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20 Questions With Thalia: Mexican Singer Talks ‘desAMORfosis,’ DM’ing New Artists for Collabs & More

“I’ve always experimented with different genres and sounds in all my albums — it’s fulfilling,” Thalia says. “I’ve done more uptempo songs, ballads, almost everything.” And when it comes to deciding who to collaborate with next, the singer-songwriter relies on her fans for direction. “They tag new, up-and-coming artists around the world they think I should collaborate with and if I like them and feel a connection, I’ll send that artist a DM on social media,” she adds. “Most of them are in shock when I message them.”

Stream Thalia’s new album here and below, she answers 20 Questions for Billboard.

1. The title is a play on words the words desamor, amor and metamorfosis. What did you want to convey? 

This album is very personal because I sing about falling in love, falling out of love and how thanks to those experiences I went through a metamorphosis, which liberated me and made me the woman I am today. It’s like a full-circle moment.

2. What is the emblematic song of this album?

I love all of them, but “Barrio” is the one I love the most and has the most impact on me because of how it was born. Immediately after I received the track, I was obsessed instantly and the lyrics came to me. I went to the studio, added the file to the system, turned on my microphone and I recorded the song. I finished it in half an hour. After I listened to the finished product, I started to cry because it’s a song that was written by Thalia the little girl, the teenager and the adult. We all came together for this song, which is about self-love.

3. Most of your collaborations on this album, with the exception of Banda MS, are with up-and-coming artists. Why is it important to support them?

We all learn from these experiences. While we’re on this journey, it’s important to exchange stories, understand different points of views and listen to different styles of music. That really fulfills me and excites me and it makes me want to continue on this journey. I’ve always experimented with different genres and sounds in all my albums but obviously my core sound is pop. And my fans play a major role in my collaborations. They tag new artists around the world they think I should collaborate next and if I like them and feel a connection, I’ll send that artist a DM on social media.

4. One of my favorite collaborations is the one with Banda MS. How did you end up working with them?

The album was fully finished but [producer/songwriter] Edgar Barrera made that connection because he was working with them. Banda MS sent me “Tu Boca” and when I heard it, I knew it had to be included in the album. I recorded it and added it as a bonus track that will surprise a lot of fans because regional Mexican lives in a completely different universe.

5. Do you have any anecdotes you can share about the artists you worked with on this album?

Actually, there is one with Maffio that I think is really fun to share. Many years ago, he used to work as the doorman in a restaurant in Manhattan where their specialty is pancakes and breakfast. I would go to that restaurant once a week and he was always there, opening the door for me. He told me that he used to say, “when I’m famous, I will work with Thalía.” And when we recorded “No Te Vi,” I told him that we have to go celebrate to that restaurant and share some pancakes.

6. What inspires you musically? 

I listen to a lot of everything. Sometimes I want to listen to oldies, other times I’m into listening to new songs. My kids introduce me to a lot of new styles and artists. For example, my daughter put Boy Pablo and Melanie Martinez on my radar and I’m obsessed with them.

7. Series you’ve binge-watched?

The Walking Dead. Every single time I finish it, I start watching it all over again.

8. Concert you’d like to see by any artist, dead or alive?

There’s two: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The ones I always wanted to see and was lucky enough to do so were Michael Jackson — I even ran up to the stage to kiss him during a concert in Mexico City because I was such a big fan — and Prince. But to see Frank and Elvis would’ve been fascinating.

9. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Probably Marilyn Monroe. Can you imagine a dinner with her? I’d want to know everything about her so I’d ask her all the questions.

10. Song that always makes you cry?

Elton John’s “The One.”

11. What’s a song you wish you would’ve written?

Residente’s “René.” What a song!

12. What’s something that not even your fans know about you?

That I’m dyslexic.

13. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

I’d study criminology. I love to inspect and question and come up with theories. My dad was a criminologist so I’ve been into it since I was little.

14. Who was the first person that believed in you?

My mother. She was the first person who believed in me 100%.

15. What’s one piece of advice they gave you when you were starting your career that’s stuck with you?

That you have to be disciplined. And to learn a little bit of everything, to be open-minded and to want to be better every single day.

16. What are you afraid of?

I’m not afraid of anything right now. I say right now because that might change later.

17. Who’s on your bucket list to collaborate with next?

Sade. I’m a huge fan!

18. How do you imagine your first in-person concert post-pandemic to be like?

As long it’s not holographic, we’re good! But I can’t wait to be back with my fans and do what I love to do most. I can’t wait to throw myself at them from the stage and be in their arms. It’s something I do and one of my favorite parts during my concerts.

19. Go-to karaoke song?

All of Juan Gabriel’s songs!

20. What’s your advice for up-and-coming female artists?

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. To always defend your craft. There will be at least one person who identifies with your message so never give up. Lastly, knock on all the possible doors. One will eventually open.

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