KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR

Gabriella Salazar: Taos teen pursues music dreams

By Kathy Cordova
For The Taos News
Posted 12/12/19

Just because Gabriella Salazar weighs 97 pounds and stands at 4 foot, 11 inches, don't underestimate the force and energy that she uses for her performances in the music world.

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KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR

Gabriella Salazar: Taos teen pursues music dreams

Posted

Just because Gabriella Salazar weighs 97 pounds and stands at 4 foot, 11 inches, don't underestimate the force and energy that she uses for her performances in the music world.

"When I was around 2, I sang around the house and memorized music. By the time I was in third grade, I started studying guitar and singing Spanish," said Salazar, now 14, during a recent interview. "I joined the school mariachi group and studied with teachers Juan Archuleta, Ursula Salazar and Jamie Martinez," she added.

At that time, she also began to dream about recording professionally and perfecting her music. From then on, many of her activities centered around her dream career.

Past music participation

Recording music arrived in the form of DMC Recording producer Darren Cordova's studio. She released her music to iTunes, radio stations and music streaming apps. She has her music on her Facebook page and the New Mex Radio channel on YouTube. She released her first music video, "Bandido," in August.

The New Mexico Hispano Music Awards presented Salazar the Rising Star Award and Crossover Song of the Year in 2017. The award program recognized her talent for the song "Gracias al Sol."

This summer proved special for the young singer-musician. Salazar opened a performance in Los Alamos by Chevel Shepherd, a winner of "The Voice" competition. Salazar also performed for her first fiestas in Española in a tribute performance for slain performer Ernestine Romero. In November, Salazar attended and performed at the New Mexico Music Fest in Pueblo, Colorado. The Colorado public loves New Mexico music, according to Salazar.

Transitions

The 2019-2020 school year brought the transition from middle school to high school for Salazar. Like most students in this situation, she worked through the changes in a careful, thoughtful manner. Admittedly the freshman favored the classes Intermediate Mariachi and Mariachi el Tigre under the musical experience of Norbie Martinez, Audrey Davis and Nick Branchal. Salazar learns and performs guitar, vihuela and vocals.

Salazar currently is working on a CD. The project bears no time limit, as she wants it to be high quality. The performer shared the titles of three songs on which she is working: "Gracias al Sol," "Bandido" and "En el Cielo."

"This needs to be done right," emphasized the performer.

Family ties

The young performer credits her parents, Jerome and Feliz Salazar, for their support of her dream. The singer's two brothers attend the Taos Municipal Schools. Orion, 11, attends Taos Middle School. Nathan, 6, is a student at Enos Garcia Elementary School.

Gabriella Salazar enjoys the grandparents in her life: maternal grandparents Angie ("Nana") and the late Arnold Jeantete and paternal grandparents Timmy ("Pops") Salazar and Linda Vigil.

Spare time

"I try to be busy. I'm passionate about music. My plan is to pro-gress in this field and experience new things. I work on more songs and hope to enter two of them for the New Mexico Hispano Music Awards in Española this coming January," said Salazar.

Salazar acknowledges the importance of her faith. For the past three years, she has belonged to the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish Spanish choir, playing regularly on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. She plans to receive the sacrament of confirmation in May 2020.

In her spare time, she works on more songs, plays the guitar, solves puzzles and spends time with family. Her reading tastes range from supernatural to romance to fantasy. Salazar's favorite movies include "The Twilight " series. Her favorite foods include pasta, sushi and all seafood.

Salazar's choice of a favorite color blends in with her love of music. She loves blue - especially the shades of cobalt or royal. It is no coincidence, then, that she owns a cobalt-colored guitar and named it, of course, Blue.

When asked about a special way to celebrate Christmas, Gabriella easily answered, "My mom's annual cookie exchange."

She added, "My mom manages my music. However, I have a lot of other types of support - family, friends, fans, DJs at radio stations, my producer and teachers. I feel fortunate and blessed for all the people who help my dream come true."

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