Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

'Soy' Maria Conchita Alonso!
by Emmanuel Garcia
2004-09-01

This article shared 12962 times since Wed Sep 1, 2004
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


J.Lo may be the Latina star who makes the most headlines today, but long before she first walked down the aisle, another Latina was paving the way. Maria Conchita Alonso was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela. She started her career young, being crowned Miss Teenager of the World, Miss Venezuela, and competing in the Miss World beauty pageant. She used these pageants as a springboard to a modeling career, becoming one of the top models of her time. She took on acting and singing, adding more hyphens to her resume than J.Lo.

Along the way, she has appeared on Spanish Soap operas, starred in major Hollywood films, recorded 11 music albums, and performed on Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Maria Conchita Alonso's career has included many international awards as a model, a singer, an actress and a humanitarian. Most notably, Maria Conchita was nominated for an independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for Caught and 3 Grammy Nominations. She's become one of America's legendary Latina entertainers and, for many, a gay icon. Remakably, Maria Conchita Alonso met fame at a time when Latinos were far less dominant than they are today.

In speaking with her, you quickly find that her Spanish accent hasn't gone away, accentuating the independent Latina Maria Conchita represents. However, she isn't your stereotype; she's the rock chick who loves to entertain—something she's been doing well for a very long time.

After taking an eight-year break from music, Maria Conchita Alonso is back. This time she's on the dance floor with a new EP single, 'Soy', to be released on Sept. 7. She is also currently working on her new album, due to be released some time next year.

She took the time to chat with this fan about 'Soy', the new album, making it in Hollywood, and of course Chiquie Chiquie!

Emmanuel Garcia: The name of this magazine is Identity. How do you identify?

Maria Conchita Alonso: As a free spirit, true to myself, a believer of individualism. Everybody should do what's right and what's good for them no matter what society or others might say.

EG: Let's talk about your new single 'Soy'.

MCA: It's a new single. The album is not coming out until next year. It's not really what my album is about; my album is Latin Pop and this single is House/Dance. We did 'Soy' in eight different remixes. Like house, dance, electro, and techno. For my fans I added new versions of a couple of my first No. 1 hits, which are 'La Loca' and 'Noche de Copas'.

EG: Will this album be Spanish, or will it be Spanglish?

MCA: This is an EP. The album is not until next year, so what I'm promoting now is the EP 'Soy'. It's in Spanish

EG: Why did you choose this song?

MCA: I picked that song because the label that I signed with, Cleopatra, is the label that does only like remixes of songs. They're not really a label that launches whole CD's. ... This is the song that they signed me for. I signed with them for this EP, not for the whole album. They heard my music and they like this one.

EG: When was the last time you did an album?

MCA: (sighs) Like about eight years ago. Yeah, I took a little recess, but I didn't know that it was going to be for such a long time. I just wanted to rest for a little while and then all of a sudden it became ...

EG: Eight years! (We both laugh)

MCA: So, I'm like. 'Oh my time has passed by fast'

EG: What have you been doing in the past eight years?

MCA: I've been traveling. I've been working as an actor—you know, cable movies. I did a couple of movies outside of the United States. [I] took time for myself writing songs. Just wanted to be a moment by myself.

EG: You did Return to Babylon during this time.

MCA: It's one of the projects that I've been working on. We're almost done with it, but it's not quite finished yet. It's a very cool black-and-white film about the stars of that era, the '20s and '30s. My character is Lupe Velez.

EG: You've done television, film, music, and Broadway. Is there something you haven't done professionally that you would like to do?

MCA: Not really. I think I've done it all! I'd like to work with people that I haven't worked with. [I'd like to] continue doing what I'm doing, maybe do a duet with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Axl Rose from Guns n' Roses.

EG: In terms of the new album, what will be different this time around?

MCA: It's more modern, hipper music than what I used to do before. It's different. The EP is different house/dance, and the CD is different. It has a lot of Latin influence with hip hop and trip hop.

EG: What's your favorite type of music?

MCA: I like rock.

EG: I couldn't tell, especially with your answers!

MCA: (She laughs) I like blues, Buddha bar kind of music, lounge.

EG: We now have a number of Latino/a actors in Hollywood. How difficult was it for you when you started?

MCA: (sighs) To tell you the truth, when I started here there wasn't much of a Latino base. The doors weren't really open for Latinos. It was easier than I would have thought. I was lucky I guess. My energy attracted a lot of people, so I think it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think it's harder now to stay doing what I want to do because the industry wants fresh meat. Sometimes people forget that talent is the most important thing. But I shouldn't complain. I've had a wonderful career and I'm ready to continue with it, and I'm sure I will have it until I want to have it.

EG: Who were your role models growing up?

MCA: I guess my mom. I really didn't have anyone outside my family. My mom was an amazing role model

EG: You are very well respected in the Hollywood community, especially the Latino community. When I told my mom I was doing this interview she said, 'Oh my god I can't believe it, your grandmother knows who she is!' I'm like, 'Everybody knows who she is! How could you not?' Do you feel that's it's harder now because there are more people?

MCA: I don't think that it's because there are more people, because I don't think there are many [entertainers] from my generation really. I don't compete with the new generation, because we are different generations. It really has to do with luck and fresh meat and having good representation, which I really haven't had. Good representation is really important to get you out there—in meetings, interviews and auditions. I'm doing a big change in my life in that aspect.

EG: What advice would you give others who are trying to break into the entertainment business?

MCA: I think the most important thing—and it shouldn't just be for minorities, it should be for everyone. ... If you go out there believing that you're going to be receiving lots of 'No's' because of where you come from, that's a very big mistake because that's what you're going to project. You have to understand the industry is tough no matter where you come from, no matter what your background is. There are a lot of people out there wanting to do the same thing that you want to do. But it's not impossible. You just have to believe in yourself and when you receive 'No's', instead of making you disappear, it should make you fight even harder.

I would say the most important thing is believe in yourself, keep fighting, and be prepared for anything. Don't take the rejections personal.

EG: You have a huge GLBT fan base. What is your connection to the GLBT community?

MCA: I was very much supported by the community when I first came out with my music—first in Venezuela and then worldwide. I guess because I'm a strong person, I don't care what others say. I do what I believe is right for me because I respect other's beliefs. [With] the kind of music that I perform, I did get a lot of respect and handholding from the community. It's just like Cher!

EG: You're participating in The Latin Pride Festival in LA, which helps fund HIV causes. How can we get this important message across to people in general?

MCA: I think for many years they have been trying to get the message across that HIV gets to anyone. ... I just think as time goes by people have more knowledge of it, but we have to continue fighting it. I really believe that it's not going to stop 100%, but at least we can diminish the growth of it. It's important that if you're going to go out there and 'Chiquie Chiquie' that you should be protected! And keep having fun because you're not going to stop 'Chiquie, Chiquie!'—it's good, it's beautiful. So, at least protect yourself and others.

EG: What is your favorite quote?

MCA: 'Live and let live!'

EG: Let's do one or the other. Pick one of the following: Hispanic or Latina?

MCA: For me, it's the same. Either one

EG: Salsa or Merengue?

MCA: Neither one

EG: Bush or Kerry?

MCA: I'm not a politician. Everybody has something good and bad. You have to measure who has better things. I don't vote! I'm not an American citizen. But, I think it's very important for everybody to vote.

EG: Civil Union or Gay Marriage?

MCA: If you want to do it, why not?

EG: Do you ever go back to Venezuela?

MCA: I used to go more than now because now we have a lot of political problems. It is very tough now to be there—security, economically, everything. We have a president who is a communist dictator, and, hopefully, we will vote for him to leave on August the 15th, which is the referendum [after identity went to press].

EG: So you are political! It was a pleasure speaking with you and I'm really excited about your new single and the album next year.

MCA: Thank you so much, Emmanuel

www.emmanuelgarcia.com


This article shared 12962 times since Wed Sep 1, 2004
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Out at CHM: Panelists discuss HIV/AIDS' continued impact on dance community 2022-06-25
- The Chicago History Museum (CHM) hosted a June 23 panel with doctors and dancers who shared their experiences with the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as ideas for continuing to address the disease today. Following the discussion, ...


Gay News

Photos of Chicago's Daniel Sotomayor included in new Smithsonian exhibit 2022-06-22
- The Smithsonian's first gallery dedicated to Latino history and culture has opened its doors to the public at the National Museum of American History, NBC News noted. Billed as a precursor to a national Latino museum ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: WNDR Museum, Prince, queer books, flowers 2022-06-16
- — WNDR Museum's Pride event "Crafting with Queens": The West Loop museum is usually entertainment and, um, wondrous enough on its own—but during Pride Month, WNDR is queering things up with "Crafting with Queens" on Tuesday, ...


Gay News

Out at CHM's 'Dancing for Life' to take place June 23 2022-06-10
- The Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., is continuing its Out at CHM series with "Dancing for Life: Moving through HIV/AIDS" on Thursday, June 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m. In honor of Chicago designating 2022 as the ...


Gay News

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center CEO to step down 2022-06-09
-- From a press release - After eight years, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (IHMEC) CEO Susan Abrams has announced she will step down. Since her arrival at IHMEC in 2014, the Museum has become a global leader in Holocaust and ...


Gay News

American Art Awards issues national honors for 2022 2022-06-06
- The American Art Awards has selected the 20 Best American Galleries and Museums for 2022. Among other criteria, selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online interest, location, size ...


Gay News

The Museum of Public Relations to address wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation June 2 2022-05-25
-- From a press release - (New York, NY) - The Museum of Public Relations in New York City will host its fourth annual event focused on "The LGBTQ Experience in Public Relations" on June 2, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm ET. ...


Gay News

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's 'RE/UNION' to take place May 12-15 2022-04-27
- After reconnecting with audiences this spring at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) has announced the program for the company's return to the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph ...


Gay News

DANCE 'Wired,' focusing on barbed wire, to premiere at MCA on May 5-8 2022-04-14
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) will showcase the world premiere of Wired on May 5-8. Internationally recognized disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light will return to the stage to premiere its latest work. The work ...


Gay News

The Grammys, from A (awards) to Z (Zelensky) 2022-04-04
- The 64th Annual Grammy Awards took place April 3 in Las Vegas—and there were surprising and moving moments. Jon Batiste—a musician who is also the creative director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem—won four trophies, ...


Gay News

PERFORMANCE Senior-focused 'All the Sex I've Ever Had' at MCA on March 24-30 2022-03-22
- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 220 E. Chicago Ave., will host the Chicago premiere of All the Sex I've Ever Had, a trailblazing performance that features six real-world Chicagoans older than 62 sharing their most ...


Gay News

21c Museum Chicago hires 'Top Model' judge Nigel Barker as creative director 2022-03-10
- 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, one of the newest hotels in downtown Chicago, announced renowned photographer and entrepreneur Nigel Barker—best known for his roles as photographer/judge on America's Next Top Model—as its new creative director. In ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Field Museum running 'Jurassic Oceans,' 'Wild Color' exhibits 2022-03-06
- The ongoing successes of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies are just a couple indicators of how fascinated people are with dinosaurs. Those people will absolutely love "Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep," a new ...


Gay News

Nick Cave to bring first retrospective to MCA Chicago 2022-02-25
-- From a press release - CHICAGO The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) announced that tickets for Nick Cave: Forothermore, the first career-spanning retrospective of internationally renowned, Chicago-based LGBTQ artist Nick Cave, will go ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till' to take place Feb. 26-27 2022-02-21
- Collaboraction and The DuSable Museum of African American History are partnering to present Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till—the first-ever stage adaptation of the actual, recently unearthed 1955 trial transcript of the two ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.