Reyna Adriana is a singer of Mexican music. She particularly likes to sing the traditional trova style from the Yucatan peninsula.
INTERVIEW – december 2016
How did you come to music?
I have liked music since I was a child. I remember my father, when he would turn on the tape player, and we would sing along the music. Later on, music came to me naturally. One day, in 1996, I participated in a Mexican songs competition on TV. And I won it! From then it all started; little by little I became a professional singer. From the larger Mexican music genre emerged my passion for Yucatan’s trova.
Yucatan’s trova is a traditional genre from the peninsula. The city of Merida is the cradle of trova musicians. Music is a very important matter here. Every day, we build what is today’s Yucatan trova.
How does this traditional music get transmitted to newer generations?
A father who is a trova musician plays his music to his children. If a child likes it, he adopts the trova and pursues his studies in the musical genre. Some of the musicians I play with keep studying, until they manage to give this very special feeling in the trova. This feeling is essential to transmit what the composers of the Yucatan region had to say. This is music!
How do you envision the future of this music?
I don’t think it is endangered. Young people as well as adults like trova. It is a heritage we have left from our forefathers. So people learn to listen to it and they make it theirs. I don’t think the trova will change much. So far it has stayed the same, and I believe it will continue, at least on this land.
Why is it important to perpetuate traditional music?
Because it is part of us. It is our roots and our customs. If we changed it, we would lose our identity as Yucatecos [inhabitants from the Yucatan peninsula].
What is music to you?
It is the best thing. Sometimes you have ups and downs, and music keeps you at the top. To me Yucatan’s traditional music is one of the most beautiful ones. It also represents my city and it makes it special in the region.
Yucatan’s culture seems really strong. What makes it so special?
The Yucatan cultural heritage includes many things: the jarana [a Mexican string instrument], the folklore, all the traditional celebrations that take place at villages, the food, as well as our very specific clothes, which origin is very old… And many more things make our area around Merida very unique.
In the small villages, celebrations are regularly held in honor of [Christian] patron saints. These celebrations are similar to the ones the antique Mayas used to do. They do offerings and processions. They recognize the Mayan gods; they dance for them and offer them food. This has existed up to now in the 106 municipalities of the Yucatan State. Each one has its own traditional celebration at a specific time of the year.
The trova partly originates from these roots. Especially because the trova transmits what it feels to be a Yucateco. Many trova musicians have become famous, like Armando Manzanero; he made trova known around the world.
Also, the Yucatan dress, which trova singers usually wear, is very similar to the indigenous one that is still widely used today in Mayan villages.
Do you have a message for the world?
Every country and every city has its roots and customs. Preserving them is very important, but also keeping them in high esteem. Don’t trade your traditions for anything. You have to keep defending them. More importantly, keep working in those traditional fields. Don’t let them die and don’t let other customs take over and eliminate what’s beautiful in this world.
And, thank you for getting interested in Yucatan’s culture, we appreciate it.
PORTFOLIO – A NIGHT OF YUCATAN SERENADES