Roberto Tapia on the 'Big Responsibility' of Singing at This Weekend's Canelo vs. Khan Boxing Match
Roberto Tapia will be performing on a different stage than he's used to this Saturday in Las Vegas when he jumps in the boxing ring to sing the Mexican national anthem prior to Saúl "El Canelo" Álvarez and Amir Khan's boxing match.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the "Vale La Pena" singer describes as a big responsibility and one that he hopes will become a great moment in his career.
A day before his anticipated performance, Tapia talked to Billboard about how this collaboration with Canelo came about, his new music in the works and a few punches he has taken himself throughout his career.
Billboard: You'll have all eyes on you when you're singing the Mexican national anthem on Saturday, are you feeling nervous? Excited?
I'm very happy but nervous since this is a big responsibility. I've been practicing so much that I actually dreamt about me singing the anthem. I just really want to do a great job and leave the audience very happy.
So how did this invitation come about? Are you friends with Canelo?
I know him but we're not friends or hang out, but I heard that he's a big fan of my music so that's why I was chosen. To be honest it's a great honor because he is probably the most promising boxer Mexico has right now. So I'm flattered that they even thought about me to sing for this great athlete.
How does one prep to sing the national anthem? I'm sure it's nerve wrecking to even imagine forgetting the words to it, like it has happened to other artists on several occasions.
God, don't even say that. That's kind of the first thing that comes to mind, 'don't forget the lyrics!' I mean I know the anthem, but these past few days I've been singing it over and over.
Like boxers, I'm sure you've had to take a couple of punches here and there throughout your career. For example, criticism of the narcocorridos you sing.
Getting to where I am has not been easy and I thank God that it hasn't been easy because if it was, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. Because of those punches, I've grown, learned to navigate through this industry and accept the criticism that comes with the narcocorridos I sing. I'm only singing the truth and what is currently happening in Mexico and people want to hear the truth. I'm a very transparent person and just because I sing narcocorridos, it doesn't make me a bad person. I have nothing to hide.
Would you ever stop singing narcocorridos?
I will never stop singing narcocorridos because I like them. I like to sing about real stories, stuff that happens every day and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Plus, singing narcocorridos hasn't affected me in any negative way. I've had the opportunity to be part of shows like La Voz Kids as a judge, collaborated with so many other artists like Enrique Iglesias and Prince Royce, and now this opportunity tied to sports.
Can we expect new music from you anytime soon?
I'm working on a new song that will most likely be ready to premiere in July. A full new album will probably come until beginning of 2017.