Maria Garcia, journalist and a lifelong fan of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla, is on a quest to explore the cultural impact and sense of belonging the late star has left behind for her fans.
Maria Garcia has produced "Anything for Selena," an 11-episode podcast series where she brings her journalistic expertise to analyze Selena's influence on social and cultural aspects of growing up Hispanic in America.
"She was part of my life since I can remember," said Garcia. "She was this flash point in my life throughout different moments and this podcast is really the culmination of this lifelong obsession and lifelong quest to understand why it is that I kept coming back to this artist. As a fan, I grew up reading and watching everything Selena. I knew there was a lot out there, but really nothing that unpacked her legacy."
Garcia flew to her and the Tejano star's home state of Texas to produce the podcast and connect to her own roots.
"What Selena's music does for me is remind me of who I am and remind me where I come from," said Garcia. "How did she become this symbol of American Latinidad, and what it looks like, and feels like, and sounds like to be Latino in the U.S.? The podcast is sort of a quest to understand that."
In the podcast, Garcia has conducted interview with Selena's family members to gather a greater understanding of Selena and who she really was. Throughout this journey, Garcia was able to deeply connect to her own past and discover parts that she didn't know that existed.
"What happened that we ended up doing a deep dive on Latino identity because what it comes down to is she (Selena) become a symbol for American-Latino identity and the podcast ends up being an exploration of Latinidad in the United States," said Garcia. "I didn't realize how much vulnerability was going to be in it and her story would make me confront mine. Selena helps us figure out where we belong, but it is an exploration into my own personal belonging in this world as a first generation Mexican American. It ended up being that a deeply personal, journalist exploration of her legacy through very vulnerable storytelling."
In the podcast, Garcia explores how Selena has paved the path of accepting your cultural identity and body image.
"We look at her legacy from not just a musical standpoint but what she came to symbolize in society," said Garcia. "This is for Selena."
The "Anything for Selena" podcast is streaming on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.