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Ximena Sariñana Wants To Know: 'Where Will The Girls Dance?'

Ximena Sariñana's latest album, <em>¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas?</em><em>,</em> or <em>Where Will The Girls Dance?, </em>is out now.
Courtesy of the artist
Ximena Sariñana's latest album, ¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas?, or Where Will The Girls Dance?, is out now.

Before her music career, Ximena Sariñana was a child actress in Mexican movies and telenovelas. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, she appeared in projects by her father, a director, and her mother, a screenwriter. Music was then just a hobby. But when she turned to it full time, the world noticed.

In 2008, her first album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album. A decade later, Sariñana now in her 30s, is entering a new stage in life and with that, a new album called ¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas?, or Where Will The Girls Dance?,out now.

Sariñana spoke with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro from Mexico City about making the album, learning from her 10-month-old daughter, having fellow female musicians as allies and more. Hear the radio version of their conversation at the audio link and read on for the adapted interview transcript.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Garcia-Navarro: What does it mean to have space for girls to dance?

Sariñana:Here, especially in Mexico, where we have a really high rate of sex related crimes and gender related crimes, it was something that was in the back of my head when I was writing the album. The album is actually a really luminous, female-empowered kind of record. But at the same time, it just raised this question of where can we find these spaces where girls can be free and be whatever they want to be.

You dedicated this album to your daughter. She's influenced your music?

When I was writing the album, I was in a head space where I really felt very okay, very happy with who I was at the time. It was the perfect moment to become a mother and I really think that she completely gave a lot more meaning and a lot more intention to my work in general.

What do you hope she won't have to deal with that you had to deal with?

When you're a woman and you're starting in the music industry, there's a part of you that you kind of hide just because you're usually surrounded by a lot of men. So, the other side, the side, I guess, the more sensitive side of a woman, you kind of like want to hide it.

You don't want appear vulnerable.


Latin pop, as you know, has had major successes on the American music charts, for example of course " Despacito ," produced by Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo. In fact, your song "Si Tú Te Vas" is produced by them. "Si Tú Te Vas" translates to "If You Go." Tell us about the song.

We really wanted to write a song about a breakup, but not your typical "I miss you terribly" and you know, "I'm devastated because you left." It's more of like a breakup in more equal terms, where it's like, "OK, so you're leaving me, I'm leaving you as well." It's like, both are losses, and I'm just going to have to carry on and be OK with that."

Yeah, it says "Don't doubt that I will forget you." Of course which is what I think you always want to say when you're walking out the door.

There are several duets with women on this album. One of those collaborations was on the song "Pueblo Abandonado" or "Abandoned Village" with Chilean artist Francisca Valenzuela. I hear you two are very good friends and you get together to vent about...

Everything [ Laughs]

...being musicians.

I mean, it's been really wonderful to have... I can say that I have a lot of girlfriends that do music and that are in the same state that I am in where you're the captain of your own ship, you make all your decisions, and you kind of go through the same things. It can be something as superficial as, "What's your best postpartum girdle," [ Laughs] to things like, "It's very hard to speak my mind when I'm in a meeting full of other executives and they're all men" That kind of thing.

Do you still feel intimidated by that? I mean, you've been in the music business for a while.

Not that much. I think right now, I'm definitely in a more safe state where I just feel really confident on my own music and know that you can have ups and downs and successful and unsuccessful songs, and it's gonna be OK.

Is that your message: 'It's gonna be OK'?

I think so, for sure. I really think that everything's gonna be OK.

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Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. She is infamous in the IT department of NPR for losing laptops to bullets, hurricanes, and bomb blasts.
Fengxue Zhang