Kenia Os Went From YouTube Influencer to Pop Star
Tell Me Más: Kenia Os Is Reclaiming Her Dreams In Style and Success
In our Q&A series Tell Me Más, we ask some of our favorite Latinx artists to answer the questions only their BFFs know about them, revealing everything from their most recent read to the songs that get them hyped. This month, Mexico's biggest rising star, Kenia Os, takes the test, and we are all ears.
It's not easy to become a pop star, and it's even harder to make the jump to pop stardom from other walks of life. Whether it be movies, modeling, or influencing — for every Hailey Steinfeld there are dozens more that fail to crossover. But that's what makes Kenia Os special. Not only was she able to make her break, but she's also done so in a pretty extraordinary fashion, leveraging her grassroots and following as a content creator to become one of Mexico's biggest rising stars. Now, in the midst of her first US tour, the 23-year-old singer couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.
"It's going really well!," she tells POPSUGAR about the tour. "I was a little worried that I wasn't going to have the energy to give 100 percent, but every time I'm in a new city, the people give off such good energy that I take the stage with this incredible feeling."
Through four shows so far, the singer says the energy she receives from her fans is more than enough to keep her jumping around on stage all night. "[The energy] is the same, just a little bit more chill," she laughs. "For example, when I meet fans in Mexico, they'll hug me really tightly and sometimes I almost fall. In the US, it's not like that. We meet and I have to tell them like, 'Hey, hug me!'"
Even if the energy is slightly different, it's clear from the way she talks about them that Kenia Os's fans are an intrinsic part of who she is as an artist. Yes, most musicians understand that their fans contribute much to their success and relevance. But influencers and content creators are a special case. From the moment they step in front of their webcam or front-facing camera, they are elevated by their fans. And as the likes and shares come rolling, they can take that momentum and try to channel it into a myriad of endeavors.
It's no wonder Kenia Os gushes about her fans; they've been a crucial part of helping her realize dreams she had once abandoned. "I had always admired the multifaceted artists that came out of Disney like Selena [Gomez], Miley [Cyrus], [and] Demi [Lovato]. I dreamed about being like one of them," she says. "But as you grow up and you get real about your possibilities, you think, 'This isn't going to happen for me.'"
But even if she'd given up on Disney-esque dreams, she still wanted an outlet to express herself. So she turned to YouTube. Kenia Os's vlogs proved to be the perfect medium to showcase her makeup prowess and her bubbly personality. And through the video-content platform, she found an audience that embraced her from the very start.
"From day one, I had a lot of visitors, and it grew really quickly," the singer shares. "And [when that happens], you start to see more possibilities, and the things you had thought you'd never achieve in life, they start to feel more tangible. So I said, 'OK, I'm going to try music.'"
Her first shot came in 2018 with the release of "Por Siempre," a moody pop ballad in which Os comes off as almost timid, still in the process of trying to find herself and her sound. Two years later, however, she launched her first studio album, "Canciones Pa Mi Ex," and with it, the refined pop style that would catapult her to mainstream success and garner the respect of underground and well-established artists like Snow Tha Product and Mexican pop legend Thalia, whom she recently collaborated with for "Para No Verte Más," a reimagining of the ska track by La Mosca Tse-Tse.
With each subsequent album, she continues to work hard to refine her sound and brand even more, investing in singing, dance, and stage-presence lessons. Yet still she knows there will always be people out there who doubt her for coming into music from a background of content creation.
"It's been difficult at times, more than anything because there are always people who want to point out what I don't do well and feel that I shouldn't be where I am today."
"It's been difficult at times, more than anything because there are always people who want to point out what I don't do well and feel that I shouldn't be where I am today," she says. "But on the other hand, I have so many people that are encouraging me and I've made so many strides physically, mentally, and emotionally that now when I'm on stage, I enjoy it and really feel like an artist. But it was a process, where for three or four years I was really trying to balance everything."
That process and the growth Kenia Os has made are reflected in her latest album, "K23," and the subsequent tour. A playful, empowering pop album that takes inspiration from everything from disco to anime, "K23" is a celebration of where the artist is in her personal and professional life right now and the vision she's crafted for herself.
"I wanted this album to be happy and energetic, like a party. And I think I achieved that," she says. "If I make a sad song, it's to inspire or there's a message behind it. But I'm happy now and I don't want to put out anything sad."
And what's not to be happy about? In the past three years, Kenia Os has seen the work she's put in come to fruition, whether it's her career as an artist or her entrepreneurial efforts with her makeup line K Os Beauty. So what's next?
"As an artist and a singer there are still a lot of things I want to achieve," she says. "I'd love to act. I'd love to continue developing as an entrepreneur as well. [Throughout my career] each step has led me to the next and I just want to keep climbing up that ladder."And with her dedication to her music, savvy business mind, and following of adoring fans, Kenia Os should have no problem doing just that.
Read on for more details about what the young pop star has been keeping up with when she's not touring around the U.S. and Mexico.
POPSUGAR: How has music healed you?
Kenia: Composing, writing, and releasing my emotions.
POPSUGAR: What's your favorite anime?
Kenia: Demon Slayer.
POPSUGAR: Who's your favorite demon slayer character?
POPSUGAR: What's the last movie or series you watched?
Kenia: "The Last of Us."
POPSUGAR: What album are you currently obsessed with?
Kenia: Feliz Cumpleaños [Ferxxo] de Feid.
POPSUGAR: How would you describe your personal style?
Kenia: Classic with a combination of chic and street.
POPSUGAR: What was the last bad decision you made that turned out well for you?
Kenia: Answering my ex.