When it comes to Latin music, anyone can tell you that Jenni Rivera is one of most talented powerhouses in the industry, but the queen of banda isn’t the only woman in the family who knows how to demand your attention. Janney “Chiquis” Marin is the mastermind behind the Rivera empire. In addition to managing her mother's music, she’s also in charge of a thriving clothing and fragrance line. If that’s not enough, Chiquis partnered up with her best friend, Los Angeles radio personality Raq-C, for mun2’s “Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C,” the first reality television series geared toward Latinos in the United States. Not only did Chiquis revealed what’s it really like to be part of the Rivera clan, but she also shows the world how a Latina truly survives in Hollywood. NocheLatina spoke with Chiquis about her tumultuous past, successful future, and the wedding that audiences are still talking about.
nocheLatina: Why was it crucial for you to star in a reality series and put your life in front of cameras?
Chiquis: I wouldn't use the word crucial when describing my decision. Perhaps a better way to describe my decision would be, ‘Let's see what happens.’ To be honest, I wasn't very excited at first. What kept me going was my initial conversation with my mother regarding the reality show and why it would be good for me to do it. I felt it was right at the time because I had never felt better in my own skin. More than anything, I wanted to share the positive things in my life.
nocheLatina: I read that giving up your privacy was one of the most difficult aspects of starring in ‘Chiquis and Raq-C.’ Describe that moment when you first discovered life wouldn’t be the same again.
Chiquis: Giving up my privacy was one of the main reasons I was so skeptical about starring in the reality show. Being in front of cameras everyday did not sound fun to me at all! Prayer was my outlet. I asked God for strength every day. I realized my life wasn't going to ever be the same the first time I went to the grocery store after the press release went out. I was looking busted and someone recognized me. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is for real!’ But like I said, I prayed. I truly feel it had a lot to do with my survival throughout those few months of shooting.
nocheLatina: You’ve mentioned in several interviews that ‘Chiquis and Raq-C’ isn’t scripted because it’s all about showing viewers what’s it like to be a successful Latina. What, in your opinion, does it mean to be a Latina in the United States?
Chiquis: I'm very proud of my roots and of being born a Latina, but even more so to be living in the United states as a young Latina. There are so many opportunities in the U.S. The sky is truly the limit. It's just up to us to take the right path. Where there's a will, there's a way. If you're living in the United States it’s that much easier.
nocheLatina: How has your relationship with Raq-C changed since the series began?
Chiquis: My relationship with Raq-C as of now is very much like it's always been. We're two very ambitious women on our hustle, so we don't have time to hang out as much as we would both like. We send positive vibes to one another and call it a day. We're not needy girls. We’re both content with a simple text.
nocheLatina: How has speaking out about your childhood on television changed the way you feel about that traumatic experience?
Chiquis: I feel that opening up about the truth regarding my father has truly liberated me as a person, but speaking about it in the open, to the world, has given me another sense of being. I honestly feel it was one of best decisions I have made thus far. It has brought a lot of closure to many people. I know because a lot of people have contacted me saying that I inspired them to speak out. That right there makes all the difference in my heart. It was all worth it. I truly believe that if we speak out on time, we can avoid this from happening as much as it does. I'm a firm believer that parents should speak to their children at an early age about the truth behind sex and how to protect themselves. It's very important to have an open relationship with your children in order for them to feel comfortable enough to let you know what's going on their lives.
nocheLatina: Why, in your opinion, aren’t there enough reality TV programs geared toward Latinos?
Chiquis: I think it may be for the simple fact that many Latinos aren’t too open with expressing themselves or as willing to let too much out in the open. It can be either out of fear of not being accepted and criticized or being taken out of their comfort zone. I think it has a lot to do with the way we were brought up. I think it's time for Latinos to shine and show the Anglo world what we're all about. Individuality is the sexiest thing a human being can withhold.
nocheLatina: Your mother got hitched last year. What was that experience like?
Chiquis: The feeling I got in the center of my heart while seeing my mom in her beautiful wedding dress walking down the aisle was a feeling so overwhelming I almost can't put it into words. I had been waiting for that day for so many years. To know that she was marrying such a good man who loves and respects her and was willing to accept her with her kids just made the feeling that much stronger. The fiesta was something else! The ceremony and the reception were just perfect. It was definitely a happy and memorable day for all of us.
nocheLatina: What can you tell us about the upcoming season?
Chiquis: The upcoming season will definitely be different, but in a good way. Season two is going to be filled with drama and excitement to keep the audience intrigued. It will also focus on our growing family and businesses. It will offer a lot more Jenni Rivera, so you can just imagine what we have in store for you guys.
"I Love Jenni" premieres on Saturday, March 5th at 2pm ET/PT.