Exclusive SXSW Interview: Latina Artist Bodine – From Pagent Queen To Musician

Dutch Puerto Rican artist Bodine is an absolute powerhouse. An artist, musician, model, dancer, former Miss Universe Puerto Rico, and just all around talented individual. In between showcases at SXSW I had the pleasure of speaking with her all about her journey into the music industry, her EP “Quemo Lento” which is out today, and her latest single “No Me Quiere Mas Na”

We’re here celebrating not only your SXSW performances but also your new single “No Me Quiere Mas Na”, which was released just last month! It’s a very sensual and upbeat song and your voice, absolutely amazing. I’m curious, what was the inspiration behind it? 

Wow. It’s actually one of my favorite songs right now that we released because it’s from a project that is coming up next week, which is super exciting that we’re releasing. But the song basically started off being an EDM song and I was like, you know what? I love this, but it’s not completely there yet. And we changed the drums to a merengue vibe. Which was our first merengue kind of flavored song. And automatically it just came out as an anthem like [singing] Yeah, no me quiere mas na, no me quiere mas na. [talking] And it just came out so easy. And then I just transported myself into that moment in time where you’re just so heartbroken about someone. But it’s kind of a good balance because the beat is so uplifting and happy, and wants to make you dance. And then the song lyrically it’s kind of disappointingly sad. 

Those are my favorite songs when you can dance to it, but also get your emotions out. I mean, you said EDM. I was a little unsure but then when you explained, I see it now. 

It started EDM because it had that progression and that rhythmic moment with the chords. And I said, actually if you really think about it, they could be fit for a merengue. And it hit immediately when we changed that. 

I love it. So how would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before? 

That is a very good question, I’m even still questioning that myself. You know, because I feel that my music is like nature. Nature always wants to change. It is always changing, transforming, shifting. And I think I’m part of that always changing, transforming, looking for something new, looking for a new chance in sound. But I will say I’m a mix of alternative with reggaeton. But also, flavors with pop, in a way, because I grew up listening to Britney Spears, or Madonna, Spice Girls, Shakira, but also with my Latin flavors, like Daddy Yankee… you know, Ivy Queen, we’re just talking about her in the car. I love her. But I also like salsa, bachata, merengue. So I would say long story short, a flavor of all of that. 

Hearing your music, you perfectly describe it. It’s kind of a little bit of everything and especially the reggaeton. It’s a good mix. So I want to take it back a bit, your resume is so impressive. Model, Dancer, Pagent queen–which of those introduced you to music, and when did you know you wanted to be a musician? 

So before all of that, I come from a very humble family from Puerto Rico. 

Can I ask which town? 

Yeah, we are from the San Juan area, from the metro area. 

Oh yeah! My mom is from Río Piedras. 

Very close to that, yes! The only thing we had, really, besides my Barbies was the piano. So that’s all I had growing up. So I was in music school since very young, and I went to the Conservatorium. I’m classically trained and I studied classical composition, but I couldn’t continue because we were just in a very tough position, you know?

So I heard about the pageant that they will fund you for school and you get transportation and you get food and all this stuff and actually free clothes. [Bodine laughs] So I said, this is a great combo because I can provide, represent, and keep studying, which is really my dream to do music. Of course, things got complicated because I actually won.

Yeah, you were good. 

So I had a lot on my plate, you know? But I knew that eventually, I would circle back to my true core which is music. So after all that chapter, I worked really hard in New York. I got a contract and then one day I woke up and maybe in another other interview I will go more in-depth. It made me shift because I did have a real wake-up call to go back into music and it hit me like a lightning boom. Go back to music, this is time. 

Well, now I want to hear about that.

Well, basically like any industry, there are dark holes. And I was in a situation where I was climbing into a dark hole and I said, whoa, I love myself way too much. And I think I got saved by music. So we’re here. 

That’s really powerful. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you pursued your dreams. So you only just got here. But how are you enjoying your time at SXSW? 

Well, it’s my first time here. I love it. I really, truly love it. You walk everywhere, music everywhere, like, right now. [there was a full band playing next door] I love to hear that more Latin artists are coming here. It’s becoming a real thing for us. So that opportunity is absolutely cool for us Latin artists, because I know we’re taking over the world, I know taking over. 

I think we did an article on it was like 107 Hispanic artists from Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, everywhere. It’s really crazy. 

It’s taking over. We’re taking over. 

And you’re a part of it! You’re doing it. What songs are you excited to play live? 

Yes, so I have a project coming out in a week. We’ve been sitting on this egg for a while, [Bodine laughs] it’s ready to hatch now. But there’s a song called Nalgaje”, which is the focus track of this project, and we’re actually going to play it this week for the first time on her set. So that’s that’s kind of cool.

That’s so exciting! So how did you come up with the title? 

Yeah, so Quemo Lento, which means Slow Burn, and it represents two of my phases, the Quemo Lento of pain and things that I’ve been through, you know, heartbreak and other awful moments that just feels like a slow burn. But also my other phase slow burn, sensual way where it’s so good that you’re melting and burning very slowly, very nicely. So it’s my two phases of what Quemo Lento means to me. 

Oh, that’s so creative. Do you have any pre-show traditions or rituals that you have to do?

Definitely some jumping jacks. 


Yes, just a few to let the body loose. I still get very nervous. You know, yesterday was my third time performing ever.


Yeah, ever!

Oh my gosh. 

So that was kind of a cool experience. Yeah, but really, and I even say it on stage, I just thank God. That’s the first thing I do when I get on stage. I’m like, thank you, Universe, for this opportunity. And hey, it didn’t come out from nothing

That;s beautiful, and then last question. Our nonprofit aims to empower Latinas. What advice would you give to any young girls looking forward to following in your footsteps and pursuing a career in music?

Yeah, that every time somebody says no to you that you suck, you say, I am the best. 

Aww, I love that! 

Yeah, and then never stop because I literally started like that. I will never forget. I moved to New York and I was looking for people already in music. And this is such a funny story. [Bodine starts laughing] I think this was like my first A&R Meeting ever because I knew someone in the agency that represents musicians inside a model agency.


And I went to this meeting. I had no music. I had nothing recorded. Nothing recorded, okay? 

[Laughing] Okay. 

So I went to this meeting and they’re talking to me. It’s like, Well, do you have anything to play on? And I said, Well, I only have these drums from YouTube and I can explain what I see myself doing. So I plug my phone in and it starts like this boom ba boom boom ba, the beat like this.

And I said, So this part I will sing. [singing] Na na na na na na na na na na na. And then on top of that, there’s going to be a violin [immitating violin] wenenewawa wenenewawa. And then on top of that I see like a trumpet going [imitating trumpet] brnenenebrbr. [confidently] And all together like that, it will make this.

The guy was like this. [Bodine does a shocked face] Like, do you mind holding on? I need to get someone else in here so they can see how amazing this is. I’m like, okay, yeah, sure. I’m so innocent. 

Oh no! 

So they brought someone in and they made me do it again. I put the beat boom ba boom ba boom ba and I’m like, so the first part we go [singing] na na na na na na, and then I see this, and then the trumpet goes [imitating trumpet] brnenenebrbr. I don’t know how those people maintained their straight face on. And I’m like, [confidently] and that’s a hit right there. 

So I’m so excited. I go home. I call my mom. I’m like, my God, Mom, this is going to happen. And later that night, I see the same people at this company’s Halloween party, whatever. So I’m having a drink a good time and excited about the meeting earlier. And I see the guy at the party and he had a few drinks in. I bump into his I say, Hey, what did you think? Thank you for the meeting today. And I remember he took two sips and he looks at me like, Bodine, grabs me by the shoulder and he’s like, you suck. 

Oh my God! 

And that moment, of course, my world just kind of collapsed, you know? And I turned around. I remember I walked out of the party, I got in a cab and I went straight home. That moment was one of the most important moments in my life because it was such gasoline. It was such power that it gave me to say I have to put this person in place. And it’s not only about ego, I just believe and trust myself that I have something to bring to the table. And I love music, but that’s my story with that question, is like every time they say that you’re not good enough, that you’re not great, that why are you doing this? You should do something else. You should feed yourself on that and make yourself a bigger monster and then just conquer the world. 

That was the best story ever, I love that. How old were you? 

Oh my God. I was probably like nineteen, something like that. 

But the confidence is like, amazing to even do that and say that and go there. Thank you so much, Bodine. It’s been amazing talking to you.

Of Course!  

Bodine’s new EP “Quemo Lento” is out today, and you can stream right now! Follow Bodine on Instagram to keep up with her and find out when she’s performing in your city! 


  • Camila Dejesus

    Magazine & Media Editor, Camila Dejesus has been writing since she was a child and enjoys all forms from creative writing down to narrative analysis. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's in Television and Radio Production and works full-time at Latinitas Magazine. In her free time, she loves writing stories, water coloring, or playing songs on her Baritone Ukulele. Now, her greatest passion is finding new topics that will engage and inspire Latinx youth.

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