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Becky G on Hosting the MTV EMAs, Working With J-Hope: ‘Music Is a Universal Language’

The MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) have been a major platform for stars on the precipice of a career launch, among them Katy Perry, who hosted in 2008, Bebe Rexha (2016), Rita Ora (2017) and Hailee Steinfeld (2018). For the 2019 show, broadcasting live from Seville, Spain on Nov. 3, Becky G will handle emcee duties. The singer and actress is also nominated in the best pop category alongside Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Shawn Mendes and the Jonas Brothers.

Since coming onto the scene as a 14-year-old nearly a decade ago, Becky G has made cross-cultural collaborations her calling card. Among them: the viral sensation “Chicken Noodle Soup” with K-Pop artist J-Hope, as well as ‘Como No’ by Akon. Indeed, Becky G readily admits that “it’s been a minute” since she worked in the English market.

Becky put her mainstream efforts on hold in 2014 on the heels of such hit records as “Shower” and “Can’t Stop Dancin” in order to embrace her Latino roots and immerse herself fully into such genres as Latin pop and reggaeton. It was then that she started collaborating with artists like Pitbull, Maluma, Natti Natasha, and C Tangana, yielding smash hits that catapulted the Mexican-American artist into a worldwide sensation.

Following news of her EMAs gig, Becky spoke with Variety about her latest career milestones.

When did the EMAs hosting offer come in and what was your reaction?
It was pretty recent. There were already talks about my participation in the show, and once the ideas were thrown out, they said, “Why don’t we just have Becky host?” I was geeked out. It was insane.

Are you feeling nervous about the task at hand?
I don’t want to sound too big headed, but I started working in the industry at a very young age, and I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of lots of cool award shows. So I feel that a lot of the opportunities I’ve had in the past have prepared me little by little for what is going to be one of my biggest experiences yet. I feel pretty level headed; pretty excited; pretty prepared.

What are you doing to get ready for such a big moment?
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with it: memorizing lines, back-up plans… we are arriving a couple days earlier to be able to work out the whole show, and it’s going to be really awesome. The nerves aren’t as present, there’s more excitement.

You’re also nominated for best pop?
Yes! Total freakout moment! I had no idea that was coming. I’ve been living in the Latin World for the last five years so I hadn’t seen my name side by side with Anglo artists in a minute like Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, so that’s pretty rad.

You’re getting your feet wet with other types of genres as well. Tell us about your collaboration with BTS’ J-Hope and the viral sensation that is “Chicken Noodle Soup.”
I will give all the credit to J-Hope on this. He was the one that found me; He had the song; He had been wanting to release it before he had even brought it to me and my team. Being a part of this whole Latin movement, it’s very similar to what’s happening with K-Pop. It’s taking over, and it’s a movement that is really showing the world that music is a universal language.

Speaking of universal languages, what do you think it is about Latin beats that attracts those in other genres like pop, R&B and hip-hop?
It goes back to music being for everybody. One thing that I love so much about my Latino culture is that we love sharing everything — our music, our food, we are like family. People can really feel that our music is meant to be enjoyed in the masses, whether it’s family parties, a club, concerts or festivals.

At the EMAs, you’ll be representing Mexican-Americans and Latinos. What impact do you expect it to have?
This is massive. It’s a huge opportunity for me to maybe reintroduce myself to English-speaking audiences: “This is who I am now, this is what I am up to.” Also it’s putting myself in a different light. Many people have seen me as an actress, as a singer, as a rapper, and now they’ll have seen me as a host.

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