Thalia’s ‘Sixth Sense’
“It holds a big mystery–the mystery of life, of human feeling, of broken hearts. The mystery of the sixth sense,” the singer/actress/businesswoman explains as she prepares to play her new tracks at the studio of producer Estefano.
“El Sexto Sentido” (The Sixth Sense), due July 19 on EMI Latin, is Thalia’s 11th studio album. In a sense it is her most ambitious to date, even more so than her 2003 self-titled English-language debut.
“In a way, I feel like I’m living in my sixth sense,” Thalia says. “I’m very receptive to everything around me . . . The sixth sense liberates you from the [other] five senses, which are tricky . . . It makes you listen to that inside voice–your intuition–which is never wrong.”
As far as Spanish-language albums go, “it is EMI’s most extensive and parallel release to date,” says Diana Rodriguez, marketing director for Spanish-speaking artists at EMI Latin America. In the past, Rodriguez notes, EMI’s Spanish-language albums were released in non-Latin markets several months after being sent to Latin America and the U.S. Latin market.
In this case, “El Sexto Sentido” is being treated as a worldwide priority, and will be released simultaneously in the United States, Latin America and Japan, and, a month later, in continental Europe, Canada, Australia and the rest of Southeast Asia.
While the album is in Spanish, it includes English versions of three songs, including first single “Amar Sin Ser Amada.”
The English tracks will allow the album to be released under the English title “The Sixth Sense” in Europe and Asia, where Thalia has a broad fan base. The track listing will be changed to accommodate the English tracks first.
In the United States, aside from the major promotional efforts awarded to an artist like Thalia, “El Sexto Sentido” will also be the first Spanish-language album to have a pre-order campaign through Apple Computer’s iTunes. Buyers who pre-order the set can download free norteno and reggaeton versions of Thalia’s single (the reggaeton version is produced by Hector “El Bambino”) and a clip of the making of the video. The two bonus tracks can be obtained only through iTunes.
“As the industry evolves into digital distribution, we have to be proactive, and we believe Thalia has a young fan base that will explore the digital experience,” says Jorge Pino, president/CEO of EMI Latin U.S.A.
She has her own brand of clothing, Thalia Sodi, which is sold in 1,500 Kmarts nationwide. She has a candy line–Dulceria Thalia–through a joint venture with Hershey’s. Thalia Eyewear is her upscale line of frames in association with Kenmark.
She is remembered as one of Mexico’s premier soap opera stars from her days on “Marimar,” “Maria la del Barrio” and “Rosalinda.” All featured theme songs performed by Thalia and aired in more than 100 countries, making her a bona fide star in such countries as the Philippines, Israel and Russia. And impossible to ignore is the fact that music mogul Tommy Mottola is her husband.
“Music is one facet of her overall career,” says manager Rob Kos, who has been handling Thalia since the beginning of the year. “Because of her background she’s incredible when she gets in front of cameras, and she understands that world completely. She’s very comfortable in the recording studio and loves getting onstage. And then, she has the entire other side of her business, which is the corporate side. In that regard she is a very complete and unusual artist.”
The many angles of Thalia allow for multiple cross-promotions. For example, she will have in-stores at Kmarts in Los Angeles and New York, and each location will have a mini Thalia store, featuring her albums, clothing and candy. Cross-promotions with Hershey’s are being discussed as well. But myriad projects aside, Thalia says, her main focus is her music, which took a turn with the release of a Spanish-language album, also titled “Thalia,” in 2002.
That album teamed her with songwriter/producer Estefano and yielded the hit “Tu y Yo.”
“It was the turning point for more serious music,” Thalia says. “I was presented as an interpreter surrounded by a team of professionals who really knew their business, musically speaking. That album gave me immeasurable rewards, because it changed my style. Not greatly, but it changed it.”
“El Sexto Sentido” follows the path of “Thalia” in its eclectic nature–it includes heartbreaking ballads, dance tracks and straight-ahead pop–and in its very well-crafted and highly personalized songs, most courtesy of Estefano.
Estefano also contributed some tracks to her English-language debut. Despite a strong single (“I Want You,” featuring Fat Joe), that album had modest success in the United States, selling 196,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The concept of the album extends to its art, which she says is full of “enigmas” and reflects the duality of all people.
“El Sexto Sentido” was already wrapped up when Thalia recorded “Amar Sin Ser Amado,” an uptempo, rock-edged track that immediately became the album’s first single. Adorned with bandoneon (a small accordion) and strings, the English version, “You Know He Never Loved You,” will be initially worked overseas.
Domestically, in addition to the 15-track CD, EMI will release a luxury “fan” CD/DVD edition that includes a 25-minute electronic press kit.