Becky G Is An Angel With a Devil On Her Shoulder
Even if you’re new to reggaeton and don’t know Becky G by name, your ears do.
She’s provided vocals for some of the hottest Reggaeton tracks of the last decade—including collaborations with Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, and J Balvin.
Finally, after ten years of solely releasing booty-shaking singles, Becky G has blessed us with a full album.
Mala Santa, Becky G’s debut album, is half naughty, half nice, and fully in Spanish.
We talked to the powerful Latina songstress (and icon) about her decision to finally drop an album, the inspiration behind Mala Santa, and more.
Your debut album is here! Tell us about your journey creating Mala Santa?
Mala Santa is my debut album and it’s all in Spanish and I couldn’t be anymore proud because everything has led up to this moment—from when I started working in the industry at nine years old to getting signed at 14 years old, literally having an entire career based off of singles. I think the artist in me was longing for the opportunity to create a full body of work to be able to reflect and represent the woman that I am now as an artist and give that to my fans who have waited so patiently. So it’s been a long time coming, but I created the album this very year.
Why did you choose the name Mala Santa for your debut album?
It just felt right. Basically the concept behind Mala Santa is the angel that can be bad. I feel like growing up in the industry at such a young age and then transitioning into a woman in front of the world isn’t necessarily always the easiest transition to experience. So everyone saw this angelic sweetheart side of me and then were like, “woah! She’s sexy, she’s badass, she’s killing it“ and at first it was a little bit hard for people and now they understand that there are both sides of me.
What song on the new record hits closest to home for you?
I think every song has some kind of significance to me, to my story, to something I’ve experienced, to something that’s inspired me. It’s really hard to choose just one, but I think the songs that I sing alone probably hit differently just because I’ve been an artist that’s collaborated with so many artists so many times. My fans are always asking when I’m going to give songs by myself as a solo artist, so I think it was time to show people that I was capable of doing that alone. There are a lot of different songs like that on the album.
Do you have more fun being the bad girl or the good girl?
I like being the good girl, that’s just where my heart stands. But there’s something that happens when I become the mala that I don’t know…there’s an angel on one side, a devil on the other. The angel is usually the one I trust and have faith in, but every now and then I like to listen to the little devil on my shoulder and we always have a good time.
Your sweet baby girl vocals have graced some of the hardest Reggaeton anthems this summer, what has been your most exciting collaboration to date, and who would be your ideal next collab?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite just because every collab has been a different style or let me demonstrate a different side of me as an artist, but one of the ones I had a lot of fun on was “Rebota” remix with Guaynaa. I was the only female featured on it, I got to do a little rap on it. And there’s something about this Mala Santa concept that has followed me for so long, like everyone sees me as this sweet and caring and lovable lil person and out of nowhere she be coming in hot with these sexy lyrics. I think the best example is a fan the other day was like, “OMG Becky was shaking her ass on stage, performing her ass off, going so hard and when she went to receive her award she was giggly and shy.” That’s literally the two sides of me, so “Rebota” was like that—that nice little balance between the two.
So you are hosting The MTV Europe Music Awards. Are you already planning all the fun outfit changes to wear throughout the evening, and how are you preparing for the big night?
Hosting is always a huge responsibility I feel, but it’s one that I feel very capable of. I feel really prepared and excited for it because I’ve gotten the experience to host other award shows in the Latin world, it doesn’t feel too foreign. I’m just looking forward to having a good time and of course I’m going to come through with the looks.
You and your boyfriend Sebastian Lletget have been going strong for a few years now. How did you guys meet?
We met quite some time ago through mutual friends. Usually when your friends play cupid it doesn’t normally work, but I guess they knew what they were doing.
You are headlining TIDAL X: Rock the Vote concert at Barclays Center with the likes of Alicia Keys and many more. We know you are very active and vocal on social media about immigration and other policies affecting Latinos. What is your stance on the current state of affairs in our government?
Our current state of the nation overall is very charged with conflict and it’s very tough as a young person with such power. Behind my voice I acknowledge the platform I was given, not just for music but for the greater good. I try—in the most authentic way—to bring awareness to these things. When things are so politically charged it can be hard because people may shut you out or treat you differently, and that’s okay to have differences, but I feel like heart can never be wrong. The reality is we’re talking about human beings here. When we’re talking about families being separated and people coming to the United States of America to have a better life, not just for themselves but for their families, that’s something that hits really close to home for me personally and what the experience was for my grandparents and other family members. So I try to be as vocal as possible in an authentic way. Just inspire people to go educate themselves, go register to vote if you haven’t already, and if you are registered, own up to that opportunity to do so.
Out of all the candidates in the upcoming election. Who do you feel will do right by the Latino community?
Hmm…I don’t know I feel like there’s still a lot of research that I need to do to be able to make a decision that sits well with me. So I wouldn’t make a choice just yet.
Who are your icons and heroes?
If we’re talking personally, my little brother Alex is definitely one of my greatest inspirations just because from a very young age I’ve had to see him overcome so many obstacles. Before he was given the self awareness to understand his autism and what made him what other people would call different, just seeing him take life for what it is and make it so beautiful and inspire other people around him. That to me is so heroic.
If we’re speaking from a musical perspective, I just look up to badass women. I think there’s a lot of badass women like my fellow peers in the Latina gang: Natti Natasha, Karol G, and the many more that are on the come up. But also behind the cameras. There are so many female managers that are killing it now. So many producers, female songwriters, so I think any experience I have with a badass chick in the music industry inspires me to go harder.
What makes you feel confident?
Accepting my imperfections. I feel like they say living life waiting for positive experiences is a negative experience in itself, and living negative experiences is a positive experience in itself. Literally going back to that yin and yang factor of life, everything there is that balance and as somebody who’s lived in that industry in front of the world being so exposed, it’s so easy to fall into the peer pressure about what you should look like, [how you should] act, and speak and what everyone expects of you. So when you can accept yourself for what you would consider your own imperfections it’s empowering because you’re like, “well that doesn’t make me any less, it just makes me me.”
What photo is on your lock screen of your phone?
It’s me and my man — it’s the black and white picture that we took in our hotel room before the latin AMAs. I love it. It’s cute, kind of hot.
What did you last dream about?
It’s really inappropriate so I shouldn’t talk about it.
What show are you binge watching?
I am not binge watching any shows because I do not have any time! Sadly…
You had the most insane thing on your rider: Cotton Candy grapes. I had no idea these were actually real things, but now we are obsessed?
Is that insane? Cotton candy grapes are an experience. I’m a sharer, I love to share things. The first time I had one it changed my life, so I was like, let me just go around changing people’s lives. So when I ask for cotton candy grapes on my rider it’s not just for me, it’s for everyone to experience.
What song from your new album do you listen to on repeat?
Mala Santa is a repeat album. And I’m not saying this because it’s my album, I really genuinely listen to my songs thinking, “if a fan is listening to this, what would they think?” And I listen to it from top to bottom and every single time it’s a different experience, but not one song do I ever feel the need to skip.
You have a beauty collaboration with Colourpop cosmetics, how did this come about?
I love my collab with Colourpop. Our collab over this last year has been so awesome bc we’ve created so many different collections that embrace so many of my different inspirations. It’s really cool for me as an artist to expand my connection with my fans through other outlets. Makeup is something I’ve always been genuinely passionate about so it’s cool to connect with them over something besides music.
What one product from the new collection do you never leave home without?
Out of all of the collections I’ve done with ColourPop, I really loved the OG first collection we did. The eyeshadow palette is a staple. I think for a lot of people it’s a staple because it has a mirror, and the palette is super key for travel life, the one that I live. But it also has fun colors for a night out or staple colors that you can wear for every day.
What is your daily beauty/skin care regimen?
Water is important. Never sleeping with makeup ever, ever, ever, ever. I don’t care how tired I am, how drunk I am. Lashes gotta come off, my cleanser, my toner, my scrub, all that stuff is always in place.
What beauty advice did your mom or grandmother give you that you still live by?
That confidence is key. That you can be in sweatpants chillin with no makeup on and your hair up and as long as you feel confident and you love yourself for who you are, that will always transcend any kind of glamorous dress or whatever that makes women beautiful.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Hmm…to just be yourself and have fun. I feel like I really embraced those two sides of me growing up. The really feminine side but also the tomboy side. So I would say just be yourself and don’t try too hard to keep up with the trends because trends come and go but authenticity should always stay.
What is next for Becky G?
I feel like this next phase in my career is really exciting because I have released my very first album and it feels like the beginning of the new era of Becky G. So I’m really excited about what this new phase in my career is going to bring. I have a lot more shows to do, a lot more album promo. Who knows, maybe next year we’re going to get a Mala Santa tour. My team is going to kill me for even throwing it out there because my fans are going to demand it now, but that’s why I did it…
Photography: Jacob DeKat
Creative Direction: Prince Chenoa
Stylist: Joey Thao at BLM MAGANEMENT
Make Up: Angie Mar
Hair: Cynthia Alvarez
Styling Assistants: Giovanni Floresta, Jamie Love, Heather Pardieu
Tailoring: Karla Miranda
Male model: Polo Chevalier
Location: Cherry Soda Studio