Interview by Natasha Gonzales
Article by Celinda De La Fuente
The dynamic and effervescent Shelly Lares has announced her retirement from Tejano music, but continues to advocate for the gente’s music. She recently debuted what would be her last album titled “LMD82” which stands for Little Miss Dynamite and 1982 for the year she began in the industry. With just about 40 years of experience in the music industry, Lares has great insight and knowledge to share with all us and future generations.
Lares recently met with Dr. Matthew Knowles, founder of Music World Entertainment and father of Beyonce, “to talk about what we can contribute to Tejano now for the future.” Her passion to push Tejano forward in this new age is admirable, especially since she is taking action and the necessary steps to solidify a higher standard for our gente’s music.
“[Tejano] is evolving and changing…We can’t keep the mentality that we had in the 90s because things are different now. We have so many things that work to our benefit…internet, social media…So, we gotta figure out how to get the younger generation to listen to Tejano music,” Lares states with fervor and a tenacity that cannot be extinguished.
Supporting our new generation of Tejano musicians along with our veteran Tejano artists will allow many to see that this deeply cultural music is not just for the older generation. Es para toda la gente.
“Tejano music is my family. Tejano music is a family member to me.”
It’s part of our familia as well, as it reminds us of yesteryears and connotes nostalgia with every chord. With Shelly Lares at the helm, we can ensure the survival of Tejano Music for all.
Now with a new venture in her life, the nurturing and caring Lares is entering the nursing field as a Hospice Nurse.
“Music was one chapter in my life. Now I’m ready for another.”
Helping and caring for others is part of her nature, so it is only natural that she finds her path amongst one of the most hardworking, underappreciated fields. Lares already has experience as a caretaker of three years and is aware of the need for caring nurses as her own father was in hospice and his nurses provided loving care for him until his very last breath.
“To me, if all I’m known for when I’m gone is just my music, I didn’t do something right. I want to do something on the human level, as a human being.”
We will remember Lares for all the work she has done for our musica, for our comunidad, for our gente, and for all the future lives she will touch. Gracias.