Mexican-American duo REYNA has had a big summer, and now they're keeping the vibes going with a new video. After opening for CHVRCHES and Frenship at Summerfest and debuting "The Way I Loved You," a summer bop that captured attention from the likes of Tegan and Sara, Vic and Gabby Banuelos have finally released a fun-filled visual component that is sure to get viewers talking. Sticking to the single's nostalgic themes, the accompaniment has arrived at the perfect time for the reflective summer-fling lyrics to strike hot, but what really stands out is the creative and humorous homage to the duo's layered cultural upbringing.
The Banuelos sisters grew up watching telenovelas with their parents late at night, later filming reenactments of their favorite scenes. Beyond the entertainment value, the glamour and drama brought them an escape from the trials of growing up Mexican-American, an experience that sometimes left them feeling like they didn't belong in either culture. In tribute, the new video employs the Soraya Montenegro meme, which arose from the María la del Barrio character's dramatic nature as well as an English subtitle that read "[CRIES IN SPANISH]." Finding humor in the moment of translation overkill, Spanish-speaking communities on Tumblr began making edits of iconic scenes of the show with captions like "[Dies in Spanish]" and "[You Little Bitch in Spanish]" in a viral meme that would gain media attention from the likes of BuzzFeed.
After a few years of existence on the internet, these laughs are household memes so to speak, so the sisters decided to subtitle their entire video in that over-the-top nature, and the result is hilarious. Think moments like a man eating a strawberry alone as "[creepier than you in Spanish]" flashes across the screen, or one character's heart breaking in Spanish during a dramatic scene. All in all, the approach allows REYNA to share an important part of their upbringing in the most internet-friendly way possible, with the added bonus of showing off just how fun of an approach they are bringing to music.
To celebrate the new release, Vic spoke with L'Officiel USA to give a little more insight into the song, the video, and the duo as a whole. Watch the video below, then read on to hear her thoughts on growing up Mexican-American, the single's romantic backstory, and what's next for the sisters as they head into a busy fall.
How did you first get into music?
Gab and I started singing together with our grandmother, who was in a Mariachi band and would take us along to her gigs. We got used to singing together and being around musicians. We eventually picked up a guitar and bass around 11 years old and taught ourselves to play songs from bands we loved. We started writing songs about school and our friends. Writing music became natural for us.
This latest video pays homage to your Mexican heritage. How has your identity as second-generation Mexican-Americans influenced your music?
I think growing up Mexican-American, you belong to two worlds. Most of the time, you feel like you don't fit into either identity, so it can be pretty isolating. In my experience, I grew up being bullied so I was pretty much a loner in school. I think that allowed me to focus on music and use it as my outlet, my escape. Both Gab and I write about our experiences and the people around us who happen to be Latinx and Americans. We are so lucky that we get perspective from two worlds colliding in today's political climate.
What inspired “The Way I Loved You” and what is the message you’re trying to share with this latest track?
"The Way I Love You" is inspired by my first love when I was in college in Monterrey, Mexico. It's about wanting to love someone again the way you loved the first time. Some times we are so scared of getting hurt again that we put up walls and don't allow ourselves to just feel what we are feeling for someone new. It's so tricky with new relationships, so the song is trying to tell listeners to let it go and feel everything to the fullest. For the video, we wanted to pay tribute to our Mexican heritage and all the nights we spent watching Telenovelas with our parents. Those are such fond memories for us, and we still watch Telenovelas to this day. It is one of the ways that we continue to stay in touch with our culture.
What advice would you have for someone looking to pursue a career in music?
You need to have tough skin. There will be very high highs and very low lows, but you just have to be sure this is what you want and you're willing to sacrifice everything for it. At the end of the day, if you're creating and making music you believe in, that's all that matters.
After the release of the music video, what’s next for REYNA?
We have a remix for "The Way I Loved You" by RAC coming up, as well as a few new singles dropping before our EP release in the fall.