Exclusive Interview and photos by Iride Aparicio


SAN JOSÉ, California – “New discoveries” abound in San José,  known as "The Capital of Silicon Valley,"  yet  its  most  outstanding one did not come from the field of High-Tech but from the field of the arts.  “The New Discovery” everybody is talking about  in this city, is a  young singer with a fluid voice and a full mellow tone  Her name is Gabriela Sepúlveda, a girl who was born in San José eleven years ago.

The second of  two children (she has a brother three years older than she is) Gabriela  comes from a musical family.  Her mother, is a  former singer from Mexico and  Her father, who is from  Chile, belongs to a group of musicians  who plays Andean Music (Music from the Andes). 

We heard Gabriela  singing for the first time  in Monterey, California, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where for the second year she had been invited to be part of  the entertainment program  of  “El Día del Niño”(“The day of the child”- a yearly event at the aquarium). We observed her as she moved around the cheering crowd, stopping to hug  those people she knew, posing for pictures with the children  and signing  her CD’s when people asked for autographs, on her way to the outside deck.  Impressed by her genuine rapport with people, the quality of her voice, and her interpretation of the “Rancheras” she sang with mariachis, we decided to interview the young girl at a later date in San José.

CWB: Tell us, Gabriela, when did you first heard music in your home?

GS:  I  can say that  I started hearing music since I was born because my mother was always singing  the canciones rancheras (Folk Mexican songs)  playing in the radio. She loves “Rancheras”  because she is from Mexico and she likes to sing them because they (The songs' lyrics) have a lot of feeling.”

CWB: When did you decide  to start singing?

GS: According to my parents I started singing when I was very little,  Later on I sang  the  ABC’s  and I remember that I sat all my dolls around me, when I came back from school, and pretended that I was an artist and my dolls where my “fans” and asked me for authographs.”  I loved the game.

Gabriela laughs,

CWB: When did you start singing for real  audiences?

GB: The first time that I set foot on the stage of a theatre was at the talent show of my school, Silver Oak Elementary School. Then at the age of  eight, my mother entered me into the “Juguemos a Cantar” (Let’s play we Are Singing) a singing contest in Gilroy, California where I won third place singing “Los Laureles.” (A folk Mexican song).

CWB: How did you feel the first time you sang in public?

She smiles broadly as she remembers that  moment.

GS: I felt strong.  Very strong. I remember that I climbed the stage and sang with all my might. My mother told me  that she got in shock

CWB: You started your career singing “Rancheras,” do you plan to continue it singing “Rancheras?”

GS: Yes, I still sing “Rancheras,” because I love them.  Singing them well requires a lot of feeling  and “mucha garra,” (lots of spunk) on the part of the singer. But  the reason why  I  want  to continue singing  them is because  “The Rancheras,”  belong to a  style of  Mexican music that it is being “neglected.” lately and I think that it  needs to be  shown  to new audiences.

CWB: Tell us something about your career.

CS: After I got the third place singing in Gilroy, I was invited to participate in various TV programs of  Univision (channel 14 in S.F) among them “Al Despertar,”  y “Encuentro en La Bahia.” I also participated in various Radio Programs in the Bay Area. After that my mother requested an audition for me  in “sabado Gigante,” (A show where future stars and stars form Latin America  are presented). And sang  in the program “Estrellas del Futuro” (Future stars) There I competed with other children from all over the world, and  I won in a tie, so I was invited again in 2009 and won again  in another tie.

Since then, the young singer has been invited to sing in many places in the Bay Area and a  television Station in Venezuela.

CWB:  With your personality and beautiful voice, what are your plans for the future?

GS: First  I want to finish my education (she is in  the sixth  grade), I also want to learn to read music, explore different types of music and make another CD. I also want to continue with my voice lessons, and learn to play guitar.

Gaby, as her family calls her, is intelligent enough to be  aware that “fame” may change  a person,  so she is trying  to remain  unaffected by her fame  and still keeps her strong ties with her family. Yet he plans for a future and
 “dreams”  that if she ever  succeeds as a singer, she is going   to help the  poor children to have music lessons. Maybe even  start a school where  they all can learn not only music, but learn to play different instruments so that they too can experience the joy that music brings to people.

CWB: Do you have anything else you would like to say?

She remains silent for a few minutes.

GS: Yes.  I would like to tell all the parents to “listen to their children, and  to encourage their children’s dreams. It doesn’t matter if  a child  wants to be writer or football player, all children  need encourage ment from their parents because  “their dreams” are important to them.  So parents,  “listen” to your sons and to your  daughters. When you listen what we want to say.  it makes us very  happy.

For those  readers who  would like to hear Gaby sing, CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL has secured permission to include in this article  this recording of  a duet of Gaby and Abraham Mateo singing "UN 5 DE AGOSTO, "a song  written by Jesus Monje y Mano Rodriguez in  honor of  the Chilean Miners.


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