Her Abuela Listened To Salsa And Merengue Music, While Her Mom Listened To The Cure And Joy Division, And Now Jessica Hernandez Fronts A Soulful Punk Band

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, soulful punk rocker Jessica Hernandez felt like she was growing apart from her Cuban and Mexican-American culture. Because of this, Hernandez decided to travel to Mexico City to produce the second album for her band in a way she had never done before.

Her Cuban abuela has always longed for her band, Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, to create music in Spanish. With her in mind, Hernandez wrote and produced her very first bilingual album, ‘Telephone’ and ‘Teléfono.’

Despite how complex Spanish is when it comes to rhythm and rhyming, all of the work that went into the album was completely worth it to Hernandez, especially after learning how much of an impact it had with her audience.

From the beginning of her music career, Hernandez felt intimidated in the male-dominated rock scene.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

As the lead singer of a band and a Latina in the rock & roll industry, Hernandez often finds herself being the minority. She recently performed at the High and Low Festival in California, sharing the bill with mostly white, male-dominated bands like Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Bad Suns and Cloud Nothings. Because of this lack of representation, Hernandez recalls the hesitation she felt as a Latina band lead breaking into the music scene.

Being the first in her family to pursue a career in music, she remembers feeling insecure about possibly not fitting in and how people would receive her music. However, all of those initial insecurities are broken down more and more each time she receives feedback from her fans.

When Hernandez first entered the music scene, friends and family were concerned about the name of her band.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

“Even some family members were like, ‘Do you have to change your name? Are people going to think it’s ranchera music?’ And I was like, no,” Hernandez explains. “And maybe people do think that. I’m sure there are people who haven’t listened to us because of that. But I think it’s still important for me to keep trying and keep at it.”

Hernandez’s decision to keep the band’s name as Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, sparked a sense of belonging and representation amongst young, Latino fans. This has been confidence boosting for her.

“The kids that I meet and talk to me about how important it is that I kept my name, or that I’m doing something in English and in Spanish,” she says. “All of those little moments, they add up and break down my insecurities every single time.”

Rather than feeling restrained to only one part of her identity, Hernandez embraces every musical influence she had growing up. And they were all over the place.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

Ever since she was a child, Hernandez’s family played a huge part in her musical influences. Growing up, her dad listened to Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper, her mom was a fan of Joy Division and The Cure, her Cuban abuela was all about salsa and merengue, and her Mexican grandma loved Motown.

Because of this, her music doesn’t strictly fall into a single genre.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ

Hernandez grew up listening to Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Selena, all artists she calls “female powerhouses that I looked up to vocally.” But her musical tastes weren’t limited to country and pop. She also had an alternative side, listening to bands like The Clash and Talking Heads.

With all of the musical puzzle pieces Hernandez has pieced together over time, she has been able to learn, grow and creatively experiment as an artist.

“I think my voice is constantly evolving. My writing style has changed a lot too,” Hernandez notes.

With the diversity she brings into her music, the industry and the stage, there is one thing Hernandez always makes sure to keep in mind.

“It’s always been important to me to be a positive role model,” she says. “And make sure that my style and my aesthetic is always coming through.”

To watch our full interview with Jessica Hernandez, check out the video below:

This alternative rock singer is proud of being Cuban, Mexican …

This alternative rock singer is proud of being Cuban, Mexican and American.

Posted by Fierce by mitú on Thursday, September 21, 2017

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