After several setbacks at the start of her solo career, Tejano songstress Destiny Navaira, who comes from an important Tejano music family, knew that she had to make a major change if she was to achieve her own musical dreams and continue her famous family’s legacy.
Destiny, the niece of late Tejano icon Emilio Navaira and daughter of singer/performer Raulito Navaira, met with obstacles from the start of her solo musical journey. First, her debut album, La Preferida, was released just as the COVID pandemic hit in March of 2020, which was not the way she had anticipated starting her music career.
“At first, when my CD came out, I was pissed because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to tour,” Destiny tells Tejano Nation. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of things.”
Then, more challenges followed as Destiny tried with limited success to achieve airplay in Texas for her debut effort. Navaira, who before her solo career had performed with her family’s group, Remedio, said her attempts to promote her music in Texas had never produced results.
“I was in Texas for 10 years doing what I’m doing and it wasn’t appreciated,” Destiny said. “It took us a long time to get our song on the radio.”
Destiny expressed it soon became obvious that she needed to make a move, both literally and figuratively, so that the music she had worked so hard on could get the attention she knew it deserved.
“I had to try a different route for me,” Destiny said. “I had to do something different. I knew when I had ‘La Preferida’ that it was quality music and I didn’t want it to be wasted. I didn’t want it to be ignored.”
“So when I talked to my manager, I said, ‘I think we’ve got to go to Mexico and do this thing a hundred because it’s not going to work here.”
In September 2020, Destiny, along with her younger brother Rigo Navaira, her bass player and a singer-songwriter in his own right, made the move from their hometown of San Antonio, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico.
The decision to move to another country did not come without some apprehension but Destiny said she believes this is the right path for her.
“After ‘La Preferida,’ I just felt like a different person,” Destiny said. “I felt that me as an artist had grown to a point where I knew what I needed to do and that had to be to move here and to truly put 100 percent in.”
The move to Mexico seems to already have proven a success for the talented vocalist who has secured a top-notch team of producers, songwriters and musicians for her sophomore album.
Destiny is working with an impressive musical team on the production of her second album, which is being recorded in Houston and Monterrey. She’s working in Houston with Rudy Olivares, son of cumbia legend, Fito Olivares, and in Monterrey with Manuel Herrera Maldonado and Alfonso Herrera Maldonado. Her Monterrey producers both worked with her uncle, with Manuel winning a GRAMMY with Emilio in 2002 and Alfonso producing some of the late Tejano icon’s last albums. This connection with her uncle is important to Destiny.
“For me, it touches my heart because my uncle, Emilio, as talented as he was, even after the brain injury, he could still sing amazing, but I know it was a battle for him,” Destiny said. “And these guys worked with him with their whole heart and without judgment. For me to be able to work with them now is just very rewarding. I feel very close to my uncle Emilio here.”
Destiny commented that the love that Monterrey has for her legendary uncle is one of the reasons she feels so at home there.
“My dad and my uncle are Emilio and Raulito over there (in Texas) and people love them and they love what they’ve done, but, here, it’s a whole other level,” Destiny said. “Here, my uncle Emilio is of George Strait status. He is of Elvis’ status. Here in Monterrey, when people think Tejano, they think Emilio Navaira. And that had a lot to do with me falling in love with (Monterrey) and falling in love with the people.”
Another reason Destiny has enjoyed Monterrey, and why she said it’s a different musical atmosphere than in Texas, is the people’s enthusiasm for fresh sounds and new artists. Already, singles from “La Preferida,” like the catchy, contagious “Contigo o Sin Ti,” have ranked on the charts in Monterrey and surrounding cities and she has even gotten airplay on pop radio stations.
“They’re hungry for new music versus back home,” Destiny said. “People still want to hear that Grupo Mazz song. They still want to hear the Selena covers. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not who I want to be as an artist.”
“I want to create something like my uncle and my dad did and here, it’s possible for me to do so.”
Editor’s note: Watch the second part of our interview with Destiny Navaira and learn about her goals as an artist, her family’s new venture called Los Navaira, and how important her family’s legacy is to her.
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