Colombian singer and rapper Farina has been working in the entertainment industry for 16 years. And like many artists, her beginning wasn’t as bright as her future. Although her path has had ups and downs, the star kept herself busy and representing all hardworking Latinas.
In a recent Spanish-language interview with the Los Angeles Times, Farina shared details of her journey and how she went from participating in Colombian reality show Factor X to now celebrating her first Latin Grammy nomination in the category Best Urban Song for her hit “A Fuego,” inspired by La India’s “Mi Mayor Venganza.”
Farina is the only female star facing off against Tainy & J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez, Myke Towers, Yotuel, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, and Maykel Osorbo.
According to the Medellín native, people questioned her musical approach. “When reggaeton came to my country, there was no commercial artist, at least a woman, doing this genre originally from Puerto Rico,” she tells the publication. “At that time, I earned that recognition thanks to a reality show. And at that time, there was no one commercially speaking. There were like three people starting to play on the radio with urban music but not specifically reggaeton.”
“In my country, hip hop or rap are not genres with much force. It is a country of cumbia, salsa, tropical rhythms. The closest thing was the champeta, then to see a woman on national television rapping and doing covers of Daddy Yankee songs; people found it very strange,” she said. According to the singer, who also dances and acts, she had “the country divided” since some people “loved” her project. In contrast, others wondered, “what is this woman doing?”
“I remember I was 17 years old,” she says. “And I come out of the reality tv show to demonstrate what I‘m made of, and making music was very hard for me because I didn’t have an investor,” she reveals, adding that she comes from a family of very humble origins. “I did not have a label that believed in my project. It was a sorrowful moment for me. I retired from music for a few years. But during that time, I continued to evolve and traveled to the island of San Andres.”
According to the singer, the tourist destination shaped her and inspired her to adopt the flow we know today. “Listening to so much reggae and dancehall made me absorb that flow,” she comments. Farina says that many people tell her that she doesn’t sound like a singer from Medellin, and she explains that in addition to her family being from the Caribbean, she lived on the island for a long time.
Today, Farina is a global Latin icon and has collaborated with other superstars such as Thalía, Sofía Reyes, Blueface, Tokischa, Maluma, Natti Natasha, Cazzu, Steve Aoki, Wyclef Jean, Farruko, Gente de Zona, and many others.
The singer also launched alongside Thalía and Sofía Reyes the Facebook Watch series “Latin Music Queens.” The stars share details of their personal and professional lives and the behind-the-scenes of creating the song and music video of “Tick Tock.”