Music

A Deep Analysis on Selena Quintanilla Peréz's 3 Most Impactful Songs

Remembering the late musician on what would’ve been her 52nd birthday.

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A Deep Analysis on Selena Quintanilla Peréz's 3 Most Impactful Songs

Remembering the late musician on what would’ve been her 52nd birthday.

This past March, it officially marked 28 years since Selena Quintanilla Peréz died. Though she was only 23 years old at the time of her death, she left her mark on the world. Reaching icon status at a young age, Selena paved the way for other musicians in the Latin music industry and though she is no longer here, her music continues to make an impact. April 16 is a special day — her birthday. In honor of what would’ve been her 52nd birthday, let’s look back at her most impactful songs.

“Dreaming of You”

While “Dreaming of You” is an exceptionally beautiful song on its own, it became even more special because it was released after her death. The track was part of her English-crossover album of the same title, which she began recording in 1994. The LP dropped on July 18, 1995 — a little over three months after she died. At that point, Dreaming of You became the record to have the most copies sold during its first day of release by any female artist.

From a sentimental standpoint, “Dreaming of You” holds a special place for fans, as well as Selena’s husband, Chris Peréz. Chris, who was the lead guitarist in her band, Selena y Los Dinos, previously revealed that the song was a love letter to him. A few weeks prior to her death, Selena asked Chris to “drop everything” and stop by the studio to listen to her record the track, which she had never done before. However, Chris was busy helping her dad on a separate music project. As a result, Chris felt regretful of his decision. “I still feel happy when I think about how Selena was thinking of me when she sang that song,” he wrote in his 2012 memoir, To Selena, With Love. “But I’m also torn by the fact that I didn’t go by her then. Why didn’t I just leave work so that I could listen to what my wife wanted me to hear? The answer is simple: I didn’t realize that my chances to hear Selena singing were nearly over.”

“Como La Flor”

“Como La Flor” is probably Selena’s most popular Spanish-language song. The track, which was the second single from Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), serves as a perfect representation of her overall style of music. “Como La Flor” is an up-tempo Tejano cumbia with undertones of reggae and pop. It helped solidify her as a serious artist in Mexico. “Como La Flor,” which translates to “like the flower,” uses symbolism to represent feelings of loss and love.

Her brother, A.B. Quintanilla III, who co-wrote the song with Pete Astudillo, her backup vocalist in Selena y Los Dinos, was quickly inspired to bring the track to life. “A lot of songs came fast and some came slow; this was one of those that came real fast,” A.B. previously told BuzzFeed News. “It came to me while I was in the shower in a hotel in Bryan, Texas, but in the movie, they put the scene on the bus.”

“Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”

While Selena has several danceable songs, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” stands out for several reasons. For starters, it’s a feel-good song about your heart beating fast when you see someone you like. Selena created the onomatopoeic phrase to signify the sound of a palpitating heart. Musically, it’s a memorable song as it features her signature Tejano sound along with hints of pop and rock, incorporated by Chris via his guitar solo.

What eventually became one of Selena’s biggest hits, first began as a playful filler song. Before “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” became what it is today, Selena had the idea of a fish swimming freely through the ocean. The song was first titled “Itty Bitty Bubble.” Selena felt like she was on to something and asked Pete for his help on the track. “From it, A.B. said, ‘There’s something that’s forming … Let’s work on this a bit more and let’s put words to what she’s kind of saying,’” Pete said during a 2017 Univison special about Selena. “And from ‘Itty Bitty Bubble’ came ‘Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.’”

 

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