July 11, 2008
By Kiko Martinez
It has been over two years since Latina pop singer Thalia released her last album, El sexto sentido (The Sixth Sense), a bilingual compellation produced by Colombian songwriter Estéfano, who had previously worked with artists including Gloria Estefan, Paulina Rubio, and Chayanne.
With her new album Lunada (loosely translated as a celebration under the moonlight), which was released on June 24, Thalía reconnects with music producer Emilio Estefan Jr., who she worked with during 1995’s En éxtasis, 1997’s Amor a la Mexicana, 2000’s Arrasando, and her 2002 self-titled album.
During a phone interview from New York City, Thalía talked about what inspired her to record Lunada, how motherhood has affected her life, and how she has been able to stay successful for almost 20 years.
It seems like you really want Lunada to be an album people can take with them to the beach to listen to while having fun.
Yes, when people listen to this album, I want them to feel freedom, to feel easy-going. It’s an album about going to the beach with your friends, starting a fire, and playing the guitar and dancing. It’s about spending the day on the beach until nighttime and just having fun, enjoying the moment, and laughing about everything.
Where did the idea for Lunada come from?
I started to think about the album when I was eight months pregnant last year and I couldn’t handle it anymore. [The baby] was so big and heavy and I was so hot and I was just thinking about the beach and bikinis and strawberry daiquiris and friends. I started getting obsessed by the thought of the beach.
So, the beach has always been an important part of your life?
Yes, my mother’s family is from Baja, California near Cabos. When I was a baby I always went to the beach. To me, it’s organic. It’s part of me. This music has that feeling. The music has pop, reggae and calypso and a little ukulele guitar. The lyrics are fun and based on life experiences. It has a very positive feeling.”
You’ve said Lunada is “the easiest album” you’ve ever recorded. What made is so effortless?
It was in a moment of my life that everything fit in place. Everything was in the place it had to be, I cannot explain it. Everything was simple. Everybody had a good time. It was like, “Let go and let God.”
Did being a new mother also have something to do with it?
Yes, because when I became a mother it changed my world, it changed everything. When you become a mother you understand the human condition. You understand your parents. You understand life from a different angle and perspective. That definitely had a lot to do with the new music that I am doing.
The song “Bendita” on the album must be very special to you since you wrote it for your newborn daughter Sabrina Sakaë.
It was special. I told Emilio and the musicians that I needed a song that was pop reggae and middle-tempo. I wanted something that would make you move and bounce. One day, I was listening to the [instrumental] track they came up with while driving to the studio and immediately felt the melody and immediately had these lyrics I needed to write down. I pulled any piece of paper I could find and started writing. When I arrived at the studio I said, ‘We need to work on this song now.’”
What do you want Sabrina to know when she gets older and can understand what the words you wrote to her mean?
I just want her to know that she is a blessing in my life. She is a blessing from God. She is a fresh breath. Just like the song says, she is my reason, my smile, my child of God
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation in July?
Beautiful white sand, turquoise oceans, laying down with an umbrella over my head and feeling the sun on my legs and having a delicious Bahama Mama on my side and hearing music from a bar far, far away and hearing the ocean. Maybe it’s Tahiti or Mexico or the Philippines. Wherever they have this place, I’m in.
You’ve been in the music industry for almost 20 years. What have you learned about yourself as a musician?
I’ve learned that everything is subject to change. You have to improve your game all the time and motivate yourself. You have to be open to changes in the industry and the world around. You have to evolve with everyone, keep the rhythm, and reinvent yourself.