Regional Mexican music singer Paquita La Del Barrio during a press conference on Wednesday, March 5 at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. (Rafael Orellana/Living Out Loud LA)
No one taught Francisca Viveros Barradas how to sing, more or less how to be how and who she is.
The 66-year-old, better known as Paquita La Del Barrio, is a Mexican singer of rancheras, among other styles, who’s sold over 20 million album copies worldwide. But what people love about Paquita, aside from her unique music, is her way of being and living: brutally honest and straightforward, blunt and bold, and singing songs about her general dislike of men.
Just listen and/or read the lyrics of her song “Rata De Dos Patas.”
Paquita’s celebrating International Women’s Day in Los Angeles with a special show on Saturday, March 8 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
In an exclusive interview for Living Out Loud, Paquita spoke about what LA means for her, El Dasa, her personality, and much more.
Living Out Loud: Throughout your career, what has the city of Los Angeles meant for you?
Paquita La Del Barrio: It’s been a great trampoline for me, if you will. It seems that us Mexicans are always attracted to Los Angeles. It’s been extremely important to me.
LOL: El Dasa will be opening for you this Saturday at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. What’s your take on him?
PB: The kid’s very charismatic, and works hard.
LOL: What were your musical influences growing up?
PB: I listened to ranchera music a lot, like Antonio Aguilar and Pedro Infante.
LOL: AEG LIVE Latino has sort of began this tradition of having you perform in LA yearly. What can you tell us about your relationship with them?
PB: I’m not very well-versed as to how that partnership works. All I know is I have a performance, and I show up. I’m thankful that they continually keep me in mind.
LOL: What’s the greatest satisfaction for you at the moment?
PB: Well, all of my satisfactions, they accumulate. It’s like filling your purse – every coin has its space.
LOL: You don’t pull any punches, which makes you very direct and genuine. However, most people are not like that. What do you have to say to those out there who aren’t real, like so many artists today?
PB: It takes a great effort as a human being to be that way. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we all make that effort and give that grain of sand. It signifies you care about mankind, and if we were all more genuine, we would have happier lives.
LOL: You have a very strong fan base not only here in LA, but in many parts of the United States. How fortunate are you to have such loyal fans?
PB: Very. All the work, struggles and sacrifices are for them. Those who have attempted to cross that border have suffered. Some make it, some don’t. So these people deserve our love and respect.
LOL: Any words for youngsters who might want to follow in your footsteps one day?
PB: For most people, they’re just born with it. In my case, no one taught me how to sing, and I’ve been doing it since I was 7-8. So if you feel like you have a good enough voice, just jump in, throw yourself at it
Edison Millan contributed to this story.