For millions of Latin fans, Thalia is a brand onto herself: Latin pop queen, glam businesswoman, erstwhile soap opera star. But at home in Darien, Conn., she’s simply Mrs. Mottola, wife of veteran music executive Tommy and mother of two. Despite her ever-busy lives, Thalia, 43, is releasing her 17th album, Amore Mio, Nov. 17 on Sony, and in February her latest fashion line will debut at 300 Macy’s stores.
Why did you name the album Amore Mio?
The title comes from a song written by Jose Luis Roma [one-half of Mexican pop duo Rio Roma]. It’s a very acoustic album. It’s like a bridge between [2009’s live acoustic album] En Primera Fila and [2012 studio album] Habitame Siempre. It [bridges] the spectrum between live musicians and programming.
En Primera Fila topped Mexico’s sales list for 55 weeks and sold close to 1 million copies. Did that affect your musical approach at all?
En Primera Fila took me out of my comfort zone. I feel I’ve started a brand-new career, with no ties or taboos. I learned to perform. I used to rely too much on arrangements and production, things like dancers and explosions. This album allowed me to focus on what my work is: the ability to get up there and tell a story.
How did your duet with Becky G, “Como Tu No Hay Dos,” come about?
I was being honored at a benefit in New York along with other women who’ve impacted the Latin world, and Becky G performed with her guitar. I saw myself at that age. I thought, “I remember Thalia with stars in her eyes.”
How involved is your husband when you record?
We have intense dialogues about cosmic architecture. He doesn’t understand the words because it’s not his language, but he gets the feelings. And not listening to Tommy is just stupid.
Tell us about your Macy’s line.
It’s the first Macy’s brand by a Latin artist. Fashion is my other great passion. I’m working with an all-female team, and we sat down and analyzed the woman we want to dress. She’s a hard worker, she’s active, she has kids, and she’s in love.
Sounds a lot like you. Among all those things, what do you do when you have free time?
The best is when we go to the Bronx, to the neighborhood Tommy grew up in. We go to the bakery, drink espresso and eat the best pasta in a hole in the wall. But if it’s just Tommy and I, we love to just drive around and talk. You know, you have to reinvent love.
This article first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of Billboard.