ABOUT ME | AMANDA SOLIS
AMANDA SOLIS DANCES TO HER OWN CUMBIA
(Houston, TX) Amanda Solis has performed for 30,000 fans at White Sox Stadium in Chicago. She has entertained Dr. Phil in Hollywood. She appeared on national TV in a highly rated docudrama.
But she’d finally and truly like to introduce herself.
The Texas city native has spent the last few years paying tribute to Tejano icon Selena. She expertly recreates the late late singer's looks, moves and voice onstage. It’s kept her booked and busy throughout Houston and around the country. Amanda was one of five finalists selected to attend the Madame Tussauds Selena wax figure launch party in Los Angeles and portrayed the singer in a documentary on the Reelz channel.
But Amanda is finally ready to put the bustier aside.
Her first original single, “Kiebra la Bota,” is a party anthem in the style of zapateado, a Mexican dance characterized by continuous foot stomping around a dance floor. The lyrics namecheck Houston and Piedras Negras, Mexico, where Amanda’s parents were born.
“I was just excited alone to be working on my music as Amanda,” she says. “I’ve been paying tribute to Selena for so long. She’s inspired me and paved the way in many different ways.”
Zapateado is immensely popular at quinceañeras and weddings, a point that wasn’t lost on Solis as she performed at the events around the country.
“The dance floor would just fill up whenever the zapateado songs came on,” Amanda says. But it also made me think, ‘There are only men singing these songs. I need to do a song like this from a woman’s perspective’.”
“Kiebra la Bota” was produced by El Dusty and Mariano Herrera for the Houston-based Street Science Entertainment label. Corpus Christi native Dusty is a pioneer of nu-cumbia and cumbia electronica, which filters the traditional sound through synths, electro and hip-hop.
“They came to us to get our sound but definitely brought ideas on what they wanted,” Dusty says. “I think she has loads of talent and has been practicing for her shot all her life.”
The end result, a six-song EP cleverly titled “Quinceañera Queen,” is due in 2020. They worked for several months to develop Solis’ own sound, dubbed "cumbia-Americano," a blend of Tejano and regional Mexican rhythms with contemporary flourishes. It’s an exciting, bilingual mashup that moves forward genres that have desperately needed the push for a long time.
“Let me show you who Amanda is and do something different,” she says. “My traditional roots are still there, with a little twist.”
People would often point out Amanda’s resemblance to Selena. But less than five years ago, music wasn’t even an option. Amanda attended the University of Houston, where she was a cheerleader, and College of the Mainland in Galveston, earning her associates degree and eventually a real estate license.
She says the Selena tribute started “by accident,” an oft-used phrase by performers that rings true in this case. Amanda ventured out one night to a neighborhood bar, where a friend prompted her to sing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” in a karaoke contest.
She won first place that night, and when she returned for the next round, she dressed up in one of her mother’s retro outfits, which reflected the ‘90s glam of Madonna, Janet and, yes, Selena. The reaction to her look took Amanda by surprise. Several months later, she accepted an invitation to sing for free at a quinceañera.
Despite the uncanny Selena resemblance, Amanda found it as a way to connect with her mother. Her parents died in a car accident when she was just six years old. Their business, a paint and body shop, is still open in Texas City.
“Selena was always a big factor for me because the first time I saw her, she reminded me of my mom. She looked like her, but it was her wardrobe. My mom used to wear costume jewelry and bustiers, mopping the floor in her heels and high-waisted pants,” Solis says.
“I never in my mind thought, ‘Hey, I’m gonna be a Selena impersonator.’ I saw the smiles on people’s faces, the stories that I would head, the memories. But again, the connection was a tribute to my mom as well. It was almost like a little piece of her was brought back to me.”
Several Selena tribute acts work throughout Texas, but Amanda’s act quickly blossomed because of the resemblance and her ability to sing live. She’s performed at countless public, private and charity events. She plans to continue the Selena gig and perform more with her own band, Amanda con la Banda.
“I love doing my tribute to her. I will be doing this until God says we move on from it,” Amanda says. “Selena showed me so many things that I never even thought I was worthy of. I would have never thought I’d have the tribute to Selena evolve into being my own artist now.”
For information on this release or Amanda Solis, please email email@example.com or call 832.606.7180.
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MY SELENA TRIBUTE
Texas City, Texas native, Amanda Solis, has definitely, stayed true to her Tejano roots. She just dropped a video covering the late Tejano Queen herself, Selena Quintanilla, paying tribute to her song titled, "¿Qué Creías?", initially doing the video to enter the Madame Tussaud’s “Capture Your Selena Moment” contest becoming a finalist as the fan favorite securing her VIP rooftop viewing and unveiling of a Selena wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s Hollywood.
Amanda was interviewed and quoted by LA Times, where she described how honored she was to be in attendance and was asked why she loved Selena, “I mean look at her cuerpaso, her body, her charisma, she was so humble and beautiful, she basically paved the way for a Latina like me, to be proud of myself, with curves and everything.”
Madame Tussaud’s represent icons who have made a significant impact on our culture. “That perfectly describes Selena. Her influence has transcended generations and her passionate fans continue to be inspired by her to this day" is what is stated on the official wax museums website.
Selena is the only Latin female artist to have five albums simultaneously on Billboard 200. This is definitely, a great aspiration, not only for a Latina like Solis, but any musician aspiring to make an impact with their career.
“When I first saw Selena perform on T.V. growing up, it shocked me, the resemblance to my mother, even the same style and fashion, it inspired me. For a Latina like me, it was just a huge influence on my life from then on. It gave me hope that I can become something great with ambition like Selena. She achieved the American Dream by becoming an American icon that reached all races, backgrounds, and influenced with her charisma, style and was such a strong role model for us all,” says Solis.
Amanda Solis set out on a career path of her own with her traditional Ranchera voice and her own unique Tejana style. She wants to make her own contribution and bring new ears to Tejano music. Interestingly enough, her career almost began as an accident when a friend dared her out of his frustration to how many times people told Solis how much she resembled Selena. He pushed her to enter a Selena karaoke bar contest, and Amanda’s demand as a Selena tribute artist began that day.
The Houston Chronicle, the largest daily newspaper in Houston, mentioned Solis after she received a lot of attention just dressed as herself attending the 2nd Annual Fiesta La Flor in Corpus Christi, TX. The newspaper was quoted as saying, “Selena impersonator wows fans at Fiesta de la Flor….She bears an uncanny resemblance to the Tejano icon… She sings live, has some of the same mannerisms and the same laugh as Selena.” The two-day event drew more than 50,000 fans from all over the country, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “Solis, who performs around Houston as a tribute act, wasn't even made up to look like Selena. But Solis looks so much like the late singer that it's impossible not to be taken aback.”
"People would just come up to me. They were in awe and said they had to get a picture," Solis says. "I really wasn't trying to draw attention to myself. This was not about me. It's about Selena.," says Solis.
Amanda Solis gets a lot of people stopping her on a daily basis. No matter if she is in character or wearing her work clothes, people always say, 'do you know who you look like?' It almost feels like even if she hadn’t accidently started her career as a Selena tribute act she would have somehow always would have been compared to the Tejano Queen. I mean she can’t take her face off right?
“I want fans to know that I’m very clear on being who I am, Amanda Solis. I’m so blessed to get an overwhelming support from Selena fans but you also get the occasional 'stop trying to be her' or 'Selena don’t sing like that' or 'Selena wasn’t so dramatic.' What’s funny is my personality is just coming out during the performances and I can be dramatic at times. Hey, I’m Latina, but this is my cover, my spin, that’s just Amanda Solis coming out,” she laughs.
Growing up in Texas City, Amanda was introduced to her love for Tejano by her parents and her family, whether it be a cookout or family gathering, the Tejano music was definitely the soundtrack of her upbringing. Unfortunately, Amanda lost her parents at a young age, so when she saw Selena for the first time, premiering on TV, her resemblance to her and her mother was so shocking and looked so much like her mother, down to her style, that it inspired her even more to becoming a singer.
“Not only is it a tribute to Selena, it’s a tribute to my mom,” said Amanda, during an interview with Houston’s, KHOU, channel 11, a CBS-affiliated television station.
I don’t want to be Selena, I will never be able to replace Selena, there will never be another Selena. I’m here because I love Tejano music and she inspired me to become an artist of my own, to have a music career of my own. So, I want to make my own contribution to Tejano Music and any other style of music I can get into.” She says.
Amanda Solis is booked through the end of the year almost every weekend from Quinceñeras, festivals in Arizona, to Orpheum Theatres in Nebraska, to many family engagements where people are eager to experience the Selena Q. experience that Amanda Solis brings in her own Live tribute.
Solis is currently, working on a Selena tribute album that includes new takes on classic songs. She's also planning an EP of originals that blends cumbia, R&B, techno and hip-hop. Amanda Solis has now teamed up with indie label and brand experts, Street Science Ent., based out of Houston, TX. Street Science Ent., which is a collaborative of Industry Influencers united to Develop Musicians Hitting the Mainstream.
For information on this release or Amanda Solis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832.606.7180.