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Becky G sees 'magic' in collaborations with fellow artists

“Juntos somos más,” which means “together we are more,” the singer says about her work with fellow Latinas such as Natti Natasha, Karol G. and Christina Aguilera.
Becky G is celebrating all her major wins.
Becky G is celebrating all her major wins.Steven Blanco
/ Source: TODAY

Becky G was just 14 years old when she signed her first record deal. More than a decade later, she told TODAY that she still gets “to live (her) dream every single day.”

The 25-year-old singer — born Rebbeca Marie Gomez — credits her longevity in part to her authenticity and staying true to her Mexican American roots. She describes herself as a “200 percenter.”

“100 percent proud to have been born and raised in Inglewood, (California) but also 100 percent proud of my Mexicana roots,” Becky said. “I just (try) to take those flags everywhere that I go.”

Becky, who is one of four children, grew up admiring female pop stars like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. And at 9 years old, when her family faced financial struggles, she decided to pursue a career in entertainment.

“The first album I ever bought was Christina Aguilera’s, and I remember it was dual sided,” she said. “On one side, English, and I would flip it over, and it was the same songs, but in Spanish. And I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do one day.’”

And she would. After catching the attention of producer Dr. Luke, who signed her to his Kemosabe record label, she released her 2013 breakthrough song “Becky From the Block,” a reimagining of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block.”

In it, she sang about her aspirations to be a crossover artist while also honoring her Latinidad and neighborhood. She rapped about her immigrant grandparents, her large and hardworking family, and her commitment to making it big. “It all started when my grandpa crossed over / Now one day I’ma be a crossover,” she sang.

Lopez even makes a cameo in the music video.

“So many people have inspired me along the way. I do it not just for myself, because this is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl, but I do it for our community,” Becky said. “If I can make an impact and inspire even just one person, I feel like I’m doing my part.”

At 16, Becky would go on to achieve mainstream success with her 2014 hit “Shower,” releasing a slew of English-language singles and embarking on a joint tour with J Balvin in 2015.

But it was only when she decided to do a reverse crossover into Latin music that she achieved full-fledged stardom. In 2016, Becky started releasing songs in Spanish, finding a wider audience and recognition.

Those Spanish-language singles and plentiful collaborations pushed Becky forward, making her a household name in the Latino community — and as she rises, she wants to take others with her.

“I use the word collaboration a lot, because to me, that’s where the magic happens. I think I have a lot of great ideas, but they always turn out even greater when I let other people in,” Becky said. “And when I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate throughout my musical career, incredible moments have taken place. I always use ‘Sin Pijamas’ with Natti Natasha as an example of that.”

Natti is a successful Dominican singer who stepped out on the scene in the late 2010s. Her star began to rise after her hit 2017 song “Criminal” featuring rapper-singer Ozuna. When she and Becky released “Sin Pijama” in 2018, their individual star power rose even further. The track reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart and No. 4 on Hot Latin songs, and the two Latinas would later team up again in 2021 for another single, “Ram Pam Pam.”

The singer performs onstage at the 2022 iHeartRadio Wango Tango on June 4, 2022 in Carson, California.
Becky G performs at the 2022 iHeartRadio Wango Tango in Carson, Calif.Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images for iHeartRadio

“A lot of people told me, ‘If you think the song is such a hit, why do you want to share it?’ And I said, ‘Because hit songs happen every single day. I want a moment in history,’” she said.

Listening to Aguilera and Spears when they first broke out, Becky always wondered why they never joined forces.

“I always used to think, ‘Wow, what would have happened if they went on tour together?’ They were already breaking records, but imagine what that could have been,” she said.

Aguilera famously collaborated with Missy Elliott, P!nk and Mya on “Lady Marmalade” in 2001, and with Elliott again in “Car Wash” in 2005, showing the magic that can happen when superstars come together (in harmony).

“I always say being an artist is already hard enough. Why make it harder on each other?” she said. “We should be able to find that friendship and really be able to trust in one another.”

Becky’s view is “juntos somos más," Spanish for "together we are more." She’s all about working alongside creative female artists and talented individuals who proudly represent their culture and provide an inclusive space.

“I love to create spaces for us. I would say it’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘we.’ Being with other collaborators, everything I do, everything across my business is so important to me,” she said.

Throughout her career, she’s had songs with the likes of Pitbull, Ozuna, Maluma, Kane Brown, J-Hope and more. In 2017, a then-rising Bad Bunny worked with Becky on “Mayores, introducing him to a new audience.

However, some of her most dynamic collaborations are with powerhouse Latinas. Aside from her tracks with Natti, her 2022 song “Mamiii” with Karol G broke records. The song spent 10 weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Hot Latin Songs chart. It also earned Becky her first Billboard Latin Music award at this year’s ceremony and became the first Latina collaboration in history to reach the Top 10 on the Global Spotify Chart.

Last year, she also worked alongside Aguilera on “Pa’ Mis Muchachas,” featuring Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso.

“Getting to work with one of my childhood icons and idols is (incredible),” Becky said. “The fact that we text blows my mind. Like, I’m friends with Christina Aguilera! It’s crazy. She’s so special. She’s so talented. She’s one of the many female artists at the time that really inspired me to become a pop star.”

Becky has worked both as an artist as well as an actor in films like “Power Rangers” and “A.X.L.” She’s also the entrepreneur behind the beauty brand Treslúce and a part-owner of the first female soccer club in Los Angeles, Angel City. She’s now working as an executive producer on films and TV, “because even in those spaces, we’re either underrepresented and misrepresented. So it’s, like, no more stories about us, without us.”

Becky says that her Mexican heritage is her superpower. While she feels like the entertainment industry wasn’t necessarily made for Latinos to succeed, she’s never going to change who she is: a proud Latina.

“I’m never gonna make myself smaller to make other people feel comfortable,” she said. “I think it’s important that we feel empowered, that we have bigger conversations to inspire our youth especially. That’s really where I tried to focus a lot of my energy and make an impact.

“It’s not about being a perfect role model, it’s about being a real model,” she said, adding that minority communities shouldn’t feel inferior.

Becky noted that her 2022 sophomore album, “Esquemas,” truly represented her roots, both in Mexico and in Inglewood, Calif. “I just (try) to take those flags everywhere that I go,” Becky said.

The tie to her roots continues with her most recent project, her collaboration with Patrón tequila. The singer celebrated the new partnership with an intimate dinner at the Los Angeles restaurant Cha Cha Chá. Becky’s family is from Jalisco, the state where the town of Tequila, famous for producing the spirit, is located.

“I grew up going all the time, and I still do,” she said of visiting the place her family is from. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities to go back to what we call the ‘motherland.’ I spent Christmases out there as a little girl ... my grandpa, who passed away last year, still has rancho out there. My grandma still goes. So it’s very, very important to me to make a presence there and be connected to it.”

Becky said tequila is part of “some of my favorite memories with my family, especially in the holiday season,” and adds that the spirit is “part of our history, our culture, our heritage.”

If she’s planning to take a celebratory shot of tequila, she certainly has reason to, including landing her first solo No. 1 on the Latin Airplay Billboard chart with “Bailé Con Mi Ex.” As for how she takes in all her success? Well, she does it with tequila, of course.

“Girl, I sit back, relax and have some Patrón, that’s what I do,” she said with a laugh. “I feel good right now ... I’m so, so grateful for everything that’s happened in my life, but especially the moments that are happening now because I feel like all throughout all the years planting those seeds and really just hustling away and working hard, it really is feeling like it’s starting to pay off.

“So that’s kind of like what I like to do,” she continued. “Surround myself with good people, the ones that keep me grounded...and keep it moving.

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