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Latin Music Moms Speak Out: ‘Balancing Work and Motherhood Is a Basic Right’

todayMay 7, 2022

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Balancing motherhood and careers is tricky under any circumstance, but working moms in the music industry —whether they’re artists, creatives or executives — have to balance a particularly delicate set of challenges that includes unpredictable schedules, physical appearance expectations and navigating a male-dominated field. As part of our ongoing series on motherhood and work, a group of artists and executives who are leaders in their field tell us how they do it all.

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Beatriz Luengo

Artist, songwriter

How did motherhood change your career?

At an emotional level, motherhood gave me the general awareness of the world around me from my children’s eyes. It placed my work as an artist and composer at the service of social change that will favor my children’s individual rights. The notion that my daughter’s skills will take her far and that she won’t have to fight extra hard because she’s a woman has empowered me in my lyrics or made me change lyrics in songs that had “debatable” content, in my opinion. As for my son, who is a natural creator, I want to give him conscience of the power he has through art.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?

My children have taught me patience and tolerance. It’s something I hadn’t developed before they came to my life.

Advice to new moms in the business?

Don’t let anyone make you feel something ends with maternity. On the contrary: Maternity awakens a protective animal instinct that makes you strong and powerful. I no longer allow anyone to play with my time or take me for a fool. Whoever laughs at me laughs at my children, and that’s made me fierce; these are the best years of my career.

What has changed — for better or worst — for working moms since COVID?

The most different experience was my daughter’s birth. I arrived at the hospital after my water broke, with strong contractions, and had to wait 30 minutes for my COVID test to clear. It was not generous, even though the delivery went well and the doctors and hospital team were incredible.

Goyo

Artist, songwriter

How did motherhood change your career?

Before, I used to tour or perform and was never anxious to return home. After I had Saba, my first thought always is, ‘When do I see her again? What is she doing without me? What will we do when we get together?’ It’s a big change but one that keeps you grounded.

Memorable child/mother/work moment?

The first time we appeared together in a magazine in Colombia. Saba was a newborn, and it was very special. I wasn’t posing as Goyo or Chocquibtown but as a mother with her daughter. It feels different.

Advice to new moms in the business?

I believe love and a big smile heal everything. Simply listening to your children is important.

Sonia Clavell

Manager, promoter

How did motherhood change your career?

Camila changed my entire life. She provoked the most spectacular and enjoyable complexity in my life and gave me inexhaustible energy to achieve everything I am for. Her arrival is my biggest success. The strength and passion that motherhood awakens is magical and makes you powerful.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?




To think before I act. I’m clear that I’m an example for my daughter and I look to be a better person every day.

Sonia Clavell and daughter Camilla

Sonia Clavell and daughter Camilla
Sonia Clavell

Memorable child/mother/work moment?

Camila was with me in the middle of an album release just days after she was born. She’s been part of all my projects, and she’s become my head assistant and biggest critic.

Advice to new moms in the business?

Understand that a child is not a reason for you to stop anything in life.  On the contrary, your day to day is full of moments that empower you as a woman.

Nerea Igualador

VP digital business, Sony Music US Latin

How did motherhood change your career?

I have two sons, nine and seven. Unfortunately, 10 years ago things were different. Motherhood was seen as a weakness by senior management in many music companies, and my case was no different. The moment you say you’re pregnant, you’re stuck. We had to work twice as hard and never look weak because we had to show everyone that our work was our priority. Today that has changed. Not only do companies understand work-life balance, but it’s become a priority for music companies.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?




Prioritize everything and to consider all the possible scenarios. When you become a mom you start to think about the “what ifs,” and it can be applied to everything. This is what we do as professionals, too: prioritize per importance and urgency and always consider different scenarios. Also, my negotiation skills are sharper.

Nerea Igualador

Nerea Igualador and son Ale
Nerea Igualador

Memorable child/mother/work moment?




I personally love that my kids are proud of their mom. I recently received the Wonder Women of Music Award, and they really loved the moment when I opened the box. They called everyone to tell them that their mom won an award. It thrilled me to see them so happy.

Advice to new moms in the business?




Don’t panic.

What has changed — for better or worst — for working moms since COVID?

In my case, COVID changed things for the better. Working from home for two years allowed me to spend much more time with my two sons, help them with their homework, be part of their lives in a very present way. Thanks to that, I realized that my son in third grade had dyslexia, something that neither his teachers nor his tutors had noticed.

Delia Orjuela

GM Música Mexicana, Warner Music Latina

How did motherhood change your career?

I’ve always been very passionate about my career, and that didn’t change for me after having my daughter Cassandra or my son Elijah. Motherhood made me more thankful that I felt so confident in knowing that I love what I do. I didn’t have this cloud over my head about returning to a job after maternity leave.

Advice to new moms in the business?




Follow your passion and do what works for you. There will be days when you feel like you’re only good at one or the other or even feel lousy at both. You don’t have to give up your life as a mom to have a career or vice versa.

Delia Orjuela and family

Delia Orjuela and family
Courtesy of Delia Orjuela

What has changed for better or worst for working moms since COVID?

One good change is that there is now more flexibility within the work schedule, which means there is occasionally more time to prepare what my son says is a “VIP Breakfast”: pancakes and a strawberry banana smoothie.

Claudia Elena Vasquez

President, Universo Vives

How did motherhood change your career?

Raising a child is a huge social responsibility. Every human being we bring to the world requires a constant effort so they are ethical, intelligent and responsible for themselves and they always live up to their best possibilities. Motherhood is an absolute life commitment. In my personal case, it’s my priority, and from the moment I became a mom, I reorganized my life to be with them in their key moments and through their development.

Claudia Elena Vasquez

Claudia Elena Vasquez with children Pedro and Elena. 
David Padierna

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?

To be flexible, patient and to “negotiate” a lot!

Advice to new moms in the business?

Our music industry is very demanding and has no schedule. Tours, releases, everything that comes with the day to day of an artist, as in my case, requires you to be on 24-7. It’s very important to find a balance between work and personal life. I’ve had a support network that’s helped me raise and take care of my children. It’s important to find those networks we trust, or share the responsibility with your partner so one of the two is present.

Claudia Brant

Singer, songwriter

How did motherhood change your career?




My schedule completely changed. As a songwriter and a single mom, I had to attend multiple sessions while taking care of my twins at the same time. I had help but it still was quite a challenge.

Claudia Brant

Claudia Brant and twins Nina and Luca, now 11 years old, when they were babies.
Patrick Liotta

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?

That everything is adjustable. Artists and colleagues need to respect and understand we have more than one job. And the main one is raising our children.

Memorable child/mother/work moment?




My kids spent countless hours in my studio meeting artists and learning the craft of songwriting. They were not always happy having lots people over. My son one day said to me with an angry voice: “What are all these people doing in my house?”

Advice to new moms in the business?




You’ll survive. Just be organized and make sure you are present with your kids when you need to be. Success will come regardless, if you are talented enough.

Mary Black Suarez

Television producer and president, MBS Entertainment

How did motherhood change your career?




After the birth of my third daughter I stopped working to become a full-time mom. That was the best personal decision for me. This pause allowed me to discover other areas of the entertainment business, such as the fascinating world of scripted stories, and I was able to develop one of the most satisfying projects of my career so far: The biopic series Hasta Que Te Conoci, based on the life of Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?




Definitely multitasking and intuition. As a mom you learn to develop a sixth sense of what is happening and how best to handle the demands of the everyday while keeping your eyes on the final goal. I am a better producer because of my children. I am more focused, patient and understanding of people’s needs and growth.

Memorable child/mother/work moment?




The best moment of my career as a mom and professional has been working with my children as adults. Two of my three children collaborate in some of my projects and having them around in the middle of the stress of the shows fills me with love and pride.

Advice to new moms in the business?




Learn to separate work from home. Enjoy the moments you share with your children, leave aside the worries of work; the times that you spend with your kids are precious and those moments do not return.

Mary Black-Suarez and children.

Mary Black-Suarez and children.
Courtesy of Mary Black-Suarez

Mayna Nevarez

President, Nevarez Communications

How did motherhood change your career?

It was a turning point and my biggest blessing. I was looking to create a balance and decided to start working from home while taking care of the baby. That’s how Nevarez Communications was born in 2004. I started in one room, then we moved to the garage, and when they were ready for pre-school we moved to an office. Being a mother gave me strength and also helped me inspire other working moms who don’t have family [nearby].

Mayna Nevarez

Mayna Nevarez with son René, daughter Avril and husband René Rodriguez.
Mariela Bisbal

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?

You can balance being a mom and growing your business. My kids inspire me and many marketing campaign ideas come from listening to them, learning how they consume music and how their friends discover new music.

Memorable child/mother/work moment?

When my kids were babies, I used to travel with a nanny for work so they could be close to me. I was at a Daddy Yankee concert in Los Angeles, and a crew member at the hotel gave my son, who is allergic to peanuts, a peanut butter cookie. I was in the middle of the concert backstage when the police came to tell me my son was in the hospital with the nanny. Those were the longest minutes of my life.

Rosa Lagarrigue

Founder/general director, RLM

How did motherhood change your career?

To be honest, it did not change much. Maybe I traveled a little less and obviously I required more domestic organization, but I absolutely felt I had the full support of my artists and the industry in general.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?

“Yes we can!” You must have your priorities clear. The kids are always first. I looked more for quality than quantity time.

Advice to new moms in the business?




You need to be very organized and never doubt that everybody understands what your priorities are. By no means will your work be worse or less effective. Trust yourself.

Mia Nygern

MD Latin America, Spotify

How did motherhood change your career?




It helped me lose my fear of change and actually gave me the best-ever support in adapting to new places. Traveling and living in new and unfamiliar places is easier with kids as they introduce you to society in a more organic way.

Mia Nygren and children

Mia Nygren and children
Courtesy Mia Nygren

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?




Being/becoming a mom or parent means that you are no longer the lead character of your own life; you have a supporting role, and I believe this is a very healthy approach in any professional situation. If you do not see and hear others, little do you understand of what is going on around you.

Advice to new moms in the business?




You are a much more interesting and loyal employee (and person!) being a mom. Don’t forget this. Own it loud and clear, proud and certain! Balancing work and motherhood is a basic right and need for any person and company that wants to thrive.

What has changed — for better or worst — for working moms since COVID?




Better: I became a more involved and active parent in my kids’ actual schoolwork during the pandemic, something I did not have time for before. On the worst side, it’s hard to disconnect, and even though the pandemic is kind of over, I still sit there with my phone answering emails all evening when I used to be pretty good at not doing too much work in front of my kids before.

Livys Cerna

Sr. director, artist & industry relations, The Latin Recording Academy

How did motherhood change your career?




Being a mother has taught me responsibility. I have two beautiful daughters, and that makes me work harder to make sure that I can be the best I can be for them; not only to make sure to set the right example but also so they have what they need in all aspects of life. They are my VIPs.

As a professional, what have you learned from being a mom?




Balance. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices but also know how to prioritize yourself.

Memorable child/mother/work moment?




My daughters would leave little notes for me in my lunch box wishing me a good day at work. Even though I missed them, that would make my day.

Livys Cerna and her two daughters.

Livys Cerna and her two daughters.
Courtesy Photo

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Written by: tazz

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