Ana Bárbara Talks Jenni Rivera Cover, TikTok Virality & Her Relationship With the LGBTQ Community
One Mexican icon is covering the music of another. With the 10th anniversary of Jenni Rivera’s passing approaching this year, Ana Bárbara teamed up with Amazon Music LAT!N to put her own twist on a classic. Bárbara released her cover of “Yo Soy Una Mujer,” which is a powerful Latina anthem, especially during Women’s History Month.
“As a woman, [Jenni] left behind a strong legacy,” Bárbara tells Remezcla over Zoom. “Her legacy is something you have to pay attention to. It’s not about suffering, but I believe it’s about the way you take in the lessons of that struggle and what life gives you. It’s very important that we never stop talking about and admiring the story of this woman.”
During the ‘90s, Bárbara became a leading lady in regional Mexican music, especially in the grupera genre. She scored countless hits like “La Trampa” and “Me Asusta, Pero Me Gusta.” Rivera, a Long Beach, CA, native, earned her “La Diva De La Banda” title with hits into the 2000s. Though they only crossed paths a few times during their careers, Bárbara cherishes those moments.
“Those were very special moments where the support from one woman to another was very important,” Bárbara recalls. “They were simple moments where a woman needed the love and care from another woman who was going through the same thing. That made unique memories for me as a woman and as an artist.”
About her moving cover of “Yo Soy Una Mujer,” Bárbara adds, “We put a lot of love and enthusiasm into this song as a homage to women and as a tribute to Jenni Rivera.” She admits that women in Regional Mexican music are still facing difficulties at radio where “there’s more focus on” men’s music. Through this partnership with Amazon Music LAT!N, she appreciates other outlets where women can have their music heard.
“Fortunately, platforms like Amazon Music LAT!N are opening the doors for women to keep spreading our Mexican music,” Bárbara says.
As powerful women in Regional Mexican music, both Bárbara and Rivera have amassed big fan bases in the LGBTQ+ community over the years. While shooting the music video for “Yo Soy Una Mujer,” Bárbara shared a sweet moment with her male makeup artist. He told her that was a song that he loves and grew up listening to as a kid.
“I love that someone from the gay community can vibe with the lyrics, ‘Yo soy una mujer de carne y hueso!’” Bárbara says while singing the song. “That was a beautiful moment for me because, at the end of the day, music is for whoever receives its message. I believe that the gay community has given me so much. I love the idea of being able to give them a song that makes them feel strong and empowered.”
In the age of TikTok, Bárbara is thriving and has garnered over 8 million followers on her account. Recently, her classic “Bandido” has gone viral on the app. Her music continues to reach new audiences, and she loves to see it.
“I’m happy that new generations are getting to know this work by Ana Bárbara that I also co-wrote,” she says. “I believe ‘Bandido’ is a song that marked an era almost 20 years ago that’s now resurging thanks to these new platforms. I believe it’s something very beautiful for me and my fans.”
As for what’s next, Bárbara has a few concerts lined up in the U.S. She will be performing in Phoenix and Denver in late April with shows following in Chicago on Sept. 23 and Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional on May 8. Bárbara also recently launched her makeup line Soul by Ana Bárbara that she says is for women and men. There’s also more music coming and a larger project on the way.
“We’re not stopping,” Bárbara says. “I believe that in music, each day you have to surprise, you have to innovate, combine rhythms, and create new fusions.”
Watch Ana Bárbara’s cover of Jenni Rivera’s “Yo Soy Una Mujer” below.