Latin Times had a great chat with Maria Conchita Alonso about her new single “Shake It Out” and more!
María Conchita Alonso is one if the biggest names in the Latin market. She is a Film star, TV actress and singer that has contributed to the entertainment industry for 30 years. She has acted in over 75 films, 12 telenovelas, 15 MOW’s and miniseries and over 100 episodes of television on NBC, HBO, ABC, Showtime, CBS and Lifetime.
She’s been honored with the Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, Golden Globe Awards, Alma Awards for Best Actress, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as best actress in the film “Caught” with Edward James Olmos, and has been nominated for three Grammys.
María’s musical talents are highly recognized: Multiple number 1 albums, platinum and gold record sales contributing to Grammy nominations. Her first gold album and number one song in the charts was “Love Maniac” in 1979. After that followed her second number 1 with “The Witch” and soon after “Dangerous Rhythm.” But it was her album “Maria Conchita” from 1984, that made her a singing star in the Spanish-speaking market, receiving a “Best Latin Artist” Grammy nomination in 1985.
Although when you hear the name María Conchita Alonso you think about back in the day, truth is she’s been staying current appearing on many TV shows and movies. She has never stepped away from show business, and since 2014, María has been on tour performing concerts in Latin America, South America and Mexico. This summer, she surprised her fans with her new dance single “Shake It Up,” which is playing in clubs all over the world and she will be appearing in two new films.
Latin Times: You have a lot on your plate right now! How do you find the energy to get everything done?
María Conchita Alonso: I don’t know how I end up doing everything because, as you said it’s so much, but when you do something you love, you enjoy it thoroughly. How do I make time for everything? I have no idea. I guess the universe ends up working on my favor and my team’s. But again, when you do things with love, you can accomplish everything you set your mind to.
LT: You have a new single, “Shake it out,” that is playing in the most important clubs all over the world. How do you feel with the acceptance it’s had?
MCA: I completely understand why it’s so popular, it’s such a good song and it’s a shame I didn’t write it! But when my associate played it for me about two years ago I brushed it off. I wasn’t ready to go back to the studio, I wasn’t ready to go back to music, although I’ve never stopped singing, but then I heard the song again a few months ago and something clicked and I really thought the song was going to be a complete success, a hit!
It’s a delicious tune, it really calls you and you feel like moving. It’s great to get away from the week’s madness: take your shoes off, get comfortable, drink some tequila and go out dancing!
LT: This song has been a hit in clubs; do you go to clubs or what do you prefer when you go out?
MCA: I prefer going to friends’ houses or lounges. Once in a while I’ll go to a club, but now I tend to choose something quieter so I can have a nice conversation.
TO WATCH MARIA CONCHITA’S “SHAKE IT OUT” MUSIC VIDEO CLICK HERE!
LT: After recording “Shake it out,” have you felt the need to actually go back to the studio and record a whole album?
MCA: It’s still unclear. A few months ago I recorded a song in Spanish with Rudy La Scala. He’s Italian and Venezuelan and he was the songwriter of my first hit “Love Maniac.” He’s living in Los Angeles now and we reconnected and recorded this song together and we’re actually filming the music video soon.
It’s exciting to think about going to the studio again, and when the time’s right I would like to do country music. I love country music. I’m more of a rocker chick, but unfortunately rock is not what it used to be before, so I see a lot of hope in country music. I’ve always loved to watch the CMAs and I’m really drawn to that music. So imagine a Hispanic singing country. It would be very funny, no one expects it. But to be honest I do see myself singing at the CMAs instead of the Grammys, for example!
LT: You recently shot a movie, tell us a little bit more about it!
MCA: Yes, it’s an independent film, and I loved being a part of it! The whole story takes place in one location and it’s a dramedy. The director and screenwriter is John Dabach and the name of the movie is “I’d Like To Be Alone Now.” It’s a story about a guy whose family dies in a car accident, his wife and three kids, and that weekend, his whole family shows up at his place to pay their respects. So it’s a bit tragic, but also very funny to see how the family reunites again.
I play the maid, who is part of the family. They have always treated my character as such. So while all that is happening, my daughter is trying to cross the border to attend a wedding in the US, so that puts a lot of stress on my character because I don’t want her to get caught. But I loved the story, I loved the way they shot it, in a Woody Allen style.
LT: Do you feel that by playing the housekeeper, you’re furthering the stereotype that the roles for Latinas on TV and film are for playing maids?
MCA: This is the first time that I play a maid and it didn’t bother me. It’s reality. It would bother me if this were the type of character I would be casted in all the time. But it’s a reality. Most housekeepers and maids in the US are Latina, and that doesn’t mean they’re less than anyone. I wouldn’t have done it if the character didn’t add anything to the story. But this character has depth, and I enjoyed her so much. She has dramatic moments, comedic moments… It would be foolish of an actress to not take a role just because she would be playing a maid.
LT: Besides “I’d Like To Be Alone Now,” you will be shooting another movie this fall with Edward James Olmos…
MCA: Correct. That movie is called “In A Little Spanish Town,” and it’s a mix of “Cabaret,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “Chicago.” My character is the club’s singer and she’s not getting any younger, she wants other things. She wants to fall in love and live her life. Ed is the owner of the club where I work. He’s married but has a lot of lovers, including one of the younger singers, and there’s a lot of betrayal, money issues, sex and love… but the coolest thing about the film is that although it’s not a musical per se, when we’re singing a lot of things are happening that tie up the story together. It’s not a musical because the whole film is spoken, but there are definitely musical scenes.
The director is an icon: Robert M. Young. This is the third movie we do together. The first one was “Roosters” and the second one was “Caught.” And in this new film he reunited four characters from “Caught:” Eddie (Edward James Olmos) who played my husband, Arie Verveen who was my lover and Steven Schub who played my son with Eddie’s character.
LT: Ms. Alonso, you’ve had a very fructiferous career and you’ve been active since the 1970s! What’s your beauty secret for staying so young and energized to keep working after all these years?
MCA: I think that to feel good there are many things that go together: food, exercise, etc. But I do think that being positive in life and trying to laugh more than to cry is key. I do wear a lot of creams, I get a lot of treatments… But bottom line is that in life you stay young and healthy as long as you keep your mind young and healthy.[source]