It’s always a thrill to see someone in our mariachi community on international television, and Clyde Guerra is a popular and longtime participant of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. On behalf of MariachiMusic.com, Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza producer Cynthia Muñoz spoke with Clyde about his recent experience on TV Azteca’s international television reality show La Voz México. Here’s what he had to say:
MM.com: When did you audition for La Voz México?
Clyde Guerra: I received kind of a random phone call from one of the producers back in early March. They asked me to submit an audition recording, which I did. Once the producers reviewed the recording, they called me and invited me to be on the show. It was all so sudden when they flew me to Mexico City on March 19th — my birthday.
When I arrived in Mexico, we went straight into rehearsals at TV Azteca Novelas where the TV Azteca studios are located. It’s like a city all on its own, with restaurants and cafés inside this huge production location. I spent three days there in rehearsals and ended up singing Leonel García’s “Me Dediqué a Perderte,” a song made famous by Alejandro Fernández.
MM.com: Well, congratulations! The response was amazing, wasn’t it?
CG: It was. The entire experience was a real shock to me. It hadn’t really hit me that this was an international television show. Almost instantly, I was getting messages from people all over the world, including Cuba, Brazil, Chile and, of course, all over Mexico. It was very surprising and encouraging to hear from so many people who were giving me shoutouts and offering their support and expressing their love for my music and performance.
MM.com: How did you feel on stage during your performance?
CG: I had never been so nervous in my entire life than at the moment I walked out on that stage. You know I started competing in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competitions when I was in 7th grade. You would think that all of these years of competing and performing would prepare me for a moment like this, but I was still extremely nervous. It doesn’t look like I was in the video, but I was. Once the music started, though, the nerves went away.
My eyes were closed when Yahir turned around, and when he did, I got nervous all over again (Yahir Parra is a Mexican singer and actor who is well known for his role as a finalist on La Academia back in 2002). Lupillo Rivera (a Mexican banda singer who was another one of the judges on La Voz México) turned around shortly after Yahir, and then Belinda Peregrín (a Mexican singer, songwriter and actress) followed.
MM.com: How did the folks at La Voz México hear about you?
CG: I got the message from them on Facebook. They said they had seen my videos online — maybe on YouTube, maybe on Facebook — and they were interested in speaking with me.
MM.com: Who helps you with those videos?
CG: I get asked that question a lot, because people think I go into a studio to record my videos. Actually, those recordings are made by just me and my mom. I record the songs and set up my camera. I tell my mom what I want, and she videotapes me in my home. We move furniture and stuff around to make it look like a studio. I use a Canon Rebel to videotape my songs.
MM.com: You’ve been posting videos pretty consistently for quite some time now, haven’t you?
CG: Yes. I’ve been posting videos for the past four years, since I graduated from high school. The most popular video is the one with me playing the violin, “Bird Set Free,” which has over 8,000 views on YouTube. The next most popular is my duet with Jackie Barrera. The third most popular is the “Pray” video.
MM.com: What happens next?
CG: So I made it to the next round, and these are the knockouts. I have very limited information as to what this means. They may give me a song, pair me up with one or two others. I’m not exactly sure, but I’m preparing for any scenario.
MM.com: When do you go back?
CG: I received a phone call yesterday, and they said I may be heading back to Mexico City the second week of May.
MM.com: How do you feel about the competition on the show?
CG: With school and all, I don’t have much time to watch TV, but I do watch the videos once they’re posted on YouTube. It’s kind of scary because there’s a lot of talented singers out there, but I just have to believe in myself.
I’ve met the coolest people … the production staff have been very nice and very professional. It’s also an amazing experience to be around so many people who share the same dream as I do. People are supportive of one another and respect that we all want the same thing. I’m just really grateful, because one of my dreams has always been to sing on television — and now it’s happening. This is perfect timing for me to be on the show now, especially since I’m about to graduate. I feel like a winner already, especially when I see my recording of Me Dediqué a Perderte on YouTube and realize that it has over 100,000 views. This tells me people really like it.
MM.com: You not only sound good, but you’ve always had a great style and look, and now you get to use this where it really counts — on international television. You have the look of a star!
CG: Funny you say that, because as soon as I got back from Mexico, I called my dentist and asked him to take my braces off. I’ve had them on forever, but I’m getting them off next week, so I’ll have them off before I head back to Mexico.
MM.com: What surprises people the most about you?
CG: Since I’m majoring in violin, a lot of people here at the university didn’t know that I’m a singer, so they were surprised when they saw me on TV. Not everyone on campus gets to make it out to the mariachi recitals.
MM.com: What do you hope the outcome will be?
CG: I hope I’ll get past a couple of more rounds. This is a growing experience working with a first-class international television production. Each time I go, I grow in knowledge and experience. I hope this will be a stepping stone for something even bigger. I’m excited about taking the next steps, and I probably won’t find out what these are until I return to Mexico.
MM.com: How did you pick Belinda Peregrín to be your coach for the show?
CG: I didn’t think about it much, I was so focused on singing. When it was over, they asked me to pick a coach, and I picked Belinda. I knew of her, and I had followed her on Instagram. She came out on the super popular Disney movie Cheetah Girls, which I didn’t know until afterwards. She has a song called “Luz Sin Gravedad,” and I’ve listened to this song for a while. I knew it was hers.
MM.com: Any words of advice for your many fans who will be watching out for your next appearance on La Voz Mexico?
CG: If you have the chance to audition for a show, take it! I’ve learned so much about reality TV, production, singing and about myself. It’s a great experience that helps you grow as an individual, as an artist and as an entertainer.
I also want everyone to know that I’m very proud to represent Roma, Edinburg and the entire Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza FAM on the show!
MM.com: We love you, Clyde, and wish you all the luck in the world. We’ll be watching your next appearance on La Voz Méxicoand cheering for you so loudly that you may be able to hear us all the way in Mexico!!!
More about Clyde Guerra
Clyde Guerra is a 22-year-old college senior from Roma, Texas who currently attends the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in Edinburg. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance and pre-med this coming May. In addition to being a longtime member of UTRGV’s Mariachi Aztlán, Clyde is the Concertmaster of the UTRGV Symphony Orchestra.
Catch Clyde’s upcoming senior recital on May 4 at the UTRGV Library Auditorium. Also, be sure to tune in to La Voz México on Azteca TV on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, starting April 29.
Clyde Guerra’s history in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition
2010 – Won third place in the Middle School Category
2011 – Won first place in the High School Category
2012 – Placed as finalist in the High School Category
2013– Won first place in the High School Category
2014– Won first place in the High School Category
2015 – Won first place in the College Category
Other Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza participants who have competed on international television reality shows
Sebastien De la Cruz– San Antonio – America’s Got Talent
Jackelyn Barrera– Roma – La Voz Kids
Vanessa Cerda Alonso– Houston – Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento
Virginia Stille– Houston – Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento & Nuestra Belleza
Victoria Acosta– San Antonio – American Idol
Yomara Cortez– Roma – La Voz México
Francisco García– Roma – La Voz Kids
Brooke Talk– New Braunfels – Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento
Clyde Guerra– Roma – La Voz México