Veteran singer has a pulse on the new wave of regional Mexican artists like Peso Pluma

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With more than four decades keeping the regional Mexican genre alive, Pepe Aguilar is excited about the new generation of singers that includes his daughter.

Asked about the rise of artists like Peso Pluma, Christian Nodal and his daughter Ángela Aguilar, the 54-year-old veteran said the new wave is pushing the boundaries of the genre that defines Mexican music.

“You mentioned three artists as different as possible from what you could have imagined within the new generation,” Aguilar said during a recent interview with Vida en el Valle. “Christian Nodal has nothing to do with Peso Pluma, and Ángela with them.

“How do I see it? Great!”

Pepe, arguably the leading voice of the old school regional Mexican genre, will perform on July 22 at the Save Mart Center.

Some 34 musicians will back him for a solo presentation without his daughter or the elements that were part of the Jaripeo Sin Fronteras tour that he has presented in Fresno for the last few years.

Pepe – who was three years old when he sang at the iconic Madison Square Garden alongside his father Antonio Aguilar – isn’t ready to retire from the music world where he has sold more than 12 million albums and garnered several accolades.

However, he sees the new generation of Mexican singers as vital to the growth of the genre.

Peso Pluma, Nodal and his daughter, according to Pepe, “gives us three completely different options.”

“Peso Pluma is inventing a new genre, that is, that didn’t exist before,” said Pepe. “Peso Pluma is cool.

“You may agree or not with what he says or how he dresses, but for a guy his age to have the No. 1 song (‘Ella Baila Sola’) in the world that comes from México, who has no problems, without complexes. The whole world feels good vibes from him.”

Pepe believes that the choice of styles is beneficial.

“I think it is tremendously super positive that there are such diverse options within the regional Mexican genre,” he said.

Pepe Aguilar performed at Stockton Arena in October 2003.
Pepe Aguilar performed at Stockton Arena in October 2003.

At the same time, Pepe wants to make sure that people overlook him and his music.

“There are a bunch of people who will never like Peso Pluma, and they will not like things that are changed and who like more traditional music and who like mariachi,” said Pepe, “although I do a fused mariachi.”

Pepe also talked about other topics during an interview conducted in Spanish with sprinkles of English.

What can we expect at your concert?

“What you can expect is that all this is going to be framed with the highest technology and by work that has been in progress for more than six months, both for images and for automation programming. A show that mixes traditional music and folklore with the highest technology.

“It is a concert like the ones I have given my entire career and that I haven’t done for four years because I had dedicated myself to Sin Fronteras.”

And Jaripeo Sin Fronteras?

“Well on this occasion I won’t have my family with me or the 3½-hour spectacular of Rodeo Sin Fronteras, which by the way has been cut down so that it’s not so long. But, it’s not part of this show.”

Pepe Aguilar and his dog Gordo El Pug Aguilar attend Univision’s 34th edition Of Premio Lo Nuestro a la Música Latina at FTX Arena on Feb. 24, 2022 in Miami.
Pepe Aguilar and his dog Gordo El Pug Aguilar attend Univision’s 34th edition Of Premio Lo Nuestro a la Música Latina at FTX Arena on Feb. 24, 2022 in Miami.

What did you do during the pandemic?

“The pandemic impacted all of us, all human beings. Of course, there is no one who has been spared, neither rich, poor, fat, skinny, blond, dark, with power, without power, in developed countries, in undeveloped countries, it affected all humanity and me too.

“What affected us the most was those of us who dedicated ourselves to doing live shows because we were the last to return.

“By chance, I had the blessed fortune to be at a ranch in Zacatecas throughout the pandemic. You almost didn’t feel it because you’re in the countryside, so you don’t have to wear your masks, you’re in the place where my parents are buried, it’s a safe place.

“I obviously got sick, like everything else, with nervous colitis and high blood pressure and because it was a lot of uncertainty to know what was going to happen, not after the pandemic, but also on the creative side and on the positive side.”

And the music?

“It was very good because I was writing a lot of songs; we did more than 70 in that year between productions for me and for others, among all of us. I finished a special album called ‘Mexican Hasta los Huesos’ (Mexican to the Bone), which I recorded in Zacatecas, with all the precautions necessary to avoid getting sick from COVID.

“Other than that, we prepared a new show. I did another project called ‘Desde la Azotea’ (From the Rooftop), where I went up to the roof and sang songs that I produced together with my son and another musician friend, and then invited musicians or colleagues.

“Reyli Barba y Margarita The Goddess of Cumbia were there. My children and several artists were there. I worked more than if there were no pandemic.”

Have you adapted to the new technology?

“What happens is that it continues to evolve. It’s evolving as we speak. So there have been times that it has helped me more than others and times where it has not been as beneficial.

“I was one of the first users of Facebook. I was one of the first users of MySpace. Imagine nothing else. I was an early early Twitter user; I think 10 years on Twitter and 27 years with

“I didn’t have any problems with the technology. I’m a lifelong gamer, so I’ve always been since the first games came out, video games, involved with technology. I love technology. I use technology for my children. My children come to me asking for help.”

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