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20 Questions With Gloria Trevi: ‘My Story Is Like Medusa, It Has Always Been Poorly Told’

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Gloria Trevi, an enduring figure in Latin music, has lived a life shrouded in controversy and intrigue, a narrative that has been recounted in numerous books, podcasts and movies. “My story is like medusas, it’s always been poorly told,” she tells Billboard Español

However, for the first time, the Mexican hitmaker is seizing control of her narrative, through the groundbreaking bioseries Ellas Soy Yo. Premiered in August on ViX, the series chronicles her rise from winning a Lucerito lookalike contest as an adolescent to become Mexico’s biggest pop star, her involvement in the Trevi-Andrade sex scandal, her stint in prison — and, finally, her triumphant return after being found not guilty. Unlike other productions, many of the survivors of the case participate in the series.

“They inspired me to tell my story in a series that managed to connect with audiences and made even more visible several of the problems that millions of women live in our country and that by watching it, they were able to recognize themselves and act,” said Trevi, recognizing the crucial role played by women who fight daily against various forms of violence. Last month, spurred by the success of Ellas Soy Yo, Trevi helped advocate for the passage of a law against human trafficking.

In tandem with these efforts, Trevi delves deeper into her musical career here, now as an independent artist after spending 15 years with Universal. Throughout her prolific career, the singer/songwriter has placed four albums on the Billboard 200, including Gloria (2011) at No. 71 and De Película (2013) at No. 109. She has entered Hot Latin Songs a total of 12 times, including three top 10s with “Con Los Ojos Cerrados” and “Me Siento Tan Sola” from the ’90s, and “Cinco Minutos” from 2008.

She has also been noted as a fashion icon, and here she shares her thoughts on the evolution of her style (check out the exclusive photos below!), and also discusses the release of My Soundtrack, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Looking ahead, she envisions bringing her three decades of hits to the stage in 2024, promising a celebration of her enduring legacy.

1. What did you have for breakfast today?

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m halfway through breakfast. I have the routine, the discipline, of having half a cup of bone broth for breakfast. According to my nutritionist, everyone should eat that for breakfast on an empty stomach, because it is a collagen bomb. Then I let it sit for a while so that it goes down well in my stomach. Then I have a piece of fruit for breakfast and some protein. After I finish talking to you, I’ll continue with my breakfast, which is going to be eggs with chorizo and nopalitos.

“This is a look designed by me in collaboration with The Blonds. It has been replicated even in China and sold wholesale 😅”, says Trevi.

2. ¡Provecho! Now you’re independently releasing music. Give me some context?

I had the great fortune that Jesús López [now CEO of Universal Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula] discovered me as Gloria Trevi. When Jesús López arrived at BMG Ariola, he discovered my album, which had been boxed, and he liked my songs, which were my compositions. He thought my voice was funny [laughs], peculiar, different — and then he sent for me, and that’s when my career as Gloria Trevi began. You can see all of that in my series Ella Soy Yo.

[Years later] I changed record label to Universal, and then the director Jesús López joined Universal. He sees that I’m there in the catalog, and he believes in me again, and we make more albums together. Before he arrived, I had already released “Todos Me Miran” [in 2006], but with Universal I released Una Rosa Blu [in 2007]. I have an immense love and wonderful memories with the record companies I have worked with, especially with Universal.

“Goddess of the Night, one of the public’s and the gay community’s favorite looks to imitate me at parties,” she says.

3. And after 15 years with Universal, how was that transition?

Times are changing and I like to keep adapting, evolving, and I like to learn from the elders and the youth. I see that people are starting to work independently — for example, Taylor Swift and other artists and colleagues who are their own bosses. If I have so much music, I’m a composer, creative, and I have a team that we work shoulder to shoulder, I think it’s time for me to be my own boss, to release my music, to be the owner of my masters, to be able to leave my family, my children [something]. I had the good fortune that my contract is ending. It was a difficult decision, because I am a chicken at heart. The independent music theme turns me into “Medusa.”

4. You recently released Mi Soundtrack, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. What was it like to reimagine your classic songs?

It’s amazing. Right now I’m working on Mi Soundtrack, Vol. 3. It’s going to be three volumes. When I say “my soundtrack” it’s because I like people to say, “I’m going to ‘My Soundtrack’ concert,” in other words, to make it their own. [The 2024 tour has the same name]. I am super excited about the reception it has had. You go to the concerts now, [it’s] like in the ’90s. They’re full of kids who are going crazy, who are connecting with that music. You see the uncle, the mom, the nephew, the teenager and the kid screaming, united, jumping to the same song. They get excited and start going wild to “Pelo Suelto”.

“The current version of the ’90s look of the little dolls from the Versus tour. A message of equality,” says Trevi.

5. Do you have a favorite song to sing live?

I’m also like the audience. It depends a lot on my mood. There are songs that if I’m sad or I’ve just had a fight with my husband, I like to sing, “Vas a recordarme cuando quieras olvidarme…” (“Vas a Recordarme”). And when I’m happy with him, I like to sing… [she sings “Vestida de Azúcar”]. And when I’m being crazy [sings another one], or when I’m attacked and I feel a lot of hate, I like to sing “Medusa” or “Todos Me Miran”. Right now I can tell you that I haven’t gotten tired of listening to the new song, “Inocente.”

6. Tell us more about your new song.

I think people are having a lot of fun with “Inocente,” with the line that says “sé que me mientes, pero me gusta creerte” (“I know you’re lying to me, but I like to believe you”). They are playing it a lot on TikTok. It’s fun.

7. Your story has been told in a variety of ways, from books to movies to podcasts. Now, you were directly involved in telling your life story through the series Ellas Soy Yo. What was important to communicate?

It’s that my story is like the Medusa’s, it has always been poorly told. One way or another, they’ve tried to cast me as the monster, without getting to the bottom of it, and many times with so many contradictions. It’s so weird when I see comments from people who don’t signal [knowledge of the issue] and [display] constant ignorance. They say things they heard that are not true. But notice that with the series, I had no intention of cleaning up my image, nor of showing who had lied, nor of legal situations that I have now in the United States.

Mas Turbada que nunca, or “More troubled than ever…see you then! 😂”, says Gloria Trevi.

My intention with Ella Soy Yo was born many years ago. I have seen women go out to protest in Mexico for the missing women, for the abused women, and to see so much femicide. There have been so many horrible cases that, honestly, I took a breath and said, “I need to do it” — because, thank God, I’m okay now. I have to tell my story, even if some people stop loving me, because I tell how I was weak, how I was vulnerable, how I was a woman — even if some people stop seeing me as that artist with that glamour. But thinking mainly about the most important thing, which was the message of abuse against women.

8. So what did the series achieve for you?

It achieved things that exceeded my expectations. The deputies [of Mexico] just accepted reforms to a law that had not been modified in 10 years, against human trafficking, giving stronger punishments to abusers and protection to witnesses and victims. The truth is that I never thought that the series would be able to [move people] in such a way as to change laws in Mexico.

“Walking with zapatos viejos (or old shoes) and a broken heart, but always walking,” says Gloria Trevi.

9. Mary Boquitas has her podcast En Boca Cerrada, where she shares her version of the events you shared together in the so-called Trevi-Andrade sex clan. Could you tell us how is your current relationship with her and what do you think of her podcast?

It is something that really hurts my heart. At this moment I prefer to talk about it with her someday if we see each other again in person, because these are things that I would say to her face. I am not going to make any comments to you, negative or positive, regarding her. I can’t.

10. You are no doubt a fashion icon — how would you define your personal style, and how do you think it has evolved over time?

I can tell you that my fashion was born out of necessity. I didn’t have the money to buy spectacular costumes. My torn stockings, I made them myself. Well, I can’t say that I invented them, because nobody invents black thread. The torn stockings are very punk culture; I liked them and I appropriated them — since I couldn’t buy stockings all the time. They lasted a long time. I would even sew them up and maintain them. The important thing for me has always been to be spontaneous, to be different.

With Una Rosa Blu, I started to like wearing feathers, and I started to have a theme. With El Amor [from 2015] I become a man, Mr. Trevi, to sing songs to women. They are my inner personalities. I make my designs many times, and I send them to designers to help me give them reality. There are super iconic costumes that [drag performers use to] imitate me a lot.

“Mr. Trevi… The love of your life,” says the singer.

11. Which facets do you enjoy most as an artist?

Being on stage. But I also love recording in the studio. I love it when I’m recording a song. That’s something that makes my mouth water. You know, when I’m recording a song, it’s like a child is being born. And when I’m on stage, the child is already walking, playing, living.

12. Great analogy! Let’s also talk about how incredibly fit you are. Well, it seems like you always have been. What’s your workout routine like?

How nice. Right now I’m focusing more on resistance. It’s what I like to do, weights for the arm and for the butt. You have to take good care of your muscles. What I was telling you about nutrition, now I’m following the bone broth routine, and vitamins for everything, for my bones, my skin, and collagen. And above all, I also use treatments, the ones that I get every six months that are specific for the face. But I like the normal treatments, nothing that is not reversible.

13. Green or red chilaquiles?

Divorciados. [Chilaquiles with both green and red salsas.]

“The beginning our story,” says Gloria Trevi.

14. Tequila or mezcal?

Don’t limit me, eh!

15. Do you have a favorite Mexican dish to cook at home?

Miguitas, [which are] little tortillas with eggs.

16. How do you feel about being nicknamed the “Mexican Madonna”?

Nothing. Zero. I don’t like it. I have a lot of respect for Madonna. I think she’s a badass. I think that’s why they make that comparison. There was a social revolution in the United States, or worldwide, when Madonna came out, and in my case, there was a revolution in the Latin area when I came out. That’s why they make that comparison, but we are both very different. I would like to be “the Gloria Trevi of the United States.” My respects, she is a great artist. I love to see her doing concerts, she is a brave woman.

“Our story has always been like a movie. Me as a ticket seller, a very endearing look,” says Gloria Trevi.

17. What is the most surprising thing you would find in your bag right now?

The most surprising thing you would find in my bag is that I don’t have a bag. Well, I have a fanny pack. Maybe the most surprising thing for some people who don’t know me would be that I have a rosary that I bought when I went to Jerusalem, with a very typical stone from there. It is a ring that is like a rosary.

18. When you look back on your 30-year career, is there anything you would have done differently? Any advice you would give to your younger version?

Another manager. [Laughs.]

“This costume with crystal snakes is one of the ones my impersonators are currently wearing and they are spectacular,” says Gloria Trevi.

19. You’ve been through it all. What’s left for you to do? President of Mexico?

We don’t like politics. I once said I wanted to be president, but what I like is social advocacy. I think that in politics there are too many commitments that do not allow people to fulfill them. Physically, I have a lot left. To begin with, the tour of Mi Soundtrack is coming and I have never done that before.

20. What can Gloria Trevi’s fans expect to see live in 2024?

They are going to see their life in music. We are going to get super emotional and excited. We are going to be children, teenagers, we are going to look back at our feelings about first love and first heartbreak. Life is music and together we are going to make a great concert.

“This look from my latest single ‘Inocente’, a design between futuristic and ’70s from the latest collection of The Blonds. I love it because it conveys a feeling of boldness and at the same time innocence,” says Trevi.

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