things are what I want you to get out of my music when you hear it. I want you to be able to get a vision of who I really am.
8. That same article references your major influences to be Selena, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and Alicia Keys. In the same way, give me one thing from each that you hope to emulate in your own music-making.
- Selena: She is my idol. I think about her lyrics in Spanish and English and how the Hispanic community loved her. I want to make music that people will love.
- Gloria Estefan: I want to bring in her vision of Miami Sound Machine. A fun band that would bring in a live sound that can be heard anywhere.
- Shakira: Her sexiness and hip-moving beats that make you want to get up and move.
- Alicia Keys: Her strong lyrics and deep melodies.
9. Are there any other artists you are influenced by? Or genres? I am influenced by all types of music. Growing up listening to country, R&B, and Tejano music has left me open-minded to artists from Portishead to Marvin Gaye.
10. Being a Houston girl, is it important for you to rep Houston and Texas? How do you do that as an artist? It’s super important for Texas and me to rep Houston. Most of my fans and supporters are from Texas. My family and roots are from Texas and that has made me who I am. Texas shows tons of love!!
To be continued TOMORROW…