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El Chico del Apartamento 512

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"El Chico del Apartamento 512"
The Mexican edition cover album of Selena's single "El chico del apartamento 512"
Single by Selena
from the album Amor Prohibido
Released March 30, 1995
Format CD single, 12" single, cassette
Recorded 1994–1995
(Corpus Christi, Texas)
Genre Tejano, Cumbia pop, Latin pop, Latin dance
Length 3:29
Label EMI Latin
Writer(s) Ricky Vela, A.B. Quintanilla III
Producer(s) Quintanilla III, Joshua Munoz, Bebu Silvetti, Steven Torres and James Moore
Selena singles chronology
"Si Una Vez"
"El Chico del Apartamento 512"
"I Could Fall in Love"

"El Chico del Apartamento 512" ("The Boy in Apartment 512") is a song by Mexican American Tejano pop singer Selena. "El Chico del Apartamento 512" was the sixth promotional single released from Amor Prohibido (1994). The song was written and produced by Selena's brother and music producer, A.B. Quintanilla III, lead keyboardist of the group, Ricky Vela, Joshua Munoz, Bebu Silvetti, Steven Torres and James Moore. It was released in the United States for Tejano and Contemporary Latin radio stations and was released as a promotional single a day before Selena was murdered on March 31, 1995. Selena promoted the song during her Amor Prohibido Tour, the song was included in every venue. Her final performance was on March 14, 1995 during her concert Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, Florida, which attracted over 100,000 fans.

In an interview with La Nación, Selena said that she recorded the song because she believed her fans would appreciate her choice in Latin dance-pop and wanted to gain fans, who weren't acquainted with her music. "El chico del apartamento 512" was given mixed to positive reviews. Because the single was released a day prior to the murder of Selena, the event jeopardized any further developments for a music video, to further promote the song. "El chico del apartamento 512" debuted and peak on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Digital Songs chart on the week ending April 9, 2011. Quintanilla III stated that "El chico del apartamento 512" was a "Colombian cumbia" song, while being interviewed for Selena's collection, 20 Years of Music (2002). The song has been covered by many artists since its release.

Background and production[edit]

"El chico del apartamento 512" one of the first songs composed for Selena's fifth studio album Amor Prohibido (1994), incorporates Cumbia pop, Latin pop and Latin dance music.[1] Selena recorded the song at Q-Productions in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is her father Abraham Quintanilla Jr's recording studio.[2] Brian "Red" Moore helped audio mix the song.[2] Selena told La Nación that she wanted to record the song because she believed her fans would appreciate her choice in Latin pop dance.[3] She also wanted to gain other Hispanics who enjoyed that genre into her music.[3] The song was written by lead keyboardist of the group, Ricky Vela with collaborative writing credits given to A.B. Quintanilla III, brother and music producer of Selena. While "El chico del apartamento 512" was produced by Joshua Munoz, Bebu Silvetti, Steven Torres and James Moore.[1] The single was released the day before Selena was murdered, which jeopardize any further development of a music video.[2] Selena expressed why she wanted to record "El chico del apartamento 512": ..."I really wanted to record this song when I first heard it. I was sitting down eating breakfast with my husband, Chris Perez, when A.B. and Ricky came rushing in. I asked him "what's wrong?" and he replied telling me that I have to hear one of the songs that he and Rick had just wrote. So I walked over to A.B.'s house, keep in mind we are neighbors (laughs). When A.B., had given me the song to look at. I was already in love with it. I was glad that my brother and Rick had written the song, because, I wanted to get more fans who aren't fans of Tejano music. I wanted to show other Hispanics of this different type of sound. Like, there's salsa, merengue and bachata, but there's also "Tejano". So I instantly wanted to record "El chico del apartamento 512". I hope all my fans and the new ones cross my fingers (laughs), will enjoy this song. I literally recorded two takes on the song, and A.B., like always, wanted me to keep going. A.B., had liked the third take and we went with it."[3]"'"

Composition and lyric content[edit]

Quintanilla III stated that "El chico del apartamento 512" was a "Colombian cumbia" song, while being interviewed for Selena's collection: 20 Years of Music (2002). Vela, stated in his interview that the song was the "lead Tejano song" because they had used more South American rhythms, in order to get a "different sound".[1] "El chico del apartamento 512" is an uptempo song, drawing influences from pop and dance music genres.[4] With 102 beats per minute, the song is set in common time and it is composed in C minor. It incorporates music from several musical instruments, including the french horn, violin and piano. During the beginning of the song, hymn tunes are accompanied by Selena's singing of being depressed.[4]

The song's lyrics describes a girl who lives in an apartment complex, and always get hit on by random guys she is not interested in. All of a sudden, a whistle blows from a handsome young man in the elevator and she is stuck with curiosity on who he is. She discovers it's her new neighbor from the apartment number 512. This triggers her to think about him and write him love letters. When she bumps into him in the apartment corridor she gets shy and acts like she is not interested in him. One day she gets the courage to knock on his door to confess her love for him. Her heart is broken when she knocks on the door and a blond haired woman opens the door. She wants to run away, but as she is about to, the blond girl asks her: "Were you looking for my brother?", and the song ends.[4]

Live performances[edit]

"El chico del apartamento 512" was the fifth song sung live during the Denver, Colorado concert on January 10, 1994. The next day, Selena gave fans in Stockton, California an extended version of "El chico del apartamento 512", which mainly had an alternative ending, with Suzette Quintanilla's drum solos. Selena also performed the song during her San Juan, Puerto Rico concert. On February 26, 1995, Selena was scheduled to perform at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas. She wore a purple bodysuit.[2]

During the Noche De Carnaval concert in Miami, Florida, she wore a black see-through blouse with a bustier, black mini-skirt with black knee-high boots.[5] During Selena's half-hour spot on the Johnny Canales Show in mid-1994, she wore one of her original designs from Selena Etc.[5] Her final performance was on March 19, 1995 during her concert Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, which attracted over 100,000 fans.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Raúl Manuel Rodríguez of El Dictamen praised Vela for writing the song while also stating that "El Chico del Apartamento 512" would have been more successful if Selena were alive to promote it.[7] Victoria Díaz of Grupo Reforma, believed both "El Chico del Apartamento 512" and another Selena single "Techno Cumbia" had the ability to peak at number-one on the Hot Latin Tracks if further promotion had taken place. She also commented on its failure to impact any music charts on Billboard.[8]

Carlos Meléndez, of El Nuevo Día gave a more negative review commenting that "El Chico del Apartamento 512" was a wrong choice for Selena to record. He believed that if Quintanilla III had added a similar track like "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" that Amor Prohibido would have been "better". Meléndez also stated that the song was "boring" after Selena had concluded the chorus of "El Chico del Apartamento 512". Some Puerto Rican fans wrote to the newspaper about Meléndez' comments towards the song and criticizing his taste in "real music".[9] Julio Ramírez of MTV Latin America praised the song, while stating that he can spot crossover-potential.[10] On La Jornada, editor Gabriela Herrera wrote that the song had capabilities of showcasing Selena's talents as a musical performer.[11]


Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard Regional Mexican Digital Songs[12] 5

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Amor prohibido liner notes.[13]


Artist Album Year
Grupo Tijuana Canta Como: Selena 2002[14]
Banda El Grullo Lo Mejor De Selena Con Banda 2005[15]
Lucero Selena ¡VIVE! 2005
Graciela Beltrán Selena ¡VIVE! Live Concert 2005[16]
Antony Santos Ay! Ven 2006[17]
Nuevas Voces Latinas Exitos 2008[18]
The Latin Salsa Boys Latinos Con Sabor Vol. 1 2011[19]
Reyes De Cancion Remembering Selena: Un Homenaje 2011[20]


  1. ^ a b c EMI Telvisia (1995) Selena – Amor Prohibido (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  2. ^ a b c d John Lanner and Edward James Olmos (1997). Selena Remembered (VHS / DVD). Corpus Christi: Q-Productions. Her Life ... Her Music ... Her Dream 
  3. ^ a b c María Domínguez (February 20, 1994). "La Reina Exclusivo". La Nación (in Spanish). 
  4. ^ a b c Quintanilla-Perez, Selena; Astudillo, Pete (1994). "Amor Prohibido: Selena Digital Sheet Music". (Alfred Music Publishing). 
  5. ^ a b Betty Cortina (November 26, 2008). "Selena: Biography". Biography. 60 minutes in. A&E. 
  6. ^ Patoski 1996, p. 154.
  7. ^ Raúl Manuel Rodríguez (March 17, 2009). "La Música De La Reina Por Siempre Vivirá.". El Dictamen (in Spanish). 
  8. ^ Victoria Díaz (May 11, 1996). "No Ver El éxito De La Reina Del Tex-Mex (en Notas)". Grupo Reforma (in Spanish). 
  9. ^ Carlos Meléndez (July 30, 1997). "¿Las Canciones De Una Reina?". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 
  10. ^ Julio Ramírez (May 26, 2007). "La Musica Del Ano". Playlist. MTV Latin America. 
  11. ^ Gabriela Herrera (August 8, 1995). "Selena Su Vida En Retrospectiva". La Jornada (in Spanish). 
  12. ^ "Latin Regional Digital Songs: 9 April 2011 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ Amor prohibido (Media notes). Selena. EMI Latin. 1994. 
  14. ^ "iTunes > Music > Canta Como: Selena". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  15. ^ "iTunes > Music > Lo Mejor de Selena Con Banda". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Las estrellas latinas le cantan a Selena". Terra. April 10, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  17. ^ "iTunes > Music > Ay! Ven (Live)". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  18. ^ "iTunes > Music > Latinas Exitos". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  19. ^ "iTunes > Music > Latinos Con Sabor Vol. 1". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  20. ^ "iTunes > Music > Remembering Selena: Un Homenaje". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]