Estevie Modernizes the ‘Classic Cumbia Norteña’ for Gen Z on ‘Como Yo’

Estevie premiere Estevie premiere.jpg - Credit: Monica Zulema Arzate*
Estevie premiere Estevie premiere.jpg - Credit: Monica Zulema Arzate*

Estevie is bringing the cumbia norteñas of the early 2000s back. On Thursday, the Mexican-American star premieres the music video of her single “Como Yo” with Rolling Stone, ahead of the release of her debut EP, aptly titled Cumbialicious, out Friday.

“Making cumbia is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life… I noticed that there really weren’t any new cumbias coming out. So I was like, ‘I got to make some cumbia for the new generation,'” she tells Rolling Stone. “[It’s about] keeping and respecting the traditional ways but adding a new feel to it that could be enjoyable to people of all ages.”

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The live performance video sees the singer in a turquoise skirt and top while surrounded by a full band and a dancing horse. The visual captures the singer hitting the track’s high notes and lyrics about seeing “someone you love with someone else.”

“‘Como Yo’ is inspired by 2000s classic cumbia norteña, it’s a heart-wrenching song that carries so much emotion,” she says. “It’s like a cry of desperation to that person, trying to convince them of the silly, but true reasons why the other person isn’t right for them.”

Estevie said she “started tearing up” as she heard “Como Yo” play for the first time in the studio, since it showcases her “more vulnerable side.” “That was the first time that had ever happened to me while making a song,” she explains. “I knew it was special and decided to make it the focus track of the EP.”

For Estevie, Cumbialicious is both a mix of “everything I grew up listening to” with the cumbia and regional Mexicano influences, plus the -licious, which she says is “a playful pop mix” and showcases “the Cali girl in me.” The music seems to take influences from the Tejano stars that came before her, like Selena, but with a modern flair.

Cumbialicious really defines me as an artist and as a Mexican American,” she says. “My whole life it’s always been a struggle to make those two sides of me make sense together but with this EP my goal was to find a way where those two worlds could coexist.”

It’s been a lengthy journey for Estevie, who debuted under her legal name Sarah Silva in 2019 before embracing her Estevie stage name the following year. She released cumbia-infused tracks like “Canela” and “Black Cherry” in 2021 before fully diving in last year with “La Cumbia del Cucuy” and “Chiki Bombón.” She also joined Eslabón Armado on their album Nostalgia for the standout “Las Historias Se Acaban.”

This year, Estevie also collaborated with DannyLux, who joined her on “Triste Verano,” and Cuco, who sings with her on “El Paso.”

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