Ms. Ramos-Ybarra retold the story of how she joined Grupo Fuego through a budding romance with her husband Michael, with whom she “had crossed paths” many times over the years. She recalled that he told her the group needed a singer, which she jokingly referred to as “a pickup line.”
But she also explained the group has been influenced by many genres of music, based on the personal tastes of its members.
“We have a heavy metal background, we have a blues background, we have a jazz background,” she said, explaining that she listens to all of those types of music, along with hip hop, country, and just about anything else. “We kind of fused it all together on this project, which I think is wonderful.”
Ms. Ramos-Ybarra stated Selena was a big influence on her when she started singing, crediting her with establishng a “new era” in Tejano music. Other influences included Elida Reyna of Mercedes, Texas (her favorite singer) and Elsa García of Houston, who would let her sing with her anytime she performed in Toledo.
“She [Elsa García] had this confidence and always looked very comfortable on stage-- yet she was so approachable,” said Ms. Ramos-Ybarra. “I would look at her and just admired her a lot. She really paved the way for me, thinking about what kind of artist I wanted to be.”