Gina Chavez is sharing the love…
The 36-year-old half-Mexican American bilingual Latin-folk singer-songwriter has turned footage from her wedding ceremony and reception last September with her wife Jodi Ganado into the video for “Heaven Knows,” from Chavez’s upcoming EP Lightbeam.
“Jodi is a real behind-the-scenes kind of person. The only way I could probably get her in a music video was if I filmed our wedding, so that was the original plan,” Chavez, who recently returned from a combination honeymoon/European tour, tells Billboard.
“I’m very happy with how the video came out because love is love. And then obviously with our story and the story of the EP, I thought it would be cool to have some idea of the whole day, especially for people who couldn’t be there.”
The R&B-flavored Lightbeam, Chavez’s first all-English release, is a five-song celebration of the couple’s relationship, from the loping “It’s Hard To Love A Woman” to the lightly Latin-flavored title track, with a disco stop in the middle for “Let It Out.”
Chavez says the concept was “unintentional” but also inevitable.
“We’ve been together 12 years,” she explains, “and being able to get married in Texas and us both being Catholic, it’s still something that’s fresh and kind of changing every time we go somewhere. It was kind of fun to let it come out in these (songs). We finally stopped waiting for the other foot to fall and feel like, ‘Wow, why don’t we just enjoy the fact we have a beautiful life together and the way we found each other is beautiful and the way we love each other is beautiful. Let’s just go with that.’ But it took us a long time to get here.”
Chavez, who’s working on more new material now, says it’s no big deal that Lightbeam, due out Sept. 14, is all English. “I like to let the songs tell me what language they want to be in, and none of the songs felt like Spanish to me,” she says. But she is aware that the EP plants a flag that makes her part of a broader dialogue — and possibly the target for some pushback.
“I get it when people don’t get it,” Chavez acknowledges. “There’s a part of me that wants to be a little more kind of activist about it. I’m excited to see what the reaction is and how people take it — the good and bad and whatever. I think conversations are important, and something we’re not having these days. So I’m really interested to see how people react to it.” She and Jodi did get a sense of it during their recent honeymoon/European tour.
“I was playing this small town outside Glasgow and I would say a couple of things on stage about how we got married,” Chavez says, “and some people came up afterward and said, ‘You don’t need to feel weird about being a same-sex relationship. We’re cool with that here.’ It’s so cool that in a small town in Scotland people were like, ‘Stop apologizing! Stop trying to put a buffer around it. We love you. It’s totally cool!’ They were doing toasts to us. It was the most beautiful thing.”