Betty Barajas of El Conjunto Baraja De Oro, a local Tejano band that is quickly gaining a national following, joins the ranks of artists such as Selena as Barajas was awarded Best New Female Artist of the Year at the recent Tejano Music Awards.

“We were performing at a wedding the day that I won. We were ready to perform and they called and gave us the news that I had won,” Betty said.

“When we got home from that event I checked my messages and I had 184 messages from people offering their congratulations.”

While the award recognizes and honors a single individual, Betty said it actually highlights the hard work each member of the band has put in during their 10 years together.

Band member and Betty’s husband Mario Barajas said the band has come a long way since their early beginning practicing in their living room in Waxahachie with no microphones or amp for the guitar player to use.

The couple currently resides in Midlothian where their band is based.  

“I think that everyone, especially family-wise, is starting to realize that this is not a hobby. For us this has been a career for the past 10 years,” Mario said. “We have been working at it really, really hard and now our families are starting to realize it. A Tejano Music award in our industry is like the NBA championship.”

To be considered for an Tejano Music Award, artists must be nominated by other musicians, music industry representatives and DJ’s. The top 12 nominees are then narrowed down to the top five artists of each category by fans through an online voting process.

Since they were unable to attend the awards ceremony in person a mutual friend and fan of their music, Romeo Carbajal, accepted the award on Betty’s behalf.

Since winning the award, top artists in Tejano music such as Joe Bravo and Johnny Hernandez have sent along their congratulations.

At the awards ceremony Mario was also nominated for best new male artist of the year. Although he did not come home with the award Mario sees being nominated as a victory because it showcases the group’s talent. 

Prior to being nominated the band has seen its fan base expand this year by touring in different parts of the country, most recently in Milwaukee, Wis.

Betty said they are thankful for the support they have received continually throughout the year.

“We just want to thank God first because we have this talent, it’s God given. We thank God for our fans and for people that come into our lives that are positive and help us grow,” Betty said.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1451.