➤ GINA CHÁVEZ, from p.20
GINA CHÁVEZ:I’ve been on the
music scene for many years, and
for me it was like an arrival, an arrival
of who I am as a whole. Receiving
this kind of international
recognition is an achievement and
a dream come true, especially
since I am an independent artist.
FONSECA: Besides being your
fi rst album in Spanish, what characterizes
“La Que Manda?”
CHÁVEZ: It is a feminist album,
of my way of being as a woman. Not
just as a singer, also as an activist,
as a queer and gay, as a Catholic…
it feels like a culmination of all that
FONSECA: In general, how do
you defi ne your new album?
CHÁVEZ: My music has many
sounds and various genres. In “La
Que Manda,” there is a lot of Afro
Cuban inspiration and it’s like
an exclamation of being me, like
a promise. The other songs talk
about love and the album talks
about themes like freedom and living
with all your soul.
FONSECA: What challenges did
you face in making this album?
CHÁVEZ: I’ve been working on
some of the songs on this album
for years, and it’s a struggle to get
the message out of my chest and
out of the recording studio in the
best way possible. The album has
been a struggle to fi nish in the
middle of a pandemic.
FONSECA: Does the video for
“Ella” have a special meaning for
CHÁVEZ: It is an artistic representation
of the struggle that women
face every day against domestic
violence. This year we have lived
together but apart. We are living
in an historic moment and we are
fi ghting, but I also think the Me To
movement is to listen to the female
voices that have been silenced for
many years. For me, this is the
meaning of the album.
FONSECA: What are you grateful
CHÁVEZ: Being who I am at
this moment in history feels like a
blessing. I would not want to live in
any other era because I am gay.
FONSECA: Has being Catholic
and gay caused you confl ict? What
do you think of Pope Francis’ statement
on same-sex unions?
CHÁVEZ: I am very happy and
also in a bit of a shock. For me, this
is the reason that I can continue to
be Catholic, and continue going to
my parish with my wife next to my
parents. Because the call of Christ
is not to judge, it is to love, and that
is the message of the pope.
GINA CHÁVEZ | “La Que Manda” |
➤ GRAMMY NOMINATIONS, from p.20
Me With You.” Carlile snagged six
Grammy nominations ahead of the
61st Grammy Awards in 2019.
Big Thief, whose singer, songwriter,
and guitarist recently told
The New Yorker that she’s attracted
to both men and women, dislikes
labels, but is okay with being
called queer, got a nod for Best
Rock Song and Best Rock Performance
LGBTQ celebrities who are far
removed from the music world also
grabbed nominations. Journalist
Ronan Farrow was nominated
for Best Spoken Word Album for
the audiobook version of his book
“Catch and Kill,” while MSNBC
host Rachel Maddow also landed a
nod in that same category for her
audiobook, “Blowout: Corrupted
Democracy, Rogue State Russia,
and the Richest, Most Destructive
Industry on Earth.”
Some LGBTQ artists, however,
missed out on Grammy nods this
year. Out bisexual singer Halsey
drew signifi cant buzz with her
album “Manic,” but that did not
translate into recognition from the
Recording Academy, and out singer
Rina Sawayama was snubbed
despite her successful debut studio
Last year Lil Nas X stole the
show alongside Billy Ray Cyrus,
grabbing multiple Grammys for
“Old Town Road,” while DJ Tracy
Young and Tyler the Creator also
came away with gold hardware.
The Grammys air January 31 on
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