Natalia Jimenez on Feminism and Latin Music: "We're Gonna Push More Than Men"
The band may have formed in Spain, but la 5ª saw instant success in Mexico thanks to "¿Dónde Irán?" off its debut album Primera Toma, which was used as the theme song for Clase 406, one of Televisa's most popular soap operas of 2002.
"It was funny because we didn't know about telenovelas, and when we got there [to Mexico], we found out there's teenage novelas. We were like, 'What is this?' It was just funny."
Shortly after, the band released a second record, one of its most successful works to date, Flores de Alquiler, for which Jiménez and the rest of the crew incorporated Mexican sounds and themes into their music, from mariachi trumpets to lyrics paying tribute to la gente del pueblo. The next two albums, 2006's El Mundo Se Equivoca and 2009's Sin Frenos, saw equal success.
All in all, la 5ª ended up becoming a platinum- and gold-selling group in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain, and even won a collection of Grammy and Latin Grammy awards.
"The first chance we had in music in this world was in Mexico," la Madrileña says. "It was the first serious approach. We owe them everything -- all I know about music in my career and who I am today."
Like all great things, la 5ª came to an end about a year after the release of Sin Frenos. Jiménez broke the news to fans on the day after the 2010 Latin Grammy awards.
"We were together for such a long time and were like, 'What's next?'," she explains. "It's easy to stay and do something that's safe. That works, but then you're always surrounded by the same people and not doing anything new. I decided to step out and start doing other things on my own."
Like releasing her 2011 self-titled debut album produced by Emilio Estefan, which was nominated for a 2012 Billboard Latin Music Award.
"I learned a lot. I met a lot of new amazing people that walked me through my album. I didn't do it alone. I did it with Emilio Estefan. He's like a legend. What do you want me to tell you?," she laughs.
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