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Shelly Lares Reigns Radio Airwaves and Concert Stages

Shelly Lares has grown up.

She is not longer the little 12-year-old singer with Hot Tamales this writer met in 1983 and had yet to record her first single with said band until 1986 before being signed to Colores followed by RP/Sony Records and Manny Guerra releasing her first long-play vinyl album in 1991.

To date, the two time Grammy Award nominee and business savvy songbird has been a restaurant owner, a radio personality, is now the owner of her own record label and as for her future, the sky’s the limit with the Divine guidance of God.

“I don’t have publicists and all these things working for me. I pick out all my own material. I am my own producer. I’m involved in the mixing and the mastering. You name it. I wear a lot of hats right now. But I’m not alone. I’m not afraid at all because my precious Jesus is with me and I have a great family, who is the foundation of what I do and I wouldn’t be here if not for them,” Lares said during an interview in the VIP section of the Fats Tuesday event at Wonderland of the Americas.

“Even in my Manny days, I was mixing. That’s why it (her new compact disc) is going to be like anybody else’s. It’s going to be me and my new single, ‘Maldito Corazón (‘Mean Hearted’),’ is going to set the standard for what the rest of the CD will be because we take a lot of pride on the CD as a whole and not for just a couple of singles. We do our best to be sure each song from one to ten will stand out on its own. That’s why we’re more selective on what I do, because in the long run, it is going to pay off for us,” she continued.

“There’s no school for our industry. You just have to dive into it.”

“Maldito Corazón” is a tune written by Carmen Ravena, a proven songwriter with hits by Gary Hobbs and Jimmy González y Grupo Mazz.

“The song is about a woman getting tired of taking her man’s crap. He was not faithful to her and she’s tired of suffering,” Lares explained.

In regard to the selection process, Little Miss Dynamite said, “You know it’s a great song when you first hear it. Just don’t send me an arranged song because I’m going to change it. J.J. Reyes and I been working since 1989 and we knew how we wanted it to be. We still know how to write and how to produce. So we disregarded the pre-arranged version and re-arranged it to suit my style.

Lares added that the Tejas Records released “Mirando Adelante” was the first CD in her entire career that she did not arrange and produce and hence the reason it did not do well.

“The true fans know what’s up,” she added. “This next CD will take my fans on a musical journey and that’s why I’m taking my time. But we released the single to tell people, ‘hey, we’re still here.’

Lares says she named her own label, Shell Shock Records 3, because it’s a name she’s had in mind fifteen years and because the name makes an impact.

What few people realize is that Lares moved to Lubbock, Texas in the winter of 2005. There, she owned and ran Don Lencho’s Cocina.

“It did really well and I went into a difference business venture so I wouldn’t have to rely on the road for income,” the 39-year-old Tejano Roots Hall of Fame inductee explained.

Another little known fact is that while there, she also did a stint as a radio personality at KXTQ Magic 93.7, where she worked the 3-7 p.m. evening drive slot.

“That I did as a novelty,” the petite warble said.

It was also in Lubbock that Lares was invited to attend Templo Jerusalem, where she sang and eventually became the youth director.

“As a child, I went to Catholic school, but I never took my Bible to class and here I started feeling the Holy Spirit. Before I never glorified and it was here I felt God put his arm around me in a warm embrace. I thank God for sending me to Lubbock and now I give all the honor and glory to him.”

By spring 2010 Lares had to choose between the restaurant and music and as she says, “Music was always going to come first. During my five years in Lubbock, I took a step back and I wasn’t completely out. I was just trying other things.

“The main reason I came back home was to start my label and record myself in my own way. This is my hometown. My office is here and my parents are such a big important part in my life that the label would have to be here 24/7.”

In regard to Lares’ musical career, which has seen its share of blood, sweat and tears, she has turned her life over to God.

“He’s in total control all of the time and he will definitely give you all of the blessing. I’m here by the Grace of God and as for my absence, just consider me re-charged; now God is working through me.”

“Maldito Corazón,” which men like because of her vocal performance, is fresh and will catch today’s youth with its instrumentation and the new CD is going to blast everyone out of the water when it comes out.

Best of all, her single can be downloaded at and those who subscribe to her Web site also receive a free ringtone and the choice of one of her classic hits.

Next on Little Miss Dynamite’s list of things-to-do is to record a full Christian CD and embarking on a Christian tour with Javier Galván.

A look at Lares’ calendar shows that locally, she is performing at the Tejano Music Fan Fair on Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m.

This gig is followed by performances at the Poteet Strawberry Festival on April 3 and at Fiesta 2011 on April 17.