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Reik's Jesús Navarro Remembers Self-Titled Debut Album 15 Years Later

REIK
Arnold Hemkes

REIK

Fifteen years ago, three multi-talented guys from Baja California, Mexico joined forces to release an album that has stood the test of time thanks to timeless hits like "Yo Quisiera" and "Noviembre Sin Ti."

Jesús Navarro, Bibi Marin and Julio Ramírez, known collectively as Reik, placed all bets on pop, heart-wrenching ballads for their eponymous debut album released May 24, 2005.

"I see that album with eyes of endearment because it was our jump into the pool," says frontman Navarro.

On the charts, the Kiko Cibrian-produced Reik peaked at No. 34 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums (chart dated Dec. 17, 2005). Songs that preceded the album include “Yo Quisiera," which peaked at No. 11 on the Hot Latin Songs (chart dated Sept. 10, 2005) and coming in at No. 18 on the tally was “Que Vida La Mía” (chart dated April 15, 2006).

The core of Reik is pop but fifteen years later, the trio has also been flexible and has adapted to current music trends by incorporating urban rhythms in the most organic way possible. And, while their sound has evolved, Reik's heartfelt ballads remain a constant and have proven to pair perfectly with any genre.

Just days before the album's 15th anniversary, we caught up with Navarro and spoke about fifteen years of Reik.

Where was Reik recorded and how long did it take you guys to put the album together?

It was recorded in a matter of two or three months total in a studio in San Diego called Signature Sound. When we went to the label, we had a demo with five or six songs on it and we then recorded the rest. Our producer was Kiko Cibrian, who we continue to work with today and who I love dearly.

When you listen to or even play songs like "Yo Quisiera" and "Noviembre Sin Ti," where do those tracks take your mind to?

I have to be completely honest. That album doesn't bring good memories and even our first tour was largely negative. Being famous didn't look like what I thought it would look like. I remember how insecure I felt and not really yet in love with the industry. But now looking back, I see that album with eyes of endearment because it was our like our jump into the pool. Putting this album together was a great experience and we were very lucky that our first producer was Kiko Cibrian. He's a great musician and a wonderful person too.

Since recording your first album, how has the album-making process changed for you guys? 

Pretty much everything has changed. We continue to be the same people but the circumstances have drastically changed and they have been changing throughout our career. We've become different people many times since we started. In this last phase, two out of the three now have families of their own we try to work around their availability. Now we have to consider other people too.

Also, we've learned to value ourselves and I think is one of the hardest things to do as an artist. When you're starting out, all you want to do is be onstage and connect with the audience but sometimes we put ourselves at a disadvantage.

How would you describe these past fifteen years of Reik?

Many things come to mind but first of all, I want to say that I feel gratitude. We've had the opportunity to do great things, meet so many interesting people, to sing with talented artists that we have admired for many years and people who have changed or are changing the world. Obviously we've worked for this but it's like we won the lottery.

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