Lupita Infante remembers traveling to Mexico to appear on the country’s version of The Voice. It was all surreal, she said, but the one thing she will never forget is that she lost.
“My heart was pumping so hard I could feel it throughout my whole body,” Infante recalls. “All of my practices were really bad because I was nervous, but when I got to the stage I had to woman-up and just do it.”
Add the presence of four of Latin music’s biggest names — Carlos Vives, Maluma, Yuri and Laura Pausini — to that equation and the pressure multiplies in the most surreal of ways, Infante said.
During her critique session, Pausini and Jorge Sanchez — a veteran executive formerly with Sony Music Latin and currently a partner with the Miami-based Entotal Agency — reassured her that she performed exceptionally well.
“Lupita has everything that any full artist needs to have in order to be in the big leagues,” Sanchez said. “She has the education and she respects the genre [mariachi].”
Yvonne Drazan, Peermusic’s president, Latin Division, West Coast, echoes those sentiments.
“I’m so excited about what Lupita brings to this genre,” Drazen said. “She has this uniquely sweet, clear tone to her voice. We need more female representation in regional Mexican and I’m planning on setting her up on co-writes with some heavy hitters.”
Infante and her team have wasted no time. Already they have recorded new music and gave Billboard an exclusive first listen, but the final material will be unveiled at a later date as the tracks are mixed and mastered.
“Lupita has a voice that combines a traditional mariachi sound with contemporary pop color,” said Carlos Alvarez, the Texas-based musician and music executive at Azteca Music Group who is working with Infante on her new project. “She can sing a traditional ranchera and belt out strong vocals… soothing and sensual.”
In the tracks made available to Billboard, Infante’s vocals take command and highlight her trained voice, but she knows that people are going to take to their social media accounts to comment. In some ways it’s what she’s grown accustomed to through the years, starting with the death of her father, Pedro Infante, Jr., nine years ago.
“That was a really tough year for everybody,” Infante recalls. “It helped me grow a lot and through mariachi music and these songs I have decided that I’m going to walk into my dad’s footsteps because that is what’s really helped me with my journey as I’ve healed.”
Listen to Lupita Infante sing “Luna de Octubre” below. Infante will perform at Mariachi USA at L.A.’s Hollywood bowl Saturday night (June 23).