“What is an autograph?” he asked. Yrma Guerrero Neira the first time a fan requested one and handed him the Pilsen label. Name and signature, the promoter of that concert in Lima briefly explained. A couple of decades later, the dedication grew: “With love, Corazón Serrano”; Fame and the songs dedicated to the most popular drink of the masses have also done it —and to which it gives voice—: “You are like beer”, “lost drunk”, “two beers”, “shot of beer” Y “the drunk girl”.
For the symbol singer of the cumbia orchestra, on stage the ‘chela’ is the protagonist; outside of it, 12 years ago, was breast milk, when between tours he filled containers and sent them by plane to Piura. The recipient? Camila, the eldest daughter who now reminds her through a call that her primary school prom is coming up.
Yrma appreciates the call, but doesn’t need the warning: the event awaits in a highlighted space on her mental agenda. At 43 years old —and 29 years old— her good memory has allowed her not only to write down dates, but also to preserve unharmed, for example, the time that Pedro and Eladia, her parents, documented a family scene in front of the city façade where they They settled after leaving Bellavista de Cachiacho, a populated center in Pacaipampa, Ayabaca.
The Guerrero Neira: “Smile, Yrma!”
It was an invasion in Micaela Bastidas, in the current district of Piura on October 26. Edwin, Leo, Edita and Yrma posed next to a llama whose owner was walking around as a piece of photography. At that time, the desires of who would later become a vocalist did not even come close to the first chords of the musical environment. She wanted to be a teacher or a secretary: more than by vocation, out of sympathy for the tailor-cut uniform.
Though Lawrencethe older brother, was missing from the scene, his figure led the first artistic steps of yrma as soon noemithe initial female voice and the largest of the Neira Warrior, withdrew from the nascent band to enter the convent. “You sing because you sing,” he ordered a little girl who until then had only heard the Border Trio through the Ecuadorian radio, when the city of eternal heat had not yet imposed itself on the fruit trees, sheep, and guinea pigs.
It was also Lorenzo who decided that Yrma would remain in Peru, despite the fact that a friend’s family was waiting for her in the United States. She had experience as a domestic worker, a facet that she had occupied every holiday season since she was 13 years old. She was in five houses and just in the last one the treatment was friendly, there was even gratitude afterwards: one day, as part of the concurrence of the already renowned Corazón Serrano, Mrs. Milagros gave her a chain.
However, the hints of success were beginning to go beyond the local Los Portales —where the Neira Warrior they played 10 hours every Sunday—and mobilized the band to nearby cities, so the lead vocals left homework and focused on finishing high school at San Juan Bautista and learning “Broken wings”.
“And how far will you go? / What destiny will you carry? Yrma memorized the hit —without anticipating that it would be one— during a 16-hour trip from Piura to Lima. “I don’t like that song,” she protested. “Just in case,” said the then head of the group.
Already in the capital studio, a musical product was missing to fill the album: the alternative was the song composed by Germán Carrasco from Huancabambino. “He hit everywhere. (…) Now I like it”, says the interpreter with a charming gesture that, at first, it was difficult for her to give away. “Smile, Yrma!” Her relatives scolded her.
Yrma Guerrero, not Irma Guerrero
Over time he also liked the “Y” in his name. He realized the writing according to the DNI thanks to the plane tickets, when the group could already afford them. “I didn’t even know. She was angry, I thought they were wrong ”.
Another of the surprises that came with Corazón Serrano’s reputation was his talent for designing costumes. “I like it, it de-stresses me.” His penchant for fashion is also a buffer zone, Edita knew. “I know you, when you put on makeup well and you’re produced, it’s because something is wrong with you,” he used to tell her. Yrma revalidates it: her sadness is mitigated with colors and heels.
First only four years apart separated the sisters, then death did. “With edit I could talk about everything. (…) It was always Edita and me. The days off, the same ”. For this reason, after his funeral in 2014, singing “Come to me” again — a song with which she shared lights — was painful. “Ugly, ugly, because it was listening to the song that she liked.”
“They told me: ‘If you love her, you love her so much, don’t cry for her, because when you cry for her you don’t let her rest, you don’t let her go.’ And I practiced that. It helped me a lot”. The applause from the public also helped Yrma avoid breaking down on the podium.
Corazón Serrano, a lifestyle for Yrma
And the stage is one of their homes. Although she has three children —Zoe and Salvador added to the list—, a boutique with plans for growth at titanic steps, a husband —Mitridates García— who encourages her to stay where she feels happy, and two pets, the artistic atmosphere commands her life.
“Retire, no, I don’t think so. But of course I don’t go to every event anymore. (…) Suddenly in a while I’m not going to be on stage anymore, but I’m going to be behind all of it. For example, I always have that legacy of the girls, of the locker room… But later, not retiring 100% ”.
Yrma’s face, in addition to making the audience happy, makes those who close the contracts with Edwin, the current head of serrano heart. The voice of “Camino a España” is the favorite file of the promoters. “I’m flattered,” she says humbly.
Yrma is tidy, punctual with her appointments for interviews and for the gym; when she can’t make it, she runs. She has earrings on piura and Lima, in Lima and throughout the country, throughout the country and also abroad. The distance only increases your discipline, the same as walking along with a request: “May she give me the intelligence to be an excellent mother, to be an example for my children.”
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