By: Mariposa Michaels (Contributor)
Selena Quintanilla was born April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. This Hispanic songstress would eventually become “the Tejano Queen”, completely changing the industry for Hispanic singers to come.
Selena got her start as lead singer of her family band, Selena y Los Dinos, who toured Texas throughout the 1980’s. They first started performing in their parent’s Mexican restaurant, covering English songs their dad grew up on. The group gained traction in south Texas, releasing several albums under the Selena y Los Dinos name.
This childhood experience prepped the young singer for stardom after the release of her self-titled debut album Selena was released in the fall of 1989. Selena released four more albums.
Selena had a thriving fan club throughout her career, and she even ventured into the clothing industry. Opening to branches of her Selena Etc. boutiques.
Selena also went on to win one Grammy, fourteen Billboard Latin Music Awards, 36 Tejano Music as well as many other accolades. She performed the most famous concert of her career in front of 60,000 people at the Houston Astrodome, on Feb. 26, 1995.
Sadly, just one month later Selena was killed by her former fan club president and manager of boutiques, Yolanda Saldivar. Selena was just 23 years old. A crossover album was released not long after her death, leaving many to mourn the loss of a great talent.
Selena was the Queen, and that’s why this week she deserves to sit at the top of her throne here at Vinyl.
TRACK 1: Baila Esta Cumbia
Baila Esta Cumbia made its debut in 1990 off Selena’s second studio album, Ven Conmigo. Like many of her songs, this one was penned by her big brother AB Quintanilla and Pete Astudillo. Baila Esta Cumbia ended up going six times platinum, becoming one of her most successful singles. It was covered in 2010 by artist Diana Reyes.
TRACK 2: Tu, Soló Tú
From the album Dreaming of You (1994), Tu, Soló Tú is liable to bring about the emotion felt in a Vicente Fernández song. It was the first Spanish single released after Selena's death. Originally written by Felipe Valdés Leal and recorded by Pedro Infante, Tu, Soló Tú started Selena's longest run on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, lasting for ten weeks.
TRACK 3: El Chico del Apartamento 512
Everyone loves the boy next door, including Selena. From the 1994 album Amor Prohibido, El Chico Del Apartamento 512 was once labeled one of Selena’s most “memorable” songs. It was written as a cumbia and has Colombian and other South American influences. This song was performed at Selena’s last concert on March 19, 1995.
TRACK 4: Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
From the album Amor Prohibido, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom debuted on Billboard Hot Latin Tracks on Aug. 13, 1994. This song would eventually peak at number one, the second time for Selena as a solo artist. It’s upbeat melody is a staple at many Hispanic traditions like Quinceañeras, weddings, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations. It has been covered by many artists and was even recorded in Portuguese.
TRACK 5: Como la Flor
“Like the Flower” (Como la Flor) was a smash-hit for Selena, going nine times platinum. It was originally released in 1992 from the album, Entre A Mii Mundo, but was remixed and released on Selena’s posthumous album, Dreaming of You. Kacey Musgraves covered Como la Flor in February of 2019 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, twenty-four years after Selena’s final performance.
TRACK 6: Amor Prohibido
Written by Ricky Vela, Pete Astudillo and AB Quintanilla, this Selena song was released on May 13, 1994. A song about forbidden love, Amor Prohibido was the most successful Latin single of 1994. In 2015, Jennifer Lopez performed a twentieth anniversary tribute to Selena and included this song in the line-up.
Dreaming of You was the lead single from Selena’s posthumous album, Dreaming of You. This album served as her first crossover, and this song lead the way to the album’s success. It sold 25,000 units in its first week of release. For many, Dreaming of You served as a goodbye to a beloved singer even closing out the 1997 film Selena.
If you're looking for a fun, original, and hardworking artist to add to you music library, check out 21 SOULBLAZE.
Lionel Kelvin D'Cruz is one of the most engaging and hardworking performers we've seen awhile. Not only is he personable on camera and has a great voice, but he also writes good songs, produces and directs his own videos and webisodes, and is a solid publicist. Plus, he's funny.
In addition to being a multi-talented artist, Lionel studied Mass Communications in Singapore through the Oklahoma City University program. D'Cruz and fellow classmate Kuhan, a.k.a. Afro, created J Soul Records, a Singaporean record, talent, music, and entertainment management company that produces urban pop and other contemporary music.
21 SOULBLAZE made its debut with the pop single "I Got You," which was shown on MTV in Asia, Thailand and the Philippines and was also featured on VH1 India. The tune is catchy and the lyrics are fun and impressively delivered.
I Got You
Based on an original script, "The Road Less Taken" is a musical sitcom about two young hopefuls attempting to make it in the music and entertainment industry in Singapore. Although the webisodes are hard to find online, the webisode's theme song is readily available and is an excellent jam whether you're cruising in your convertible or hopping on a subway.
The Road Less Taken
"The Road Less Taken" is impressive not only from a musical point of view, but also from a promotional perspective. J Soul Records used guerrilla marketing and social media to help build buzz about the project. They also garnered media coverage from more traditional media outlets.
The Road Less Taken Promo
21 SOULBLAZE songs are not yet available on iTunes, that's how exclusive this artist is. If you'd like to get the songs and videos for your iPhone you need to say three Hail Marys and use conversion programs like Garage Band and Firefox plug ins.
If you don't want to go through the trouble of ripping off videos from YouTube, you can hear 21 SOULBLAZE featured on Kopi Dangdut by Singaporean indie pop band, the Sallys on their album An Unlikely Story. The song is catchy and makes you feel like you're on vacation sipping margaritas.
Kopi Dangdut - The Sallys
All in all, give 21 SOULBLAZE a try. The songs make you feel good, get your feet moving, and are an impressive feat that deserves a nod of recognition. It's testament to what's possible when you have a dream and actively pursue it. We could all take a cue from Lionel Kelvin D'Cruz.
_If you haven't heard of Matthew and the Mandarins, you're not alone. Many people haven't, but apparently back in the day Matthew and the Mandarins were all the rage in Singapore.
Led by Matthew Tan, the five-member band plays a melodic blend of country-western songs, which is a rare find in Singapore's rap and pop music culture of today.
The compilation album of the band's greatest hits includes cover versions of Stranger (Kris Kristofferson), Movin' On (Merle Haggard) and Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet). There are also original numbers like Let's Put The Sing In Singapore and the very popular Singapore Cowboy.
Ready to get on a horse and ride into the Singapore sunset? The next best thing is to listen to Matthew and the Mandarins. It not only brings back fond memories of the good old days of authentic country music, but also offers a reminder of a time when country music was king in Singapore. Though, we're not exactly sure when that was.
Vinyl Music Shop would like to thank Jimmy the cab driver for helping us discover this amazing find.
Singapore Cowboy - Matthew and the Mandarins
Un Día Normal is an excellent album whether you speak Spanish or not. You'll find yourself singing along, even if you don't know what the heck you're saying.
Juanes delivers a nice blend of toe-tapping tunes with heart felt love songs on this Pop Latino album released in 2002.
If you only have time to listen to three songs: Luna, A Dios le Pido, and Es Por Ti are all great. If you feel like taking in a fourth, try La Paga. It has a reggae type feel that makes you want to roll back the convertible and cruise down Route 66.
Un Día Normal Song Samples
A Dios le Pido
Es Por Ti
Vinyl is a great place to have a cup of coffee and listen to music. We've got a range of sounds for the eclectic ear and tons of comfortable couches and bean bag chairs, as well as a few private sound booths in case you're a little embarrassed by the kind of music you like to listen to. Every time you walk into Vinyl, it feels like you never left home.
Sound Booth Availability