Rising Bronx-born singer Isa Marina is celebrating her birthday today in a big way through one of her musical idols. With the recent 25th anniversary of Tex-Mex queen Selena Quintanilla-Pérez's passing, Marina released an acoustic cover of her eternal hit "Como La Flor."
The world lost Selena on March 31, 1995 in a tragic murder. Selena's time in music was too brief, but her influence on the next generation of artists is everlasting. You can count Marina as one of those hoping to follow in Selena's footsteps.
"To me, Selena means that achieving my dreams is possible," Marina tells Golden Oportunidad Music about the late singer's impact. "It was not common, especially in the early 90's, to see a brown Latinx woman, with visibly brown features, make-it from the bottom up and explode into superstardom at a mainstream crossover level. She solidified for me that eventually with hard work and patience, I could achieve all of my dreams in due time."
Marina is an independent artist who launched her own record label, Norwood Entertainment. (Boss!) She is proudly Afro-Latinx with her Cuban and Dominican roots and that comes through in her music that teeters between Latin and R&B. To honor Selena, Marina took one of her classics and gave it a soulful, stripped-down twist.
"Ever since I was a little girl, 'Como la Flor' has always been my favorite to perform," Marina says. "[Selena's] live version at the Astrodome gave me chills then and still does now. I would literally jump out of my seat every time I'd see her perform on Don Francisco to try and imitate her. I'd put on my lil' white patent leather shoes and sing on my karaoke machine mic. Throughout the past year, my band and I incorporated the song into our live setlist, and people absolutely go crazy for it."
Marina has released three EPs so far, including last year's True Colors that she took more of a hands-on approach with. The singer-songwriter served as the project's executive producer and managed its roll-out. As for what's next in this time of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus), she promises more surprises from quarantine.
"I'm definitely releasing new music, so please stay tuned for that!" Marina says. "I also look forward to connecting with my audience on Youtube more. Stay tuned for more vlogs." (Her YouTube page here.)
Listen to her cover here:
Photo composition/photos courtesy of Isa Marina