Becky G on the ABC’s of being a G
photos /Nikko LaMere
styling / Scot Louie
makeup/ Mylah Morales for Exclusive Artists using Kevyn Aucoin
story / Mikhael Agafonov
Becky G just turned 21. Yes, we’re as surprised as you are, because it feels like we’ve known her forever. We first got impressed by her serious rapping skills and natural charms on YouTube. Then sang along to her hit single about singing in the shower called, well, “Shower”. Then we saw her donning iconic Yellow Ranger spandex costume in 2017’s reboot of “Power Rangers”. At the same time, we witnessed her embracing her Mexicans roots and going full-on Latin pop star with a series of not-so-subtle Spanish bangers such as “Sin Pijama” and “Mayores”. The latter even getting censored in Spain for its catchy but racy chorus about kisses that big that you can’t even fit them into one’s mouth. Ay, Mami!
And that’s only about 2/3 of Becky G’s resume, that also includes assisting Sean Paul and David Guetta on one of 2018’s punchiest dance-pop records (“Mad Love”) and even stepping her foot into the wild wild world of country music (hear her singing her heart out on Kane Brown’s latest album). So it’s no wonder that when asked how it feels to finally reach the legal age, she says that “it feels kinda normal” on a phone call from Los Angeles: “I’ve always felt much older than I really am.”
With #MeToo, Time’s Up and many other exciting female-fronted initiatives happening in the world at the moment, it’s partly up to the likes of Becky G to pass the ideas of equality and self-respect to her fans. And her raunchy Latin songs, told from the female perspective, put a much-needed fresh spin on the genre, while also serving as a platform for empowerment. Does she feel proud that her song got censored in Spain (an ultimate badass achievement, if you ask us): “Of course I was proud!” But how does the artist find that empowerment herself?
“You have to find it from within and also from the people you surround yourself with. The team that I have is amazing. They listen to me, which is very rare these days for women. I feel like we’re very quick to be put on mute. I also have a very supportive and loving boyfriend who has never judged any of my ideas and has only encouraged them.”
When asked what it’s like to be a woman in the year 2018, Becky G doesn’t try to sweeten the pot: “Just like anything in life, there’s good and there’s bad, there’s the positive and there’s the negative. A part of me feels excited and very liberated and another part of me still feels like we have such a long way to go in society as far as the respect that we need to be given and equality that we’re still lacking. It’s exciting but also eye-opening, that’s the word.”
Another word would be “busy”, as even our interview is arranged at the same time as the singer is packing for another trip to Mexico. So don’t bother asking her about her hobbies or favorite activities during “off” days: “I don’t have “off” days”, she sums up, “At the moment I’m literally repacking my suitcases, because I have only a couple of hours to kind of re-set my life, clean my house and catch up with my family. I know that it sounds like something that normal people do. But I’m not normal. My career is not normal.”
It’s hardly a figure a speech: Becky G’s career surely didn’t follow any conventional paths. For example, even after years of actively working in the industry, she’s still yet to release her debut album (there’s only 2013’s EP to her name). “A word ‘album’ is a very complicated one and I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite word in the world. I’m working with multiple record labels at the moment, so it gets kinda tricky. I’m one person and I can only do so much at one time. I continue to grow. I’m constantly collaborating with other artists and trying to find the right moment. But of course the album is long overdue. It doesn’t make sense that I’ve been signed since I was 14 and haven’t released an album yet.”
And please don’t be fooled by the party girl image that Becky G proudly parades in her hedonistic music videos. “To be honest I’m not a crazy party person,” she laughs, “But the fun part about being an artist is that I get to pretend I’m a different character in every music video.” Acting is surely something she enjoys very much: besides “Power Rangers” she also starred on “Empire” TV series, this year’s sci-fi action movie “A.X.L.” and lent her voice to Netflix’s computer-animated movie “Gnome Alone”. Yet it still feels like baby steps to her.
“My acting is something that I have yet to really embark on full throttle. I’m kind of waiting for that opportunity to come into play. I don’t really know when that will be or what’s gonna happen, but I feel like acting for me is a big passion that’s really inspired my musical career in the sense of using my imagination and building these characters whether it be for music videos and creating storylines for those.”
And a lot of these storylines involve Becky G seductively dancing in various states of undressing. Case in point: the music video for her recent collaboration with Spanish rapper C. Tangana called “Booty”. You guessed it: it’s hardly a modest affair, filled with pint-sized golden shorts and shame-free twerking.
Does she have to rely on some elaborate workout routine or should simply thank good genetics for keeping her looks camera-ready at all times? “It’s constantly a struggle. When I have time I try to work out, but I always end up falling off eventually, because a lot of times you have to choose to either go to the gym or sleep. And I think that getting enough sleep is much more important. I wouldn’t say I lead a healthy lifestyle. I just try to focus on my mental health. That’s very important for an artist, especially for a young woman who is just figuring out who she is in the world. Balancing my personal and professional life is also a struggle, so I just try to focus on my mental health more than anything. I have a couple of different apps on my phone that help me with sleeping meditation and morning meditation.”
Can singing in the shower be considered her own brand of meditation, as apparent by her biggest US hit to date, 2014’s “Shower”? “I don’t sing in the shower, I think in the shower about all sorts of thing. That’s my time to prepare, I guess.” But her recent collaboration with Dominican singer Natti Natasha, steamy Reggaeton number “Sin Pijama” (“Without pajamas”) is much more autobiographical: “My favorite pajamas? Sleeping naked, of course.”
Coat, Harry Halim Paris. Boots, Harry Halim Paris. Earrings, Natashia Montclaire.
Blazer Dress, AnnaKiki. Shoes, Harry Halim Paris. Earrings, Laura Lombardi.
Top, Vivetta. Glasses, Oakley.
Hat, Cecilio Castrillo. Gloves, American Vintage. Bodysuit, AMI.Tights, Wolford.