Christina Aguilera has spent the past few months in Miami digging deep into her Latin roots, making peace with her past and taking inspiration from artists such as Chavela Vargas and Argentine newcomer Nathy Peluso for her forthcoming Spanish-language album.
Set to be released 20 years after her first Spanish effort Mi Reflejo, Aguilera has officially made her grand return to Latin music with “Pa Mis Muchachas,” a hypnotizing guaracha that features Peluso, Becky G and Nicki Nicole that dropped first thing Friday (Oct. 22) as the first single from her forthcoming LP.
“It’s been a project that I wanted to follow up for so long but I’m so happy that it’s happening now as a grown woman,” the 40-year-old singer-songwriter tells Billboard. “Having been a mother, having experienced the career I have, I bring a different view and set of passions. Now it’s coming from a deeper perspective and wanting to explore.”
Serving as a preview to the first of three chapters that will make up her Spanish project, “Pa Mis Muchachas” — produced by Rafa Arcaute and Federico Vindver — is an “homage to women,” the Ecuadorian-American artist says. “We wanted to make sure that this was definitely a representation of Latin women who are the strength of a family, the backbone. In the song we mention that I’m a woman that is strong because I was raised by a woman that was strong and so was she before that. It’s something that gets passed down by generations. I chose Nathy, Becky and Nicki because of the strength they exude.”
Aguilera met Peluso in Miami, and after meeting the “Mafiosa” singer, she began a “deep dive” listening to some of her music and was “blown away by her artistry,” she says.
“The fact that she incorporates rap and singing into her style is so fire and she literally is such an incredible performer. The way she moves and works that stage and her dancing, I was completely inspired and taken aback with her.” As for the other two, she adds, “Nicki is a young, amazing talent coming up in the business. And Becky, I mean, she’s so strong as well. I really wanted to gather these females who represent such strength.”
Releasing a guaracha (a rapid-tempo genre that originated in Cuba) song was just as intentional as the timing for this project. “I really want to embrace authentic things and not just go for whatever was reflective of being popular. We didn’t go the direct reggaeton route out the gate. I wanted to embrace this as a body of work and you’ll see different elements and sounds that will be gradually released well into 2022. We did it in a matter of having three different chapters and eventually you’ll see it go into my love for Chavela Vargas and being completely inspired by her rawness.”
The New York City-born singer scored her seventh top 10 album on the Billboard 200 when her 2018 album Liberation opened at No. 6. The 15-track set was her first album since 2012. Meanwhile, this new Spanish album will follow her Latin Grammy-winning Mi Reflejo, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart in September 2000 and remained there for 19 weeks. The album also peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard 200 chart.
“It can be intimidating and scary to put yourself out there in a way you know will be challenging. I don’t write in Spanish the way I do in English, but I know my heart,” says Aguilera. “It’s a layered journey I’ve been on but now having kids of my own, I want them to see that mommy doesn’t know everything. I’m still learning too and I’m not going to back down from something I’m truly passionate about because I’m scared or I’m afraid what people will think. This is me being me on my own journey of life. I could cry about it. It means a lot to me.”