Getting the great Vicente Fernández to record a song with you wasn’t always easy. Just ask Ana Bárbara who for many years persisted until one day he agreed.
“I went on tour with him twice in the U.S. and during those shows, I’d go onstage to sing with him,” she tells Billboard. “But we had never actually recorded a song together, and I would always tell him that it was a dream of mine. After I insisted and insisted, he said ‘yes’ with a song I had just written, called ‘La Jugada.’ He was very particular in that aspect, so it had to be the right song.”
Seven years ago, the Mexican singer-songwriter was at Fernández’s ranch Los 3 Potrillos in Jalisco, Mexico when she personally played “La Jugada” for him. It was an instant yes but the actual recording of the track and then recording the music video was a “process.”
“These things take time, you know, and I din’t want to rush anything,” Bárbara adds. “When we finally recorded the song five years ago, it was magical. He was able to hear our recording before he passed and he was really happy with it.” They then filmed the music video three years ago — two years before the ranchera titan died in December 2021. “I can now say that I have a song with Don Vicente Fernández. It’s a dream come true.”
Bárbara — who is set to receive Icon Award at the 2023 BMI Latin Awards in March — first met the “El Rey” singer when she was just 12 years old. She vividly remembers watching him perform at a Palenque in Guanajuato, Mexico. “It was impactful,” she remembers. “It’s a moment that marked my life. That little girl dreamed of one day singing with him. He’s no longer with us, but our song will live forever. To know that we were able to unite our voices gives me peace.”
“La Jugada” is a romantic mariachi ballad where Bárbara and Fernández passionately sing lyrics about putting their guard down and opening themselves to love. Stream the song below: