CELEBRATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS CAREER
Photos/Courtesy Sony Music Latin
Lupillo Rivera has arrived to his 25-year mark in his musical career. And he continues to thrive. He just released his 17th album, “El Malo” (The Bad One), with record sales on iTunes. This album includes the single “Dolores se llamaba,” that he wrote for the T.V. series that depicts the life of his late sister Jenni. This show will air during the month of May. He is also working on recording a duet with Los Tigres del Norte. “I want to continue to earn the love of my fans,” he said. Lupillo answered our questions in different areas of his life. Here is the exclusive interview that “El Malo” gave CASA Magazine.
Speaking of “El Malo” (The Bad One)
This singer of regional Mexican music has released a new studio album with new songs. This album includes thirteen songs, where seven were written by him. “El Malo” includes reflective songs that talk about his own life experiences, professional and personal. This album, with a dedication to all his fans, is available in stores as well as digital platforms under the Sony Music brand.
Which one of the singles included in “El Malo” is you favorite? ¿And why?
Lupillo Rivera: My favorite song is the one that gives the name to the album. “El Malo” clearly represents what happens to me many times. Listen to the song and pay attention to the lyrics. You will see what I mean. That will prevent many from talking without knowing what is really going on.
What pleased you the most after listening to “El Malo?
LR: I see how the original ideas we had when we planned this project, have taken shape and become a reality. This album has been accepted by all radios in the country and it is on the bestselling lists of iTunes since its release in March.
About his successful career
Twenty-five years ago, Lupillo became known as “El Toro Rivera.” He became famous as “The King of the Cantinas”. Throughout his career, he has dominated all genres of Mexican music, from Sinaloense style to classical mariachi songs. He has sold millions of albums in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.
You are celebrating the 25th anniversary of your artistic career, what are you still pursuing at this point?
LR: After making a balance about my career, I always have that urge to keep going, to get better, and to innovate. Maybe I could explore other countries. I would love to visit Colombia with my show. I think I can continue to please audiences in many other countries.
Tell us a place where you would like to sing.
LR: I would love the opportunity to sing before thousands of people at the Zocalo in Mexico City. That is a show I would love to do. It is a dream for me.
Who would you like to record a duet with?
LR: I would love a duet with Los Tigres del Norte. As a matter fact, my office has contacted their manager to explore that possibility. We are very optimistic that it could happen.
What do you think you have given to Mexican music?
LR: When I started to sing, I could not imagine I would create an image and build an era in Mexican popular music. I have given my all as an artist with a natural, real style, that is an extension of my own self.
Which are the three most important moments that defined your musical career?
LR: Thank God, we had the opportunity to work in many places and with great artists. I remember when I sang with Juan Gabriel at the National Auditorium in Mexico City, that was an unbelievable experience. I also had the opportunity to share the stage with Vicente Fernandez. I attended one of his concerts as a fan, and he invited me to the stage. And I am also proud to be the first artist in my genre to perform at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Born Guadalupe Rivera, this singer is originally from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. He came to the U.S. as a teenager and lived his younger years in Long Beach, California, where he graduated from high school in 1990. Lupillo knows both cultures well. And throughout his career, he has been in touch with the worries and battles of his fellow Mexicans on both sides of the border.
What do you feel considering the challenges Hispanics currently face in the U.S.?
LR: This is a difficult time for all of us with Hispanic heritage. We must support and uplift each other. A couple of years ago, a group of people in the city where I live wanted to prevent a bus with Hispanic children to circulate. We created a defense group and stood up for the children. The racist group spat on us, but we got what we fought for.
The man and the father
Lupillo has a big family of his own, with six children. Five girls and a boy, from two marriages.
Do you have any regrets?
LR: I wish I spent more time with my three oldest daughters. I wasn’t present for them as I would like. This career is very demanding and the price you pay is to be away from your children.
What is the best advice you give your children?
LR: I always insist that they get ahead on their own. I want them to be responsible and appreciate the value of hard work. My young children have visited the places where I grew up, where I gathered cans and sold cassettes.
This artist opened the doors of his home and his life. On May 28th, Lupillo will debut in Univision his new reality show. This regional Mexican singer will share with his fans everything that goes on in his daily life.
How are you preparing for your reality show?
LR: People will see the real Lupillo. We will not be acting, like in other shows. Our followers will see situations withy family that they probably can’t even imagine. You will see my wife Mayelli, my children, and even my grandchildren. This is a great opportunity for me to show who I really am, and for the fans to get to know a different facet of our lives.
A passion for cars
Lupillo loves sports and collector cars. He owns 18 vehicles with a total value of more than 3 million dollars. His collection started with a Camaro 1968. The oldest vehicle he owns is a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air convertible. He also owns the largest pickup truck in the market, the CXT, worth 135 thousand dollars. His 1999 Bentley is worth half million dollars.
Which one of your cars is your favorite?
LR: I really love a few of the vehicles in my collections. My favorite is my 1999 Bentley, previously owned by Tupak Shakur. It is a classic, and there are only 4 around the world. My other ‘baby’ is my red truck, that was rebuilt in Mexico. This truck was the star of a cable T.V. show that followed the renovations step by step.
Breves respuestas de Lupillo
What do you eat for breakfast?
Cereals and fruit.
How do you exercise?
I lift weights and exercise cardio a few times a week.
What is your favorite dish?
Steak. But I will eat all Mexican food.
What place in Mexico do you enjoy the most?
I always have a good time in Cancun and Acapulco. I love going to the beach.
A brother’s love
Lupillo doesn’t like to discuss publicly the issues he has with his parents and siblings. He only hints about it on the lyrics of his new song “El Malo”, where he slyly criticizes his relatives. However, Lupillo always had words of admiration and respect toward his older sister Jenni, who has passed away. He had the opportunity to write and sing the theme of the T.V. series “Dolores se llamaba,” that depicts her life.
What do you remember the most about Jenni?
LR: I miss her personality. I miss the way she dealt with adversity. We all know what she went through because she never had a problem sharing it. I will always respect her honesty and candor.
What were you thinking when you wrote “Dolores se llamaba”?
LR: The producers asked me to write a song about my sister. The process was hard for me and I had to make some hard decisions. It took me many days to get it done. It seems like the fans like it and I am happy with the song.
Letra y música: Lupillo Rivera
Los amigos que son de veras
no hablan a tu espalda.
No se fijan si andas caminando,
si traes ropa cara.
Aprendí a contarlos
con mi mano y me sobra la otra.
Y aunque dicen, primero que nada
siempre la familia, pero a veces
también te traicionan.
Don’t talk behind your back.
They don’t watch you walk,
Or the clothes you wear.
I learned to count them
With the fingers in my hand, and I have one hand left.
And even though you hear “family is first”.
Sometimes they betray you, too.