A Conversation With Ximena Sariñana on Music and Adolescent Love

Ximena Sariñana BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Ximena Sariñana.

One of the most influential artists of this generation is the multifaceted Ximena Sariñana.

Since her beginnings in acting, the artist from Guadalajara, Jalisco, has played a range of characters that, to this day, are still remembered as some of the most infamous in cinema. One need only recall Mariana from “Amar Te Duele” (2002).

But Sariñana’s talent has gone far beyond that. The artist also received a Grammy and Latin Grammy nomination for her debut album “Mediocre,” which opened the door to a completely different stage in her life.

Fast forward to now, Ximena Sariñana is promoting her latest album, “Amor Adolescente.” The artist is preparing her concert at the Metropolitan Theater in Mexico City on February 19 and promoting her Amazon version of Ricky Martin’s 1994 hit, “Te Extraño, Te Olvido, Te Amo.”

BELatina News had the opportunity to speak with Ximena Sariñana about the inspiration behind this cover, her ability to multitask, and her advice for Latinas.

First of all, tell us why you chose this particular Ricky Martin for the Amazon cover?

I’ve been a huge Ricky Martin fan for as long as I can remember. Especially of this album, where “Te Extraño, Te Olvido, Te Amo,” came in. It was one of my favorite albums of all time — of that time and even now. It’s an album that I keep going back to. It’s just so well-written and so well-produced. I think it’s one of Ricky Martin’s finest moments, and when we were talking about doing an Amazon original track, I just felt it was like the perfect song to pick because it meant so much to me and my adolescence. 

This cover is specifically for Amazon, but it’s sort of a natural extra from Amor Adolescente. Amor Adolescente is an album that is very nostalgic of that particular time in my life. And I’ve been sharing with the audience, like what songs I used to listen to without filters. I was very, very eclectic. And I think when you’re a teenager, you’re very eclectic in your musical tastes because you’re still figuring out who you are going to be and maybe the genre that you’re going to prefer. However, you still listen to a lot of music your parents or friends used to listen to, in a more social context. All of that forms an identity and a picture of what being a teenager is and feels like. 

Do you remember the first time you heard it or when you clicked with this specific song?

This Ricky Martin album, in particular, is very visual to me. I remember the videos from this album because it was like when I was first tuning in to music video channels, which I really enjoyed watching. And these videos from this album were very traumatic. I think, especially, there’s one song called “Fuego de Noche, nieve de día” from this album that was like a full-on tragedy. It’s like you were watching a soap opera, from beginning to end. And I was like, “Oh my God, like, you know, heartbreak!” I think it was Kate Del Castillo [who] was like the leading actor in it — everything was so dramatic. She was going crazy or something. And then she would run into the ocean, and I think she died at the end. It was this horrible story. I remember this album more through images than anything else. And then, of course, just the amount of times that I listened to it in my room and I would take out the notes, you know, in the CD and read the lyrics. It was definitely an album very close to my heart because it reminds me of being in my room as a teenager and listening to it and crying to the songs. 

You’ve been making music in all different kinds of genres. Do you have a specific genre that you’re more comfortable with or that remains your favorite to record?

I guess the one that I’m obviously most comfortable with is the music that I listened to when I was a teenager, which is more like alternative pop-rock music and a little bit of jazz because that’s what I went to school for. It’s always where my brain usually goes to, where my ear usually goes when I’m producing or writing. It’s just [what feels] the most natural to me. But I love stepping out of my comfort zone and trying different things. I love experimenting and doing things that I’m not entirely comfortable with because I feel like that’s how I learn the most and the quickest. I’m not very good at self-learning. Some people know that they learn amazingly, just by reading or going on YouTube or something. I need to do it to make myself learn. So that’s why I’m always kind of pushing myself out and experimenting with different genres. 

How do you balance all your projects? I’ve heard you in the background of ‘Madre Solo Hay Dos‘; you’re a mother, and you’re still working on your music. What advice do you give people that are also balancing or want to balance in so many projects?

I think it’s very important to take care of yourself first. I’m like the typical and chaotic person – like I would be lying to you if I told you that I have it all completely figured out – it’s so not the case. There’s always something going on in the background that’s out of my control, and that is like: “We need your attention!” Do you know what I mean? So it isn’t easy to have everything figured out. And I think one of the things that I’m really trying to do this year is sort of like trying to do one thing at a time to focus my attention. And I think, as long as you’re happy doing it, go ahead and do it. But always like, I guess my advice is always: Learn to enjoy doing one thing at a time. And take care of yourself first and foremost.