Interviews News Selena

Carlos Alfredo Jr. of ‘Selena’ series talks filming iconic concert scene, his song inspired by the late Tejano icon

The actor and singer discusses 'Selena: The Series' and his song, "Reina De La Luna," inspired by Selena in an exclusive interview.

Carlos Alfredo Jr. | Courtesy photo

Carlos Alfredo, Jr., the actor and musician that portrays Los Dinos keyboardist Joe Ojeda in “Selena: The Series” on Netflix, says Selena has always played a role in his life.

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Alfredo, who will appear in Part 2 of “Selena: The Series” when it premieres on May 4, also just released his first single on April 16, “Reina de la Luna,” a Latin pop-rock ballad inspired by Selena.

“For me, it’s been full circle because I’ve been a Selena fan my entire life,” Alfredo tells Tejano Nation. “She’s been sort of my guardian angel throughout my life. When I first heard about her story, there were so many resemblances to my life.”

Like Selena, Alfredo grew up in a Mexican restaurant and became a musician. He joined a Latin music band that played Selena’s hits and then the California native got into acting.

“For me, it’s like destiny that I got to be a part of the series,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a surprise, honestly. I’m so grateful and so thankful. It’s been an incredible ride.”

Watch full interview with Carlos Alfredo, Jr. of “Selena: The Series”.
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For the Selena series, he auditioned for the roles of Pete Astudillo and Chris Perez, too, but was eventually cast as Los Dinos’ keyboardist Ojeda.

“For me, it’s like the perfect role for me because when I met Joe we were just like the same person,” Alfredo said. “It was crazy.”

When he was first cast to play Ojeda, Alfredo was unfamiliar with the Tejano keyboardist’s background and wanted to learn more for his role, so he went straight to the source.

“As an actor what I decided to do was I reached out to Joe to see if he would respond and he responded,” Alfredo said. “He was very grateful and honored that I was going to play him. And he was there throughout the whole experience with me, answering all of my questions.”

In addition to getting to know the real-life person he would portray on screen, Alfredo, who is a guitarist, dedicated himself to learning the keyboard.

“During that time, I was learning keyboards because my keyboard skills were very minimal,” Alfredo said. “I took like three months of piano lessons. And then I had to emulate the Tejano style, his style. “

Ojeda helped Alfredo through critiques of his videos so that he could more accurately play his role.

“That was the greatest help for a musician and also an actor,” Alfredo said.

As the May 4 Netflix premiere of “Selena: The Series” nears, Alfredo shared that fans will get to see an incredible depiction of Selena’s February 1995 iconic Astrodome concert which Alfredo described as an emotional experience to film.

“Definitely fans will see the famous Astrodome performance,” Alfredo said. “It was a beautiful moment in my life, in my career, because I grew up watching that Astrodome concert with my sisters very, very young. I never imagined that I would be standing on that stage with ‘Selena’ playing the songs that I grew up listening to. I never imagined that would happen to me.”

Alfredo said he was so overcome with emotion while filming that scene that he was even moved to tears.

“When I was in that moment, I got chills, I was emotional, I was crying,” Alfredo said. “You just can’t write that kind of stuff. It was a beautiful moment.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit during filming for Part 2 of the Selena series, Alfredo said he had a lot of time to himself and it was during this period that he was inspired, by a dream, to write a song about Selena.

“It’s a crazy story because I still don’t know how it happened,” Alfredo said. “I’m very blessed this happened to me. She came to me in a dream. Selena came to me in a dream and she’s like, ‘Carlos, I want you to show this song to the world.’”

Alfredo said of his dream, Selena played a song for him, however when he awoke, emotional from the dream, he could not remember the song.

“Of course, I ran to my piano and my guitar and I’m just playing, playing, playing, trying to remember anything that I could remember,” Alfredo said. “And hours passed. And finally the little melody on the piano, it just came out… And then I basically just sat there and wrote the entire song from my perspective based off of that melody.”

The song that resulted from this experience is “Reina de la Luna,” which officially premiered on April 16, what would have been Selena’s 50th birthday.

“I’m super happy and super excited for it,” Alfredo said. “Everyone’s given me great feedback.”

“Reina De La Luna” — Carlos Alfredo Jr.
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The music video for “Reina de la Luna” was filmed in Corpus Christi at sites, including the Selena Memorial-Mirador de la Flor on the Corpus Christi Bayfront Seawall, and in San Antonio at historic Market Square.

“My plan was to film this music video in Texas because of course, (it’s) Selena territory,” Alfredo said. “I want to pay respects to her. And of course, visit where she grew up and all that.”

At the video’s end, Alfredo is seen playing his guitar and singing on the sidewalk in Market Square when two special guests, Chris Perez and Joe Ojeda, appear, leaving money in a hat for Alfredo and giving him a thumbs up.

This ending scene of the video holds symbolic meaning for Alfredo .

“For me, it was full circle because I used to play on the streets,” Alfredo said. “One of my first gigs when I moved to Los Angeles, I was playing on the streets, I was a street performer, so I wanted to incorporate that in my music video.”

The appearance of Perez and Ojeda is important, too, because Alfredo also became close friends with Perez like he did with Ojeda and he said they both supported his song, “Reina de la Luna.”

“So I thought it’d be appropriate that the last scene you see is Chris and Joe giving me money, kind of like telling me, ‘Good going, kid. Keep going,’” Alfredo said.

After the video, a brief, lighthearted snippet shows Ojeda, Alfredo and Perez playing the chorus of “Baila Esta Cumbia” as they all three lean against a brick wall and sit on the sidewalk.

While he considers his role as Ojeda in “Selena: The Series” as his first major role, the opportunity has opened doors for Alfredo and he did say that he has projects in the works for the future but he is unable to make them public at the moment.

Alfredo did conclude with positive words that he drew from Selena who always said, “The impossible is possible.”

“I had a dream, just like her, and I made it happen,” Alfredo said. “I just want people to know that dreams are so, so real. They can actually come true. It’s not just a fun thing people say. No, it’s actually true. If you put your dedication, your hard work, things can actually become a reality.”

Follow Carlos Alfredo, Jr., on his Instagram for more on his upcoming album release and to keep up with “Selena: The Series,” which Netlix premieres Part 2 on May 4!

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