Ely Holguin is a whirlwind. From releasing her first album – a diverse collection of Spanglish bachata hits – to gearing up for a tour in the Dominican Republic 2015 has put this young starlet on the map. We were lucky enough to sit down with her, and now we’re bringing you the éxclusive look on her upcoming projects, the artists who helped her make her dreams come true, and her advice for up-and-comers in the music industry. Take a seat – you won’t want to miss this.
Well I should start by saying, thanks for joining us. We’re excited to feature you.
Thank you so much for having me. I saw the article you guys wrote, and I really, really loved it. Thank you guys so much. I appreciate the support.
We’re happy to give it. Let’s jump right in.
Have you always been interested in pursuing music? How did you get your start?
Yeah, well, basically for as long as I can remember I’ve always liked to sing. And my mom tells me that even when I was in diapers I used to take my bottle and sing and dance around and stuff. So, I’ve definitely always liked music. Since I was little, my mom always used to listen to Spanish music when she used to come home from work. I was raised in a single-parent home, and she used to come from work, take her shoes off, and listen to bachata music, so that’s when I really started to like the music. Ever since I was a little girl I loved it because she had that influence on me, playing it. I grew up listening to it, which is why I decided to do bachata specifically.
Now, do you have any favorite bachata artists who you grew up listening to?
Well, one of my favorites – whom I didn’t grow up listening to until I was maybe 16 or so because that’s when he started coming out with singles that were clean on the radio – is Luis Miguel del Amargue. I now have a song featuring him, Que Hablen.
Yeah, I know. I’m so excited about that. I started working with Julio Cesart Garcia, the creator of La Ventura, and he did a reality show here, so my mom saw it on TV an that was before I started doing anything big like that, and she said, “You know, you should go for it. You’ve always liked to sing.” I sang in the choir and everything when I was little, so I went, and I went to the first round and then the second, and then I started working with him directly. He said, “I like your voice. I see that you have potential. What would you think if we produced an album?” I couldn’t believe it, I said yes and we started working together. He told me he was friends with Luis Miguel del Amargue, and I was so excited. When we finally started recording some song, I said I wanted to feature him and he made it happen.
Wow, that is very cool. Now, we’ve been playing your album non-stop over at Latin é. Personally, I love what you did with Skyscraper – it was such a great rendition. But we were wondering, do you have a favorite? Would it be Que Hablen?
Well, from my album I really do like Skyscraper a lot, because I really do love Demi Lovato. She’s one of the people that I really like in the pop-English section of music. I love her story and all that she’s been through and has overcome, and that song has a very strong meaning. That’s why, when we were doing the album, I heard that song on the radio, and I thought, “I want to do this song in bachata.” I thought it would go very well with my album, and so I did it.
I have to say, we also loved Everytime We Touch.
That was the first song I recorded. I really loved that song before, so I thought it might be fun to do it in Spanglish. So we did, and you know what? I wrote the Spanish part in breaks while we recording. I did the translation there.
I wish my translating skills were that good! I do not think I could translate something on the spot like that. Now, would you tell us a little about the making of the Everytime We Touch music video? It’s such a great video; I’m sure that was really exciting.
Thank you. It was fun. It was a long day, but it was a very fun, fun day. I got to work with Luis A Cabrera. He’s done a lot of videos for a lot of artists, including Enrique Iglesias, so it was a good experience working with him. We did it in Manhattan, so the location for that was around the Harlem area, where it’s a little urban. One of my friends, who’s a model got to be in it with me, and he was really excited, so I was very happy to have him work with me as well. It was just very fun. A long day, but so fun. We did it everything in one day.
That’s incredible. One day?
Yeah, only one day of shooting.
You would never know from the video. It looks like something that would take weeks.
Now, what’s next for you? What’s coming up in 2015? Can you give us any insights?
Well, right now I’m going to be in Chicago in March for a little mini tour over there. And we’ll just be working on our production and promoting this year. We’re going to the Dominican Republic sometime this summer, but we haven’t set a date yet. The dates for the DR tour will be posted to my website soon. But right now we’re just working on the promotion of the album.
Do you have any advice for young latinos/as who are trying to get into the music industry?
I always say, just be yourself. I know it’s hard at first, people want to tell you. “Do this. Do that.” But I know that it just takes discipline and being true to yourself, and being humble and well-grounded. That’s the most important thing for you having a future. If you don’t have discipline, you’re not going to be able to work with other people.
We have one more question. We like to ask a wild card at the end. So, what songs are currently on your playlist? What can you not stop listening to?
Oh My God. Right now, I really like a new song that Farruko has. I got to meet him in Puerto Rico, and he was really nice, and I really like his music. It’s not in the genre of bachata, but I really like this song. It’s called, Lejos De Aqui. And, of course, I have all of Prince Royce’s songs.
Who doesn’t love him?
Yeah. I really love his music. I think that he’s really representing the newest generation of upcoming artists well. He really broke the rules having the Spanglish in his songs and representing the Latin American generation.
We have to agree with you there. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.
No, thank you!