Mexican singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas has been an international sensation ever since her album "Si" took off in Mexico and seeped in to the pop/rock scene in the United States in 2005.

Since then, Venegas has won three Grammys and four MTV Video Music Awards while enjoying weeks at the top of music charts in Mexico, Central and South America, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. 

While she was born in the United States, Venegas grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and speaks both Spanish and English fluently. Even so, she said she prefers to sing in Spanish only.

Just a few weeks before her concert at the Arvada Center on Aug. 16, Venegas spoke with Viva Colorado about this and other aspects of her life as a songwriter.

What was your favorite song to compose?
I can't really think of one song. I really enjoy the whole experience of writing - it doesn't even matter if a song is good or not.

It seems like every other one of your songs, you pick up a new instrument. How many do you know how to play?
I don't really consider myself an expert in those instruments. I'm mostly a pianist and play a lot of other instruments out of that. I like inventing, using different instruments in my songs, just going and using anything with strings. But I don't study those instruments.

What would you do if you didn't sing?
I'd probably be a teacher of some sort, in literature maybe. If I didn't study music, you could say my other passion is reading, and I would have liked to study that.


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What other artists do you admire?
A lot - some have been friends for a long time, and others I have just discovered. For me, making music is loving the music that comes from other people.

You've won several notable awards for your music. Which are you most proud of?
When they gave me a key to the city at Matamoros, Tamaulipas. That was great, it was so exciting.

What do you think of the narcocorridos in the Mexican music scene right now?
There are lots of other things going on in Mexico right now besides the narcocorridos. I think with the Internet now there is a lot more popularity of listening to new bands. In Mexico there's a big boom of bands that have nothing to do with radio or big narco companies. They're just people doing different things.

What is next? Are you working on a new album?
Right now I'm focusing on performing. I would like to start writing, but I would like to finish my tour first. When I get to the point that I start writing another song in the morning, I have to really finish the cycle of my other songs, either playing them or having anything to do with them.

Since your baby girl was born a year ago, what has motherhood been like?
It's great. It's wonderful - really recommended. It's more intense but better. It's very cliché to say something like that, but things are just better.

Have you been to Colorado before?
Yes, I was here for a show I think in 2008. I remember it being really fun, but I wasn't able to see much of the city.

Of all the places you have visited, what was your favorite?
I love visiting new places, but seeing Paris for the first time, it really opens up your senses in every way.

Our Facebook readers also had some questions:
From Victor Hdz Villarreal: What are some of the things you do to find inspiration when writing a new song?
I like reading a lot, it's something I always do and a big part of my inspiration. Just reading stories and trying to understand human nature. But everything is inspiring. Everything you see or listen to is in some way inspiring.

From Gerardo Flores: Will you crossover to English?
No, because even though I do speak it, my mom never spoke to me in English. I am much closer to Spanish. Even if I do read or have inspiration that comes from English, it always translates to Spanish.

 

Julieta Venegas
Aug. 16, Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Tickets $35-60
arvadacenter.org/on-stage/julieta-venegas.
More information: 720.629.7717.