Growing up in Washington’s Yakima Valley, a fruit-growing agricultural region dotted with small towns and apple orchards, Yahritza Martínez and her four siblings were surrounded by Mexican music.
Over time, Yahritza teamed up with Mando more and more, matching her pitch to his keyboard. They’d play at family parties, and she’d sing everything from Tierra Caliente, a riff-heavy style that originated in Mexico in the Eighties, to kids’ classics from Mexico’s El Morro franchise — all sounds that constantly wafted through the home.
It’s from that same home that Yahritza started uploading videos to TikTok when she was about 14. She’d taught herself to play guitar, and began building a fan base with her covers of contemporary sounds, including songs by Mexican acts like Calibre 50 and Ed Maverick, who have become huge in recent years.
Then one night, she and her brother Jairo, who plays bajolochea, a bass guitar common in corridos, decided to try their own version of “Esta Dañada,” a sullen acoustic track by the 17-year-old artist Ivan Cornejo that went completely viral in 2021. Within hours, their cover exploded, too.
“It blew up overnight,” Yahritza remembers. “I was getting so much attention from really big artists, and it inspired me to do more.” Mando had picked up the requinto, a smaller version of a classical guitar that’s popular in Mexico, and the siblings began brainstorming more songs. Pretty soon, they were getting regular attention from label execs and A&R figures, who’d leave comments throughout their social media accounts.
Yahritza Y Su Esencia