The guitar strums and soothing bajoloche open Yahritza Y Su Esencia’s “Siendo Sincero” like a modern corrido — which makes sense, as the song is a cover of Los Del Limit’s hit. But the intro doesn’t prepare you for the voice of Yahritza Martinez.
“Cómo les explico lo que pasó? Es que usted me enaomoró,” she sings earnestly, and in a lower octave. (“How can I explain what happened? It’s that you made me fall in love with you.”) “Es que cuando hacíamos el amor,” she sings, bringing her voice to a heartstring-pulling high. “Yo tocaba el cielo con pasión.” (“It’s that when we made love, I touched the heavens with passion.”)
The plucked guitar comes in as she explores her lower register and sings about longing for someone who’s simply gone. Her brothers’ instrumentals only aid in uplifting the singer’s one-of-a-kind voice.
As her brother Jairo, who plays in the family band Yahritza y Su Esencia, told Nuevo Culture, “People say [Yahritza’s voice] gives them shivers.” And it sure does, especially on a track like “Siendo Sincero.” Her voice, still adolescent, is in some ways reminiscent of the vocal tenderness that made the world fall in love with Justin Bieber as he kick-started his career.
But starting young isn’t anything new in regional Mexicano music. At just 15, Yahritza follows in the footsteps of many regional Mexicano singers like Natanael Cano, Ivan Cornejo, and Ángela Aguilar, who kick-started their careers as teens. With her snapback and baggy clothing, she — like heavyweights Grupo Firme — brings a modern, youthful flair to a genre that seemed to be aging.
What sets someone like Yahritza apart from the Biebers and Aguilars is that with her backstory — as the daughter of an immigrant farmworker and stay-at-home parent from Michoacán, Mexico — she’s representative of many first-generation Mexicans who’ve built their lives from scratch. She’s creating something special with her band, and doing it nearly on her own.
“Siendo Sincero” mirrors the emotions and sounds throughout the group’s five-song EP, Obsessed. It’s the first taste of a group that’ll undoubtedly be the next big thing in música Mexicana.
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