Carmen Jara

Carmen Jara celebrates her longevity

Carmen Jara is not your ordinary singer with a normal career.

Yes, she has gold records and hit singles like 'Reina y Cenicienta' and 'El Mololongo.'

She has posed for a calendar, along with model Julie Ferrretti in 2006.

Jara has launched her own hair product line.

She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, among other Internet portals, connecting daily with her fans.

She started her own recording company, Yaqui Records.

She is celebrating 25 years in the music business, still going strong and showing full energy on stage during her concerts.

Jara spoke with Vida en el Valle following a recent performance at Eagle Mountain Casino just east of Porterville.

Q. How has the music business changed since you began?

A. "Wow, it has changed dramatically. A lot. Today, well, we have a different way of recording our music digitally. Before, you could buy the music on CDs, like they still do today. However, you can also download music from the computer.

"The support from record companies has changed also. They used to be very strong. I believe today you have to find alternatives to stay sharp and to keep recording hits. If you don't have the support of the record companies, you have to find it. I have a record company called Yaqui Records. We do everything, from taking the publicity photos, to recording the songs, to selecting the music, to handling promotions. I believe that remaining alive in this business is a privilege for me."

Q. Why did you start your own record company?

A. "Before, the record companies had complete control. Now, we do all the promotion, the song selection. There is more work, but one is happier."

Q. What else are you doing?

A. "I just launched a hair care product line, Carmen Jara Hair Collection. I am very happy because I feel content. I started the hair line when I still had my hair salon. There are 18 different product lines. Right now, we are looking for a distributorship."