By:Daniel Portela. Photos courtesy of Lorena Herrera.
Lorena Herrera, actress and singer, has captivated thousands of fans during her more than 20 years of uninterrupted artistic career, in which she has done everything. She began modeling thanks to her great beauty, but quickly rose to fame in film and television. She studied acting at the school of the first actress Silvia Derbez (RIP), which has led her to participate in more than 60 films and innumerable programs and soap operas such as "Muchachitas”, “Entre La Vida Y La Muerte”, “El Premio Mayor”, “Dos Mujeres un Camino”, “María Isabel”, “Mi Destino Eres Tu”, “Amy, la Niña de la Mochila Azul” (performance that earned her nomination for best villain in the 2004 TVyNovelas awards) "Niña de mi Corazón" and recently "Amores con Trampa", among many others.
In addition to her great success in film and television, she has pioneered the calendars industry in Mexico, selling for several years more than 50,000 copies of each, as well as thousands of copies of her beauty books, and a successful anti-cellulite cream.
And if this was not enough, in 1996 she released her first album entitled "Soy" (EMI Music), working with renowned composers such as Max di Carlo and Carlos Toro Montoro (composers of Martha Sánchez and the soap opera disc Rebelde), which led her to become the queen of the clubs for her explosive Dance style, sensual dances, choreography and daring costumes. This album has been followed by others such as "Aqui Estoy", "Sobreviviré", "Desnúdame el Alma" and currently promoting her new record material "KARMA" whose first single "Masoquista" has established it as an icon of the tracks of dance, especially among the gay public who, as she herself says, has been the one who has supported her most in her musical career. This is why this new material is dedicated to the gay community, with homoerotic videos and themes such as the aforementioned to which are added club hits as "Flash", "Plastik" and the most recent, "Karma", songs that definitely place Lorena Herrera as the true Mexican gay queen today.
Very friendly, and with an evident artistic, personal and professional maturity, Lorena shows us in our conversation with her to GAYPV Magazine how you can be plastic and deep at the same time in perfect balance.
GayPV: Hello Lorena, thank you very much for this interview, it is a great pleasure to be able to talk with you and have you on our GAYPV Magazine cover.
Lorena: Sure, my pleasure.
G: First tell us who Lorena Herrera is? How do you describe yourself?
L: Well, I think a human being has many facets, we are not a single person, so defining me is a bit difficult, but maybe the way I would define myself better in all my facets is that I am a very direct person. Sometimes I don't have tact and sometimes even I can look bad because I say things as I feel them. I am very honest and I don't like lying, and the most important part for me is my spiritual part.
G: What do you feel knowing that you have become such an important icon for the gay community? What does our community represent for you?
L: For me it has been fundamental in my 25-year career. It is not that the gay community supported me from the beginning when I started acting, but it was about 20 years ago when I took out my first album that was called "Soy" and it was really the gay people that most liked and supported me more in my presentations and were those who asked me to continue singing that genre of music, which is the most I like, dance, house and electronic. The gay community has supported me a lot and it is to give them back a little affection that they give me. Most of the people around me, who make-up me, dress me, comb me, assist me, make me clothes and even my friends are gay, so it's a community that I love, admire and respect very much, and that they have a very particular way of being, of thinking, of feeling and of acting, and precisely for this reason the gay "community" is said because it is like a separate community, just as women are very different from men. And the many different facets of the gay community are wonderful.
G: How do you feel when you see the enormous success and the great impact that your single "Masoquista" has caused? Were you expecting it?
L: No, the truth is that I didn't expect it and I'm very grateful because being a totally independent singer and that I do things with my own resources and money and with the people that I choose, I think it has even more merit and It's worth more and I'm even more grateful to the public and especially to the gay community who are the ones who have made Masoquista success as well as Flash and Plastik. So I am very happy, you do not expect it when you are an independent singer, since when you are a singer with all infrastructure of a record label, a great support and "payola" for the radio because I think it does not have so much merit, so I am grateful for the double and I always say: success is not done by the artist but by the public. I've made other albums that I consider to be as good or even better than Masoquista, but the audience has not made them as big as this, so I'm very grateful to all the people.
G: Were you ever afraid of making such a risky video for Masoquista?
L: Look, I'm too open in certain aspects, I'm very open, I do not see as objectionable the parts of the body naked or touching a little, I don't see it that strong, and I didn't think it would hurt or annoy some group of people, nor did I with that intention. I quite liked the end result and never thought that for other people's eyes were controversial. Perhaps it is rather that a video like this had not been done previously in our country, where there were gay situations, between two men, because I have seen countless videos where women come out with thong, with butt directly to the camera and postures or movements truly grotesque (laughs), so I don't think that this video falls into the grotesque. I think it did a very good job. The idea was partly mine and partly by Bruno Olven and Carlo Villarreal, just like the Flash video, which was also their idea.
G: And it's a great video, we love it. Speaking precisely of Flash, I know it debuted at number 1 on iTunes in the category of electronic music. Tell us more about this song and about the videoclip in which you have some invited stars.
L: Well, Flash is a song that made up Mike Navarro, also the composer of Masoquista, a very creative and talented guy, who is also a singer, and has perfectly caught the wave of what I want to sing and what I like and above all of what the people and the gay community want to hear, which for me is a genre that does not exist and needs to be exploited, which I would call "electronic-gay-pop", a genre that I want to be totally directed to the gay community where there are those words and phrases that the community says, where they can feel identified both in videos and music. Because phrases like "rostro, pelatzo, cuerpatzo y actitud" are not mine or Mike Navarro, but are phrases that we hear all the time with the makeup artist, the stylist, the person who makes the dress, are phrases of the community and that is what we want to do, that they listen to those phrases that they say commonly, and to be able to sing and have fun, because I consider that the gay community is very, very funny people. They have that part of being very fun to skin and I enjoy and I really like funny people, because life can have many facets, like that deep and transcendental facet, but also that other facet of being fun and is what I I want to achieve with the music that we are doing. It's not creating awareness for anything, because for that there are other things, but this music I want you to dance and have fun and make you forget your problems or if you feel bad or depressed, because music has that quality of changing your mood from one second to another.
G: Sure, have fun. But in fact your songs also have this part of raising awareness, because I know that the profits of the downloads of your singles are destined to beneficial causes, right?
L: Well, yes, totally, because within such superficiality and vanity, for me it is very important that other part, that to me is the one that moves me the most, that is to be able to use music to help others. Masoquista's profits have been donated 100% to that Foundation that is called Ser Humano that helps children and teenagers with HIV, and Flash gains 80% to a nursing home for poor people on the street. And that is my main motivation, that the music serves for something more transcendent than just making you have a fun time.
G: Great work, Lorena. Tell us about the song Plastik and about your new single Karma.
L: Well, with Plastik we did very well, it was the third single, and both the song and the video have received very good reviews and that makes me very happy, because you know that sometimes a video can have many visits but that does not mean that people are necessarily liking it. But what we are looking for is doing a good job and receiving good reviews and fortunately it has been with Plastika. I particularly liked it, we did not repeat ourselves, there are many differences between Masoquista and Plastik mainly in the video, and it is what we wanted to achieve with this new single Karma aswell. To not do the same things and that people already imagine what is coming, or have always sexy men touching and making out and those things, right?
G: To not be repetitive ...
L: Exactly. Try to do in each single something different and hopefully people keeps liking it.
G: Excellent. Who is the composer of Karma?
L: It has all been the same. The only thing I have not changed is Mike Navarro, the composer and the one who has the idea of songs and melody. For musical arrangements we have worked with different people. For example, Masoquista who made the music was Efraín Navarro, but in Plastik and now in Karma it was Lalo Soto who was also the one who made me the album "Desúdame el Alma". We have known each other for a long time and now he is collaborating again with us in the music part, he seems to me a very talented boy.
G: Moving to another topic, tell us how your experience was when you recently participated in the TV soap opera "Amores con Trampa" by producer Emilio Larrosa?
L: Well, very happy to return to soap operas because I had 4 years of not doing it since "Niña de mi Corazón" and it was really a very good experience because it was the soap opera with the highest rating and also I got into it at the final part, in the last month when everyone is watching, with the character of La Pantera de los Ojos Grises (the Gray Eye Panther) who was a super villain, and I loved the end by showing how any human being can be transformed with that beautiful part that we all have, and then in the end, La Pantera, after being the worst, turned out to be the best. I loved it.
G: Well, many congratulations. And tell us something: for you, like Madonna for example, it seems that the pass of time doesn't affect you. How do you keep yourself that beautiful?
L: Thank you very much. Because it is an effort every day, I do not stop going to the gym no matter what. I always look for time to go to the gym and that is daily, Monday to Saturday. I have 25 years of career and 25 years of going to the gym and I do not leave, every day I become more constant and more disciplined, and I take care of my food, eat every 4 hours, 5 times a day and know what to eat. I really love bread, so repressing that part for me is not so easy, so it takes a great willpower to pass in front of a bakery, because If I did not have that strength of will, I run for a "concha" (mexican bread) and I eat it! But I say "no" and not only for vanity and to look good in front of the mirror, but also for health and taking care of my body. Because it's me who directs my desires and not that my desires control me. I think that is something important that we should all work, because some of the desires that move the most human being is food and sex. And all those senses we have are there for you to control, not for them to control us. So I consider myself a very controlled person, to keep me as I am at my age.
G: And it really worth it, right? "Rostro, pelatzo, cuerpatzo y actitud"...
L: (laughs) Well it's worth it and I feel good about myself and you know, you go against time so every day I want to be better in all aspects, inwardly and with more vitality and energy.
G: I hear you very happy. I know you have already 8 years of happy marriage with Roberto Assad, is that correct?
L: Yes, we have been married for 8 years but we have been together for 12 years.
G: Well, congratulations. Then I guess you're a supporter of marriage. What do you think about same sex marriage?
L: Well, honestly I'm not in favor of marriage. I got married, yes, but I do not consider that signing a paper gives value to society to what you have with your partner. For me the bond that exists between a couple is the love that you both have and not a piece of paper. So I'm definitely not in favor of marriage, either gay or heterosexual. For me, the bond between two people is love and period. Because the day that love ends, there may be the signed paper but if you don't want to be with that person then you will not. And also many times that signed paper makes you be with a person you don't want to be with, because of other issues, such as economic reasons, for example, and that seems very sad to me, because a union between two people must be by the bond of love and not by money or other issues.
G: That's right, it must be for love, regardless of gender or sexual preference. Here in Jalisco, in Guadalajara, there is a movement of religious groups and people who openly oppose homosexual marriage and the adoption of children by same-sex couples who can form a family. What would you say to these people who oppose? What's your opinion about it?
L: Well, it is truly sad that, not only religions but society and so many other people in general have such a small criterion and that they discriminate by a sexual preference or the gender of a person, because finally what matters is the quality of human being behind that person, regardless of gender or preference. That kind of things they do is separate human beings and it's discrimination from people with so many interior problems. I can see it for myself, for example, with a gossip that came out at some point of my career that if I really was a man or something, as if that could offended me. And I don't like answering on social networks when someone offends you or wants to annoy you. I put things nice and nothing more, but sometimes I feel like answering because I don't understand why some people could says things like that, they think that they are going to offend me saying that if I have surgeries, or that I have or not have penis... What if so? I mean, if I would be a man, so what...? Or I am not a woman or not, I was born a woman but now I want to become a man or I was born a man and now I want to be a woman... Why does that matter? It doesn't! It seems to me such a retrograde mind with a criterion so, so small, really, that they see a small little dot when what really matters is everything else, what lies behind that human being, no matter what he has between his legs (laughs). And what if that man likes to be with another man, or with a woman, or both, is that matters? It's like saying you eat chicken, or you eat meat or you don't eat meat because you're vegetarian, that doesn't change the person's principles and what is in your heart.
G: Of course. The real essence of a person...
L: That's right, it's very sad, and I hope we see a change in that matter, which is already happening, but not so much yet. There it goes...
G: Thanks to the work of people like you we are moving forward...
L: God grant that one day we can see that change. What really matters is the level of human being that you are.
G: Exactly. So, speaking of the beautiful Perla Tapatía, what does Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco in general and its people represent for you?
L: The people of Jalisco are very nice, I have been treated and received very well, and well, Jalisco in general is where the gay community is bigger in the country and has more strength and openness than the other states of the Mexican Republic, besides Mexico City of course, and as an example we can mention precisely a gay magazine like GAYPV and that's very important because it means that there is a lot more openness and less discrimination. And well, I love Jalisco's people, their way of being and also I love the food of Jalisco.
G: I heard that you had a musical participation in the show of the last Gay Parade 2016 in Mexico City, where you alternated with other great music stars like Alejandra Guzmán. Tell us how was the experience of participating in this event and how the audience responded to you.
L: It was incredible, the audience fabulous, I really wanted to be there because the gay community has always supported me in my musical facet, and in the last three years I could not attend. 2015 I had confirmed another show in Saltillo and I could not, and 2016 I had a confirmed date in Villahermosa, but at the last moment Villahermosa show had to move of date, so we took back Gay Pride participation and the truth is that people was divine, with great energy and singing my songs. They were a few songs, because all the artists, except Alejandra, we had 15 minutes, but the three songs I sang all the people were singing with me from beginning to end, people euphoric, so it was a great experience.
G: Great! It's just because huge part of gay community know and love your songs...
L: (laughs). That's right! I'm very happy. I will continue making music while people continue to like what I'm doing.
G: For more than a year and a half of having released the single Masoquista, how do you feel this musical stage in your career?
L: So great, I feel very happy. As you say, it was in May of 2015 when I launched Masoquista and we are already in the fourth single, Karma, and I hope that people continue to give the same support as the previous ones, since each single gives me the opportunity to do something different visually as for the video and as for the music, I like to see which look we are going to create, and especially enjoy the moment because in music and life, one moment you could be on top and next one you don't, so you have to take advantage of the good moment, enjoy it and get it out the greatest of it.
G: That's very true. Live today, here and now, right?
L: Exactly. Well, I am grateful for all the downloads of people on the digital platforms of all songs and to be able to continue helping. The single Plastika was donated to a shelter of animals from the street, and Karma we are already seeing to what other beneficial cause we can donate the downloads profits, we will see if I decide it or I put it to consideration of the fans what cause support with it. As I said, each single downloads has been donated to different causes and that has made me feel great, and hopefully other singers joined this type of work. It feels really really nice.
G: What other upcoming projects you have?
L: The promotion of single Karma and continue consolidating this return to music, I'm very focused right now on this genre that I call Electro-Gay-Pop. We will continue with this to take the phrases that gay community says in the music, and well, I consider that it is a community so great in the whole world, so strong, that for an artist this is the best public, because I have seen it over 20 years in music. You make records, you retire some time, and they are still there, they are faithful, they follow you, they love you. When I left the music, they were telling me "go, make another record, you can do it, we want to see you again"... It is a large audience and I see that at least in Mexico there are no artists that sing to gay community, that make music and videos for them. Hopefully there are more artists joining this new genre of music and singing to a community that I consider abandoned in the musical aspect. There are no singers who make songs for the community on which they can see their history and videos where they can see what they really want to see.
G: That's right, and in fact I see that you're having a lot of performances in gay clubs in Mexico, the United States and everywhere ...
L: Yes, there is a lot of work, it is full of gay clubs because as I say, the community likes to have fun. If something abounds, is gay clubs (laughs). There are gay clubs that open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays ... something that in heterosexual clubs is almost not given. So you can see that gay people like the party.
G: Lorena, thank you very much for talking to GAYPV Magazine. Any last message for your fans and gay audience that loves and supports you so much?
L: Well, thank you very much for this love and support that gay community have given to me, and I invite all of you to help me to help. I put the songs, but fans are the ones who are really going to help those people in need, most with the downloads of my singles, because maybe one day we will also need them to help us, so download Flash, Masoquista, Plastik and now Karma, and of course also my previous discography, but mainly these new songs. Thanks for so much support and love to the gay community, I will always be supporting them, so that this support is always mutual.