A GoPride Interview

Ana Barbara

Latin Grammy superstar Ana Barbara performs Circuit Nightclub

Tue. January 27, 2015  by Jerry Nunn

Ana Barbara
Circuit Nightclub is throwing another Papi Party and this time legendary Mexican singer Ana Barbara is along for the ride.

The Latin Grammy winning singer, model and TV personality is known for her regional Mexican music. As one of the most popular Grupero singers, she has helped bring attention to the genre. In the past two decades, Barbara has released eleven studio albums, eighteen compilation albums, over thirty music videos, as well as four music video DVD's. She has taken her act beyond Mexico to the United States, and South America.

Jerry Nunn catches up with Ana Barbara before her performance at Circuit Nightclub, Thursday, Jan. 29.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hola, Ana! Start off with telling our readers the story of your artist name Ana Barbara.

AB: (Ana Barbara) The name came from my first movie Pero Sigo Siendo El Rey, afterwards the name Barbara by itself was used by another artist so I thought Ana Barbara sounded good phonetically so I kept it.

JN: From what I have read you were born in a small town. Did you always want to be a star?

AB: I was born in Rio Verde San Luis Potosi. Since I was very little I wanted to be a musical artist. I would always say, "I want to be famous!"

JN: What is the story behind your hit "La Trampa?"

AB: The story of that song is very unusual. One day I was listening to a song from Grupo Mojado and I was wondering who the composer was. I went and looked it up and it was Felipe Barrientos who is known for making these kinds of songs. I listened to the song "La Trampa" and I liked it so much that I recorded it. I never dreamed it would be such a big hit. It was my first international hit and it opened doors for me to travel the world and visit other countries.

JN: How does it feel now to have an over 20 year career?

AB: Wow, after 20 years I have been able to create so much for the public with writing, producing, and recording. Ana Barbara has lasted a long time, thank God!

JN: What is your connection to the gay community?

AB: My connection to the gay community has been great and keeps growing. I think I identify with them a lot. All my life I have been surrounded by gay people and I love them so much.

JN: I have heard you went to gay bars in Mexico in the past. Do you have a favorite one?

AB: (laughs) Yes, I have been to a few gay bars in Mexico City. It was many years ago but I really liked them. Sorry, but I don't remember the exact names of the bars.

JN: No problem, so how do you feel when you see a drag queen perform as Ana Barbara?

AB: To know that drag queens perform as me is something to celebrate and I truly am thankful for it.

They are fountains of inspiration to me.

JN: At Circuit Nightclub what songs will you be performing?

AB: I will be performing all the songs people know me for. I will do the hits along with a few new surprises while I am in Chicago.

JN: You have changed genres of music over the years. What is your favorite? Banda, Pop, or Mariachi?

AB: It is impossible to pick only one style of music. My favorite genre or style overall is Regional Mexican. I can't really just pick one though because I identify with many. Ranchera music is in blood and veins!

JN: How did it feel sing the song "Carcacha" by Selena?

AB: When they asked me to be a part of the homage to Selena, "the Queen of Tex-Mex", they told me to choose between three of her songs and I picked "Carcacha" because I liked it so much and it reminded me of her.

JN: Would you like to make some crossover music in English like Selena did?

AB: Yes, I would love to record in English but first I want to conquer the language a little more. I have thought about making an homage to Selena with songs she sang when she was very young. I love songs like "Ven Conmigo," "Las Cadenas," "Ya Vez," and "Que CreĆ­as." They have that accordion sound, very northern Mexico, very memorable.

JN: How is life in the United States for you now?

AB: My life now here in the United States is beautiful besides the fact that is difficult to live in a different country. For my kids it has been tough to learn the language and get used to life here. They have had to learn to speak English at a young age. I feel happy overall.

JN: Are you planning on judging more seasons of the show Tengo Mucho Talento?

AB: Estrella TV have asked me to return as judge and I am going to do it. I really like judging and do it with a lot of love.

JN: What are your plans for 2015?

AB: My big plan for 2015 is to record a new album. My fans and the public have asked me many times to record with a Mariachi band. I have invited Mariachis to play with me in concert but I want to make a full on ranchera record. Definitely my future is about making more music!

Barbara belts her way into Circuit Nightclub, 3641N Halsted, Thursday January 29. Tickets start at $20 and can purchased at the Circuit box office or online at wantickets.com/clubpapi.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.