Nydia Rojas Biography

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Genres: Latin, World

Nydia Rojas (born 1980, Whittier, California), daughter of Arturo and Olivia Rojas, is an American singer of Mexican/Cuban/Yaqui Indian heritage and a celebrated prodigy on the mariachi circuit. She performs in a wide range of musical styles such as jazz, soul, and R&B, but makes a particular specialty of mariachi. As a vocalist who also plays numerous musical instruments, she continues to embrace her adored roots, inspiring young audiences around the country. As an advocate for music education, she is committed to serving as a role model for many generations to come, as she has focused much of her career to this relentless passion of hers.

Nydia spent several years of her early childhood in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she was exposed to local musical styles which greatly influenced her later career. When she was 4 years old she watched the movie ''Nosotros Los Pobres'', starring Pedro Infante. She was so captivated by the movie that she learned the lyrics to its theme song, "Amorcito Corazon", and her interest in music and singing was further stimulated.

At age 9, she sang in the East Los Angeles restaurant El Mercadito, which marked the albeit small beginning of her public performing career. That same year, she performed at a retirement home in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and the following year, at age 10, she embarked on a semi-regular gig at another restaurant, El Taco Loco in Hawaiian Gardens. Initially she sang with a mariachi group which already performed at the restaurant, but soon she was in demand in her own right. In this context she accepted requests for songs from restaurant patrons, arranging to learn them for the following week if songs were requested with which she was unfamiliar.

Nydia attended Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, CA as well as Orange County High School of the Arts in Los Alamitos, CA. She was also involved with the Mariachi Heritage Society Program based in East Los Angeles, CA. Her first violin and guitar instructor was Laura Sobrino, a pioneer female mariachi musician. One of her mentors was José Hernàndez, founder of Mariachi Sol de Mexico, who also produced her debut album. She also studied voice with Heriberto Molina ("El Cura"), one of the original members of the great Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan.

At age 13, Nydia became a vocalist/guitarist with the all-female Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, which provided a spring-board for her to gain a solo contract with the Arista Latin recording label. Her debut solo album, self-titled, was recorded when she was 15 years of age then released after her 16th birthday. In the next five years another three solo albums followed. During this time her performances played to packed audiences of up to 18,000 fans.

In today's U.S. Latin music market, few mariachi singers have been able to reach wide audiences. The music is hard to sell outside of the fanatics of the genre. Nydia Rojas, however, broke those boundaries when she released her debut album at only 16 years of age and started setting the pace for mariachi music in the U.S. Nydia gained plenty of praise as she performed all throughout the country and her music was heard in many different lands, helping her gain fans from Mexico to Germany to Japan. She was invited to perform for President Clinton during his inauguration, and later that year, she was declared a mariachi sensation by USA Today.

Nydia's third album, ''Si Me Conocieras'', was nominated for a Latin Grammy award alongside such established artists as Vicente Fernández and Alejandro Fernández, and Antonio and Pepe Aguilar. Although she did not win the award, it further established her as an outstanding performer in her field, and soon after this she went on two national tours with the great Juan Gabriel. The first tour gave her the opportunity to work closely with Gabriel who expressed much admiration for her talent, and led to her recording her fourth solo album, ''Nydia'', which for the first time took more of a mainstream Latin pop direction while still displaying all of Nydia's musical skills. Juan Gabriel sang two duets with Nydia on this album and named her one of the best interpreters of his music from her generation.

In Nov. 2008, Nydia reunited with the legendary Juan Gabriel for a performance at the Auditorio Nacional de Mexico. She is currently working on her 5th CD.