Music:Pee Wee Salinas

If you don’t know who Pee Wee is, or even Irvin Salinas, don’t worry. Despite the fact that he was a singer since 2003, he is barely starting to come into his own. He first gained musical fame when he joined the Kumbia Kings, a Cumbia musical group headed by A.B. Quintanilla, and later the Kumbia All Starz. In August 2009, he released his first solo album, Yo Soy.  
At the young age of 20, Pee Wee has  known success in both English and Spanish speaking countries with successful albums and television shows. In the middle of controversy, he was no longer apart of the Kumbia Kings or the Kumbia All Starz, and he began his solo career. He is starting to take control of his own career and is leaving his past behind him. In his future, he only sees his love for his fans and his life. So if you don’t know this humble guy, don’t worry, there can only be more to come.
Latinitas Magazine: Since you received the name Pee Wee so young, and as you grow older, have you ever considered pulling a P. Diddy or a Prince and changing your name?
Pee Wee: I don’t know. It’s a good question, because I’ve thought about it before, but I think I will always be identified and known as Pee Wee. I don’t think I will ever change it!
LM: Can you tell us about how you got your start in the Kumbia Kings?
PW: I started my career in the group when I went to a talent search, and that’s how the whole thing started. From the talent search, everything just happened so fast!
LM: Can you tell us the reason you left the Kumbia All Starz, and what was A.B. Quintanilla’s role in that?
PW: …I didn’t intentionally leave, but I think that I am very happy the way I am now…I always like to do things different in my career, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s a lot more responsibility that’s for sure, but I’m happy because my first album as a solo artist is finally out and I really hope the public likes it.
LM: Talking about your album, what was it like to record it? Especially as a solo artist?
PW: It was a great, great experience! I had a lot of fun. I co-wrote, I produced, I did a little bit of everything for my album. I had a concept that I wanted, as far as what I wanted my music to sound like. I wanted to bring the Latin sound, the Latin percussion, the Latin guitars, the Latin type of feel that we put into the music with an electronical sound that you hear in the clubs nowadays…
LM: Is there a track on the album that is your favorite or means a lot to you?
PW: There is a track called “Desesperado” on my album that means a lot to me. Every time I sing it, it touches me…It’s kinda hard to explain because of what it makes me feel. Ever since I sang it on El Show De Los Sueños, I’ve really loved the song. I believe that’s probably one of my personal favorite songs on the album.
LM: You just started in a new novela called  Camaleones, can you tell us a little about the show and your role (Ulises Morán)? 
PW: The personaje that I’m doing on the soap opera is basically a young boy that has a very, very strong attitude…He likes to work hard for what he wants. He likes to defend his family. He’s a very humble kid; he comes from a very humble family. Unfortunately, he loses his father when he was young, and his brother-uh, for reasons you will find out when you see it, I can’t say everything!-he disappears. So he lives by himself with his mother, and he’s willing to do anything to make his mother happy and to find his brother for him and his mother. 
LM: You’ve spoken very publicly about your relationship with your mother and how close you guys are, How does that affect your role? 
PW: Well, I think it helps a lot. In my personal life, I’ve experienced what it’s like to work for my mother, to help her, to live alone with her. I feel on a personal level, I can identify myself with the character in that aspect, because he basically wants the best for his mother…
LM: Why did you want to try acting, and were you nervous for your first day?
PW: It was something that they offered me. Never in my life or in my career did I think I would ever do a soap opera or act, but it was something very cool…I’ve always liked a challenge ever since I was a kid. When somebody said I couldn’t do it, I would always do my best to prove them wrong…Ever since they listened to the material I was working on as far as my album goes, they really liked the music and they offered to put it inside the soap opera…
LM: What can your fans expect from you in the future?
PW: For me to always appreciate all the love and the support that they’ve given me. That will always be there. I don’t know. I’m always working hard, trying new things, giving my public new and fresh little Pee Wee.
LM: Your fans have really embraced you in the aftermath of all the drama. When you see your fans reacting to you, what are you thinking in those moments? 
PW:  First of all, I try my best to not cry! It feels really nice inside that they support me. More than anything, all the people that meet me, I don’t treat them like they’re fans. I treat them like they’re friends, like they’re family. They really are a part of my life and I feel that way about it… 
LM: When you first started in the Kumbia Kings, were you fluent in Spanish?
PW: I’ve always spoken Spanish.  Here in the United States, when you go to school, they try their best for you not to speak Spanish, because they want you to learn English correctly. So when I started in my career, really I was really just another guy in the band, so I didn’t talk a lot. I didn’t practice. So in the beginning, it was very hard. I knew how to speak it, but not only was I very nervous. But the camera would turn on and I would not know what to say! 
Questions From Readers:
LM: Surely you’re not surprised, but the most popular question is, “Do you have a girlfriend?”
PW: Haha. At the moment I don’t have a girlfriend, and I’m waiting for her.
LM: Your style today is very different from when you first started out. Is that from just growing up, or is there something else?
PW: I think it has a lot to do with it. My career was managed in a way back then, where I had to basically do what I was told. Now that I have my own career and I get to make my own decisions, I get to dress like I want to now. So I think it has to do with a little bit of both.
LM: What is on your music playlist right now?
PW: Um…Pee Wee’s album! Just kidding! I listen to a little bit of everything. Growing up, I feel like I learned how to sing by listening to Boys II Men, to *NSYNC, to Justin [Timberlake], to all those pop artists who use their vocals as an instrument. I really learned to appreciate those kind of artists.

LM: Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about your private life in the press, more specifically, your love life. What do you think about all that?
PW: Well, I think it was something that they made bigger than it really was. That situation is something delicate. Not only for me, since I’m an artist and a person that’s in the public all the time, but that’s something intimate about a person. You normally don’t go talking about that. Other than that, I live with two girls, my mother and my sister,  and they always taught me to respect girls. That’s the way it should be. Girls deserve to be respected, and I don’t think the girl or the mother of the girl would like that to be out in the public…
LM: Have you had any contact with A.B. Quintanilla since you went on Don Francisco to talk about your departure from the Kumbia Kings?
PW: No, I haven’t. I really don’t have any comments on that. I’ve been really focused on my career. I don’t wish him or anybody in my past anything bad. I wish them the best of luck. I’m really concentrating on my career and the things that I’m doing right now. I really try my best to strive and look forward. That’s the best thing that anybody should do.

By Lizette Espinosa

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