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Yuridia, on moving to Phoenix, fans and fame, in concert 11/5

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Yuridia, on moving to Phoenix, fans and fame, in concert 11/5

Mensaje por Francisco el Mar 01 Nov 2016, 21:00

Could Yuridia be moving back to Arizona? The platinum-selling singer, who will perform at the Celebrity Theatre on Nov. 5, says that's the plan.


Yuridia performs Nov. 21, 2012, at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. (Photo: David Kadlubowski/The Republic)

Yuridia Gaxiola has a life that most people would envy. A  Mesa High School alum, she is also an international recording star who is a household name in Latin America. She easily fills arenas in Mexico, and all six of her albums have topped the national chart and gone platinum.

Still, she says, part of her longs for the life she left behind.

“Reporters always ask me if I could have $10 million or go back in time, which would I choose,” says Yuridia, on the phone from her home in Mexico City. “I always choose going back in time. I will always love my childhood and growing up in Arizona and doing things like going to Starbucks with my family. I had all these things that I don’t have now.”

She doesn’t sound sad when she says it, just wistful and a little giggly.

“I always think I’m clinging to the past, but I loved growing up there,” she says. “I was the happiest kid. My parents did everything they could to make us happy. We really lived close to a park … I wish I could go back there.”

Moving back to Arizona?

In a way, she may get her chance. Yuridia (she dropped her last name professionally) has made frequent visits to the Valley this past year. Her son, Phoenix — named for Joaquin Phoenix — now lives in Phoenix with his father, Edgar Guerrero, also a singer.

Her son “is studying English,” she says, adding “I’m actually planning on moving back. It would to be nice to live over there again. As of now, we’re looking into it.”

Of course, it would be a difficult transition, but that’s something she’s used to. She left high school during her senior year in 2005 to compete on “La Academia,” a Spanish-language reality show that aired throughout Latin America and Spanish-speaking regions of the United States. It combined the musical aspects of “American Idol” with the drama of “Big Brother,” as contestants were forced to live with each other and filmed round-the-clock.

She captivated viewers with her emotional, dusky voice. She was extremely shy and raw on camera, which added to her vulnerability and appeal. She came in second on the show, but the exposure was enough to launch her career. She relocated to Mexico City, and things have never been the same.

Now, her personal life is picked apart in the Spanish-language press. Fans track her through Twitter and Instagram. She is constantly the target of paparazzi in Mexico.

“It’s really difficult to process that you can be out on the street and someone is hiding behind a bush waiting to get your picture,” the 30-year-old says. “Then, once I see myself in a magazine, it’s like, ‘I did that? I was scratching my nose? Are you kidding me?’ That’s a hard part of this job, because people want to see a lot more of your life than they’re supposed to see.”

That would be one of the advantages of moving to Arizona.

“Nobody’s going to be hiding behind cars there,” she says, laughing. “When I’m over there, I’m treated differently, and I like it.”

'The grinch of fame'

She thinks starting in the business so early — she was still in her teens when her first album, “La Voz de un Angel,” was released — is one reason why she has such an uneasy relationship with fame.

“I was pushed into this so young that I think I’ve developed into the grinch of fame,” she says with a laugh. “Every time I see people that want to be famous before they’re anything else, I just think, ‘Boy, you don’t know what you’re asking for.’  I think fame is just kind of empty. But I do like my career. I love music. I love it when people go to my concerts and they sing along.”

That’s an important part of any Yuridia show. Along with the star attraction, you will see the audience belting out the lyrics to big pop-rock ballads like “Ya Es Muy Tarde (It's Already Too Late)," “Ya Te Olvidé (I've Already Forgotten You)” and “Cobarde (Coward).” The titles alone tell you that she sings about heartbreak with a capital "H."

“I feel like a psychologist, because the audience sings all these dramatic songs with me and they come out feeling sort of drained," she says. "Some of the girls in the audience even cry. I feel they relate not only to the music, but to me. I come from a traditional family. I grew up in Arizona. I started working young. I have the kind of background where I’ve managed to stay strong. In a way, I think they look up to me. I feel kind of responsible for them. I’m always there for them. I’m kind of like a feminist.”

If her biggest fan following is made up of young women, she’s also received a lot of support from the gay community.

“They also relate to the music,” she says. “They love the costumes and the color, but I always think, ‘What do they see in me?’ But I think they see what’s behind it all.”

Still the same girl

Through the years, as her fame has grown, so have her live shows. Originally, a Yuridia concert simply consisted of the singer performing with her band. Now, they have evolved into spectacles with costume changes and dancers. Front and center is Yuridia, who has developed a sassy, dynamic stage presence.

But, she says, she’s still the same shy girl people saw on “La Academia.”

“Every time I go to a restaurant with my sister, I tell her, ‘You ask for the ketchup’ because I don’t want to talk to the waiter,” she says, laughing. “But when I’m on stage, I’m a completely different person. You can’t go on stage and be shy. The circumstances sort of push you to be really out there. Your alter ego sort of pops out, and you’re someone else. My manager always laughs. 'Where's that girl on stage? She disappears when she comes off.'"

Yuridia
When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
Where: Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix.
Admission: $60-$105.
Details: 602-267-1600, celebritytheatre.com.

AZ Central


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