After her recent Grammy nomination, Ixya Herrera is looking forward to new opportunities for the world to get to know her voice and talent.
The Regional Mexican singer was nominated in the same category as legends Vicente Fernandez and Pepe Aguilar at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Regional Mexican Album, which takes place Sunday, Feb. 8 a STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Herrera considers herself fortunate for the recognition.
“For me, it was a great honor just to be nominated and get that type of acknowledgement from the industry,” she says. “Not to mention being nominated alongside Vicente Fernandez and Pepe Aguilar who have done so much for Mexican music. I definitely didn’t expect it, not because the album wasn’t deserving, but because I’m still relatively unknown and not as famous as they are. But I hope that with the nomination, more doors will open up for me so I can show people who I am and what I’m about.”
Voz y Guitarra is an excellent album with classic renditions of songs with Herrera’s powerful voice.
“The album was a very small project,” she says. “We recorded it here in L.A., and we only used 4 musicians including myself on vocals, Elias Torres on guitar, my brother on drums and Ernesto Molina on guittaron.”
Born in Oxnard, Calif. to Mexican parents, Herrera grew up in a home where despite being American, their Mexican roots and culture were always conserved. This is where she first developed her love for music.
“My father is a professor at Cal State Northridge in the Chicano Studies department where he’s taught for 40 years,” Herrera says. “One of the courses he teaches is on the Nahuatl language. Both my parents were in the forefront of the Chicano movement in the 60s and 70s, and I grew up with all of that – admiring my culture and being very proud of my heritage.”
Herrera has proven to be a great discovery in the Regional Mexican genre with her phenomenal voice of great range. Unfortunately, she’s part of a genre that is not mainstream and are seldom recognized.
“Even though many people appreciate traditional Mexican music, it’s not a commercial genre – something that you’ll hear play on the radio – and even amongst the Regional genre as a whole, you hear a lot about banda music and corridos, but not so much what I do,” she says. “It’s hard to make a career out of it, even for someone like me who’s been doing it for years. So hopefully this nomination will change that.”
Starting out at the age of 12, Herrera’s career has spanned over 20 years. She recorded her first album at 16 titled Primavera. She was discovered in the same manner as many artists from the so-called golden age – by accident.
“Linda (Ronstand) was having a concert at [Gibson Amphitheatre] and I went hoping to meet my idol. She couldn’t make the sound check, so a member of the Mariachi who had heard me previously asked if I could sit in for Linda for the sound check. So I sang this difficult huapango called ‘Tata Dios’ and when I was singing, she happened to arrive and she was impressed by this 12-year-old singing this song,” Herrera recounts.
“She invited me to sign with her at her next show in Arizona, and that’s the story off my first public performance. it’s an unbelievable and unforgettable story, like a gift from God. Linda’s voice is what inspired me to sing. I first heard her when I was 7 when she released Canciones de mi Padre and I was very moved. I grew up in a hose with musicians, and so I’ve heard great music all my life, but it wasn’t until I heard Linda that I gave myself to music.”
Herrera is planning more performances and a new album.
Voz y Guitarra is available on digital platforms and hopes to release a physical album in the states soon. For more information, visit www.ixyaherrera.com.