Before Thalia was the long-running queen of Latin pop, she was a superfan.
The Mexican multihyphenate, known for a three-decade career as a singer and a telenovela star, has always been an avid music listener with a love for legendary rock en español bands like Soda Stereo, Maldita Vecindad, and Hombres G. Some of those influences have made it into her music over the years, but on her new Paramount+ series Thalia’s Mixtape, El Soundtrack De Mi Vida, she fully dives in and pays tributes to all the sounds that shaped her. The series is part documentary, part music video, part behind-the-scenes footage that follows Thalia as she meets some of her heroes and recreates their greatest hits with a modern twist.
More from Rolling Stone
The show, which was directed by Simon Brand, is accompanied by a soundtrack featuring the music Thalia came up with, produced by Auero Baquiero and Rafa Arcaute. As Thalia takes us down important musical history, here are some of the most interesting details we learned in the series.
Thalia Has Been A Rock Fan Since She Was A Kid
Thalia deftly weaves part of her autobiography into the show, which also traces the rise of rock en español and explains how music listening patterns have changes over the years. She talks about how she would make mixtapes as a kid and fill them up with classics by Soda Stereo and more. “Rock for me is freedom, rebelliousness, and power,” she says in the film before cutting to a brief clip of her as a child star, singing “Moderna Niña De Rock.”
Soda Stereo’s “Persiana Americana” Was Partially Written Through A Radio Content
One of the first people Thalia sits down with in the series is Soda Stereo’s Charly Alberti, who explains how the band was going through one of its major peaks in the mid-Eighties, when “Persiana Americana” was written. The band didn’t have a lot of time to duck in and out of studios since they were on tour, so instead they’d extend their time during soundcheck and use that to work on new material. Eventually, they had the music for “Persiana Americana” — but no lyrics.
Around that time, a radio station in Argentina had set up a contest in which it told listeners to send in lyrics, with the promise that the winning entry would be featured on a Soda Stereo song. The band’s late frontman Gustavo Cerati ended up reading some of the entries, and liked on from a kid who had referenced “persiana Americana” — or “American blinds.” He changed a few things, but the main ideas ended up on the classic track.
The Hombres G Classic “Devueleveme A Mi Chica” Was Inspired By True Events
Thalia sits down with Hombres G frontman David Summers and tells him how much the song “Devueleveme A Mi Chica” means to her. She tells him the track itself helped sparked the idea of doing a special around the power of mixtapes and what certain classics had meant to her.
Then she asks where the famous lyric, “Sufre, mamón,” came from (it roughly means, “Suffer, asshole,” as the lead singer begs a newcomer to give him back his girlfriend.) Summers shares that it was all written based off of true events: He had a girlfriend who dumped him and started dating a “pijo,” or a rich kid. He knew they were both going to see his band play at a famous venue in Madrid, so he wrote the song just a few days before, in his own words, “just to mess with her.” It ended up becoming a huge hit.
La Maldita Vecindad Drew Influence From The ‘Pachuco’ Movement
Rolando “Rocco” Ortega, the frontman for the legendary Mexican band La Maldita Vecindad, talks about the historical context of one of their biggest songs: The 1991 track “Pachucho” was inspired by a counter-culture movement that emerged after World War II throughout the U.S. and Mexico. The leaders of the revolutionary movement were known for wearing zoot suit-style outfits and mixing all kinds of genres, which would later play a role in La Maldita Vecindad blend of rock, ska, and folk sounds.
Andrea Echeverri Deserves Her Flowers As A Rock Pioneer
In Thalia’s words, Aterciopelados shook the establishment. Part of that was because of its tough-as-nails singer Andrea Echeverri, known for her wild style and distinct vocals. In the series, Thalia recreates the band’s song “Florecita Rockera,” which features a cameo from León Leiden.
Best of Rolling Stone