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Up Next: Meet Eli Jas, The New York Latina Making Bachata-Pop Self-Love Jams

Up Next is a FIERCE series highlighting rising Latina and Latin American women artists you might not know about but definitely should.

Women are entering the Latin music world with full force, killing it in male-dominated urbano spaces like trap, reggaeton and hip-hop, but one up-and-comer is standing out in another so-called “masculine” genre: bachata.

The name Eli Jas might already be familiar to you. The Dominican-Chilean-Panamanian talent plunged into the scene as a teenager back in 2014 with her Spanglish hit “Tú Me Haces Volar.” The following year, the New York native was nominated for “Best New Artist” at the Premios Juventud. Experiencing rapid fame and navigating the sketchy industry at a young age wasn’t easy, so Eli, born Julissa Elise Jasmine Ruiz, decided to take a hiatus to recenter, focusing on herself and the music she wanted to make.

At 27, she’s better for it. “Comparing myself to when I was 19, all of that had to happen to get what I really wanted out of this,” Eli Jas, who is working on a brand new EP and is ready to launch her jewelry line Flourish by Eli Jas, told FIERCE.

We chatted with the entrancing singer-songwriter-entrepreneur about her early rise to stardom, finding herself when she stepped away from the industry and a toxic relationship, shining in a male-dominated genre, new music and why she’s claiming 2019 as “the year of Eli Jas.”

FIERCE: Your sound blends Latin genres like bachata with R&B and pop. I know you grew up in a Dominican-Chilean-Panamanian home in New York City. How do you think the music around you, from what was heard at home to what folk were playing on the block, informed this musical mezcla you created?

Eli Jas: I really do believe that my influences growing up helped with that, especially being born in New York, the melting pot, gave me different perspectives on what I wanted to include in my music. I’ve always been a huge r&b head, and I’ve added that with a pop and Latin music mixture. I grew up in a Latin household. My mom was always listening to music. It was that typical home where your mom is jamming out while cleaning in the mornings. When I was younger, I figured out I was good at writing poetry, and I started spreading my wings more singing and taking vocal classes. At 19, I finally opened myself up to the public and released my first song, “Tú Me Haces Volar.” This was my first step into the door. Since then, I knew I wanted to mix genres and have a different sound. I knew I was going to get backlash for it, and I did in the beginning because I mixed Spanish with English. But I had to do it to be my authentic self. It was a matter of following my intuition and being true to myself, because this is my music.

FIERCE: Now everyone is mixing Spanish with English.

Eli Jas: Exactly! Years ago, when I was 19, people hated that. I always accepted constructive criticism. But when people told me to make my songs all Spanish, I felt like I couldn’t because I wouldn’t be staying super authentic if I didn’t have English. My influences were Brian McKnight, Mary J Blige, Lauryn Hill as well as La India, Marc Anthony and Romeo Santos, who in many ways paved the way for me to do this.

FIERCE: You were studying criminal justice at John Jay for a little while before breaking into the music scene.

Eli Jas: I wanted to be a lawyer. And I can always go back and do that. But I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer. I was also studying psychology, which I think goes hand in hand with what I do today. I’m very open with people and their emotions, and the reason I was into psychology was because I wanted to understand people more. Music means having a stranger understand you in three minutes.

FIERCE: When and how did you identify that music was something that you wanted to pursue seriously?

Eli Jas: So around that time, 18-19, I had a talk with my mother. I said, “listen, I want to take this time and dedicate myself to my craft.” She said, “I’m going to give you a year. If nothing pops off, you are going back to school.” I agreed with it. Then, as an indie artist, things started to pop off, quick. MTV Tres picked up my song, and I was the most-downloaded artist they had. After that, people started listening to me, I got fans and then I got signed to a label for about a year and a half. Now I’m indie again.

FIERCE: Take me back to this moment. Was this, leaving school, something you have been taught your whole life is necessary and secure, for the arts, something that Latino parents don’t always take seriously, a difficult decision for you to make?

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Eli Jas: You know what, that’s a beautiful question. I’ve never been asked that before. I definitely was worried. As a young person in college, you want that stability and want to have a secure future. From Pre-K, you’re taught to go to school and get a job, and when you follow these rules, you’ll be successful. I’m glad I was raised by a parent who understood I wouldn’t be happy not doing what I love. Having my mother’s support helped me with this decision. She pushed me to live out my passion, and I’m grateful for that. Not a lot of people have that in their lives. She told me a while ago, “if you start this, you can’t just stop. You have to dedicate yourself. Keep going.” And I did. She made this less scary and assured me that this is my gift for the world.

FIERCE: Almost-immediately, as you said, the universe confirmed that you made the right decision. In 2015, you were nominated for “Best New Artist” at the Premios Juventud and landed Billboard chart-making hits with “Deseandote” and “Tu Me Haces Volar.” What was this like for you so early in your career?

Eli Jas: I think I probably couldn’t contain the excitement I had when it came to my music. I’m a workaholic. I was always like, “OK, OK, what’s next?” I have to battle the next thing. I wish I would have been more in the moment. I think is was something I had to learn. I did take a break, a sort of hiatus where I was just working on music and myself. When I was younger, I had that mentality of not living in the moment and worrying about dumb things. I think now at 27, comparing myself to when I was 19, all of that had to happen to get what I really wanted out of this. Now I want to build my own brand, and I am. I have a jewelry line called Flourish by Eli Jas that I hope to debut by Valentine’s Day, and I’m working on my EP. I want people to realize living in the moment can make you a better person and a better artist. My latest song, “Every Little Step,” talks about being in a toxic relationship and being honest about looking for love in the wrong places. I feel like I’m finally able to stand in my power and reclaim myself as a woman and take back my power.

FIERCE: Another one of your recent singles is “Ahora,” which I love, a song about moving on from heartbreak and learning to love yourself again after giving so much to someone else. At the start, you sing in Spanish, “you stole my tears. You stole the years I gave you. …  You stole my time, everything that was in me.” These lyrics are relatable and song so beautifully. Tell me, after feeling like so much of you was taken by someone, how do you reclaim that, how do you get that back?

Eli Jas: Well, I’m a very spiritual person. I believe in going into yourself and finding your inner goddess, channeling that inner goddess. Learn to love being on your own. When you’re attached to someone it’s because you are not comfortable being on your own, you’re not comfortable being single. Because of that, I was attracting the wrong things and being in the wrong relationships. If you want to reclaim your power, you have to realize who you are. Look in the mirror and see your beauty. Reprogram your brain into believing you are that goddess, that queen. Doing this blew my mind. I was like, “wait, I was allowing this to happen to me.” This is me being totally transparent. I was really upset with myself. So I also had to forgive myself. It’s important to do that, reflect but also be gentle. “Ahora” is a reflection of that.

FIERCE: A lot of times in relationships, from romantic to parenting, women give themselves up whole and decide to focus on ourselves or prioritize self-love once that companionship ends or shifts. How do you think we can focus on ourselves and our self-love and self-care while we are still in these relationships?

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Thank you to everyone showing love to my new single, “Every Little Step”! This song is close to my heart and it’s important to express it so that we stand strong in our value. I love you all! ???? this is just the beginning of this new phase and so happy to have y’all here with me. #JASFAM ???????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ¡Gracias a todos por mostrar amor a mi nuevo sencillo, "Every Little Step"! Esta canción está cerca de mi corazón y es importante expresarla para que nos mantengamos firmes en nuestro valor. ¡Los amo a todos! Esto es solo el comienzo de esta nueva fase y estoy muy feliz de tenerlos aquí. #JASFAM ???????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #bachata #womenpower #elijas #flourishbyelijas #bachataladystyle #bachatalove #beauty #femaleentrepreneur #fashion #dominican #latina #nyc #latina #vocalist #singersongwriter #creatives #chile #panama #bachatadominicana #bachatalove #bachatastyle #style #bestvocals #studio #newyorkgirl #indiemusic #indieartist #glamgirl #maybelline #female #girlpower

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Eli Jas: I think for women to channel themselves again. Personally, I like self-help books, like Eckhart Tolle and Don Miguel Ruiz, that teach you how to take back your personal power and be aware of how you feel. Even as artists, it’s hard to express yourself because you don’t always know how you feel. It’s an artist’s job to put into words how we feel and put that into the world to understand you, but you have to understand yourself first. It’s about learning what makes you feel loved, because people have different love languages. But I love to meditate, read books, work out, eat well and take care of myself. This also means rewording phrases. Maybe I didn’t get something the first time around. Instead of calling myself an idiot, and speaking negatively to myself, I try to be encouraging. Changing your perspective, saying, “you’ll get it next time,” is helpful. And I want it to help others. I hope the people who wear my jewelry or listen to my music get a boost of confidence, to feel good and loved.

FIERCE: Talking about relationships, the one between women singers and the bachata music industry hasn’t been great. What do you think are some of the biggest barriers women face in bachata and how do you navigate this?

Eli Jas: I feel like the barriers started when I started at 19. I was told by certain producers, “you are female, so they’re never going to play you on the radio.” This is a male-dominated genre, and I understand that people have an old way of thinking, but I feel like it’s my responsibility to change that. When I’d get those comments, I’d say, “you’re not going to like it yet, but you will.” That’s what being an authentic artist is, breaking barriers by being yourself.  So I try not to think about that and not create that negative energy. When I’m on stage and speaking to people, I prefer to think I’m dominating this male-dominated genre.

FIERCE: You’ve stated that “2019 is set to be the year of Eli Jas.” What do you have in store for this year that you can tell us about?

Eli Jas: I’m working on my EP. It’s going to have my Spanish music, mainly bachata music, but I’m also experimenting with English music as well, mixing genres. I’m really excited for people to hear that. I’m collaborating with more artists, many of them indie artists that people might not know yet but will love when they hear them. I’m no longer with a label, but nothing has changed except now I have this team that believes in me. I’m excited to do more shows, have people wear my line, do a tour in Peru and work with a couple brands.

FIERCE: You’re 27 years old, still early in your career. Tell me, what do you hope people can say about Eli Jas in 10 to 15 years?

Eli Jas: I think the most rewarding thing people can say is, “she’s really authentic in her power.” I want to represent women in a beautiful way, to help us diminish our fears. I want people to feel like I’m a voice for myself and them, that I got them. I want them to relate to me, and know I’m here and that I’ll always be just a regular person like everyone else. So tweet me, hit me up, and I will be that girlfriend.

Catch Eli Jas’ latest music video “Asi” below:

Read: Up Next: Minnesota Boricua Singer-Rapper Maria Isa Makes Music That Ignites Change

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Up Next: Meet Katalina, The Colombian Funny Girl-Turned-Pop Singer You Need To Know

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Up Next: Meet Katalina, The Colombian Funny Girl-Turned-Pop Singer You Need To Know

Up Next is a FIERCE series highlighting rising Latina and Latin American women artists you might not know about but definitely should.

Katalina is used to the spotlight. For years, the colombiana has cultivated an audience of millions on Instagram with her hilarious short videos about relationships and womanhood. But now, the social media influencer-turned-singer is using her mic to explore these themes.

Debuting her first song, “Sacude,” a carefree pop-urban dance jam, last November, the Miami-living entertainer followed up this month with the heartbreaking ballad “Adios” featuring Cuban-American singer JenCarlos Canela, showing her musical versatility.

“With me, there will definitely be both. This is something I think I have been very clear about,” Katalina, 27, told FIERCE. “I feel that music is more free now and you do not have to limit yourself to only one genre. I like challenges and I dislike routine, so you can always expect a mix.”

We chatted with the rising star about her lifelong love of singing, transitioning from social media influencer to music artist, saying goodbye to loved ones and what to expect from the beauty in the months that follow.

FIERCE: Most people who are familiar with Katalina know you as a social media influencer with hilarious videos, but last year you took the leap into music. Why?

Katalina: I have always liked to sing. I come from a very musical and talented family, but we always practiced it as a hobby. A year ago, I gave myself the opportunity to develop it professionally with my manager, Kito Sunshine, and I am totally grateful and in love with this. Music is what I love the most — it frees me.

FIERCE: Was this shift from social media influencer to singer strategic? Did you know you always wanted to sing and saw social media as an avenue to build your popularity and get you there or was this an unexpected but welcomed outcome?

Katalina: Since I was a little girl, I have known that I liked to sing and play the piano. From 9 to 11 years old, I sang in the choir of a church when I lived in Colombia, and for me it was something magical, so I’ve always known it. As far as social media, I entered by accident, but from the first day, I enjoyed the opportunity to reach so many people and show them my musical side as well. It was not a strategy. I did not upload many videos singing, but people motivated me more and more to try to develop music professionally, so I gave myself the opportunity, and, well, here we are.

FIERCE: But you’re not just a pretty girl with a following who is trying to use her fame to dabble in something she has no business doing. You are talented! Still, several social media influencers have attempted to break into music, some like Cardi B and Jenn Morel finding success, but others not so much, oftentimes not because they lack talent but rather because they’re not taken as seriously. What has this transition been like for you?

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Katalina: It is a bit difficult for people to see social influencers in another facet that they are not used to, but, in my case, I always showed them that musical side, so it was not totally a surprise. The same people asked me and the reception was very special. I hope to reach many people with my music.

FIERCE: As you stated, you have been passionate about singing and playing the piano since you were a child. What sort of music did you grow up listening to and how do you think it’s influenced your Latin pop sound today?

Katalina: I grew up listening to a lot of pop and ballads. My mom always listened to this music, so she did influence me a lot. I remember locking myself in my room and practicing these songs all the time. I still do this.

FIERCE: Colombian music is having a major global moment right now. What do you think you bring to the game that’s different and helps you stand out among the rest?

Katalina: Together with my work team we are creating our own seal. Our sounds are different and the vocal arrangements are unique to what we want to project. We are focused on the urban wave but keeping my romantic side.

FIERCE: I can see that for sure! You recently released “Adios,” a ballad featuring Cuban-American artist Jencarlos Canela about saying goodbye to an ex-love with the hope of returning to each other again in the end. This is very relatable because a lot of times during breakups there’s this hope that time away will bring you two back together. Sometimes it’s because the couple really is good for each other, but other times it’s just a matter of costumbre. How do you, Katalina, decipher between the two?

Katalina: Saying goodbye is always going to be difficult, either out of love or habit. I think that if you are with someone just out of habit and not because you love him, it is better to say goodbye definitely. “Adios,” to me, has another meaning. Beyond the circumstances for which you have had to say goodbye to your ex-partner, it is the goodbye that makes your heart hurt. It’s the memories of the shared moments that make you miss a person and want to have them again, that’s “Adios.”.

FIERCE: In the music video, the song took on new meaning. It wasn’t just about an ex but about losing someone you love to death and never being able to be with them again. Why did you all want to dedicate this song and video to those who lost their partners?

Katalina: These are very common situations in all of our lives. The message also has to do with those who have lost a loved one, not just their partner. In my case, I recently lost my grandmother suddenly, who was a mother to me, and, for this reason, I, and many others, can identify with this video.

FIERCE: I’m so sorry to hear that! And I think you’re right. The video really extends to loss outside of romantic relationships. We are in an era of collaborations, especially for Latin music, and in this song, your and Jencarlos’ voices blend very beautifully. Tell me, who are some of your other dream collaborations?

Katalina: I’ve always believed you find strength in unity, so working in a team, to me, is a very wise decision. I have a long list, but I’d want to start with artists like Natti Natasha, Karol G, Becky G, Ivy Queen, Cardi B — these are strong women and great examples of what it means to be an empowering woman. Also, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee and others. They are artists with careers worthy of admiration.

FIERCE: I know you’ve been working on a lot of music for this year. What can you tell us is in store for Katalina in 2019?

Katalina: There are incredible songs written by international composers. I will also have my debut as a songwriter in a song that I think people will really identify with.

FIERCE: Can we expect more ballads like “Adios” or more dance songs like “Sacude” or a mix of genres?

Katalina: With me, there will definitely be both. This is something I think I have been very clear about. I feel that music is more free now and you do not have to limit yourself to only one genre. I like challenges and I dislike routine, so you can always expect a mix.

FIERCE: You are so young, at the start of your career, what do you hope people can say about Katalina in 10 to 15 years?

Katalina: My dream is to become an icon in music worldwide. I would love for people to say that I inspired them to fulfill their dreams, that I helped empower other women, that my life has been a great example of triumph. In 10 to 15 years, with the help of God, I will leave my mark throughout the planet.

Watch Katalina’s latest single, “Adios,” below:

Read: Up Next: Meet Victoria La Mala, The Mexican Badass Empowering Women With Urban-Banda Jams

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Up Next: Meet Victoria La Mala, The Mexican Badass Empowering Women With Urban-Banda Jams

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Up Next: Meet Victoria La Mala, The Mexican Badass Empowering Women With Urban-Banda Jams

Up Next is a FIERCE series highlighting rising Latina and Latin American women artists you might not know about but definitely should.

You know what Paquita la del Barrio is to your grandmother or perhaps what Jenni Rivera was to your tía? Well, that’s what Victoria La Mala is for our generation: a singer whose inner power is the only thing more forceful than the strong vocal pipes she uses to remind you that you are that bitch.

Born Victoria Ortiz in Mexico City, the singer-songwriter jumped into the music scene in 2015, bringing a refreshing sound and style to regional Mexican music with all the same girl power of her barrier-breaking female predecessors. Describing herself as the musical offspring of Tupac and Selena, the now Los Angeles-based singer places her soulful vox over traditional banda and ranchera rhythms to deliver treats for your ears and soul. Her songs, like last year’s chart-making “Merezco Mucho Más,” call out male fuckery and empower girls to know their strength, worth and beauty and leave toxic romances behind.

On the block, Victoria, who’s also the first Mexican artist to be signed to Roc Nation Latin, continues to be inspirational. On Monday, the 30-year-old launched her fifth annual #TeamMalaPromGiveaway, a campaign providing low-income teenage girls in Los Angeles with dresses, accessories and makeup and hair tutorials. This year, she will help 50 girls, who must submit their applications before March 29, become the prom princesses she knows they already are.

We chatted with Victoria all about the giveaway, making banda bops for millennials, her anticipated new, and sonically different, music, as well as why she wants to empower women and girls in everything she does, among so much more.

FIERCE: You were born and raised in Mexico but also spent much of your time growing up taking extended trips with relatives in Los Angeles. What genres of music were you listening to here and there, and how do you think this has influenced your pop-urbano-banda style today?

Victoria La Mala: I used to listen to a lot of regional Mexican music in Mexico because of my parents. They love banda and mariachi. I spent a lot of summers in LA, and I had some aunts who listened to hip-hop, ‘90s R&B, and I loved soul. I think all of those styles of music influenced me, and I think you can hear them in me.

FIERCE: Absolutely. While you sing mostly regional Mexican genres, you have a very soulful voice. Talking about your voice, it’s very strong and powerful. No one can deny your vocal talent. When did you realize you could sing and that music was something you wanted to pursue?

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Victoria La Mala: I literally cannot remember a time in my life without singing. When I look back on my childhood, I was that one little girl always singing. I loved music. I sang in class and school. But when I was 15, I started getting a little more confidence in myself. I’d be out at parties and people would say, “sing for us.” That’s when I realized this is something I love and have a big passion for. I started singing in a couple bands. I sang at family functions and school functions. So I think when I was around 15 is the time I was like, I love this and I think this is what I want to do.

FIERCE: Why banda? This isn’t exactly a genre that’s expected from young millennial women?

Victoria La Mala: For me, it was always important to represent my culture and tell my story as a woman. Some of the first memories I had listening to live music was banda. My first album in 2013 was full banda. It was just important for me to represent. My dad had passed away a few years before then, and he loved banda. When I moved to the States from Mexico, I wanted to represent from the beginning, and from there I started evolving as an artist as well. I tried different regional sounds and more fusions, because it’s all a part of my story and who I am. I was exposed to more types of music. Being a girl raised in Mexico City, I listened to everything in the streets, Spanish rock, cumbia, so I think it’s important to represent my culture and my story.

FIERCE: I love that and definitely see that. While artists like Paquita la del Barrio and Jenni Rivera made waves for women in traditional Mexican music, these genres continue to be male-dominated. Honestly, most Latin genres do. How has your experience been trying to navigate this industry as a woman, and as one who is very vocal about her opinions on men and proud of her identity.

Victoria La Mala: You know, they always say, “Victoria hates men.” But I don’t, just a couple that have been bad, but some are great. But it’s definitely difficult being a woman, not just in music, in a world that has been male-dominated. The roles of women have slowly been changing: women started working, started going to school and now they’re doing basically anything that we want. But because it hasn’t been many years to do these things, it’s still a struggle. And in music, it’s reflected. Music, I think, reflects what’s happening in society. Now girls are starting to take power in music. Girls want to listen to other girls. They want to feel identified and want our stories told. It’s definitely still difficult. It’s definitely still a struggle, especially on the industry side. There’s this idea that girls dont like girls, girls don’t like to listen to girls. This is also an idea that has been changing, though. I grew up listening to women I love, playing my CDs and singing along to them. I think women nowadays are the same: we want to hear our stories.

FIERCE: I think you’re right. Not only are many of the rising acts in Latin music women, but they are sharing their stories through their music.

Victoria La Mala: Right, exactly. Thank you.

FIERCE: Making a space for yourself where others might be uncomfortable, though, isn’t something you seem to ever shy away from. Another example: you’re the first Mexican artist signed to Roc Nation. How has this been for you?


Victoria La Mala: It has been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to learn so much from people in the industry who have been doing this for years. I’ve met legends, people I looked up to as a little girl, people I still look up to.

FIERCE: Like who?

Victoria La Mala: Like Beyoncé and Rihanna. I got to sing with Paquita la del Barrio. Olga Tañón invited me to sing with her at Premio Lo Nuestro. It’s been an incredible couple of years, learning and growing so much. It’s been really amazing for me. This is part of what I always wanted to do: represent my culture and what I come from as Latinos and Mexicans in a more general-market kind of way. People never really listen to Mexican music, so for them to say, “let me see this Mexican artist signed to Roc Nation,” that’s an amazing experience. As you mentioned before, part of me always feels like I have to fight for what I want. I grew up seeing that. I grew up around strong women that will make a way.

FIERCE: And that’s clear in your music. As I stated earlier, your songs are very bold and empowering. They often validate women’s experiences in relationships and remind them of their own strength, beauty and power. Why?

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Victoria La Mala: It’s so important for me because I think music literally is the soundtrack to our lives. We have songs we play when we are feeling so sad and want to cry. We have songs we want to play that cause us to feel strong, like you could do whatever you want to do.  I grew up listening to strong women that made me feel powerful, and it’s important for me to give that back to other girls. Sometimes, I play my own songs when I’m going through it, like, “yes, girl!”

FIERCE: Haha! I love that. I can honestly say that “Si Va A Doler Que Duela” was one of the songs that helped get me through my last breakup, so I completely get it.

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Victoria La Mala: Thank you. I really appreciate that.

FIERCE: You’re also inspiring outside of your music, though. I know you have a prom dress giveaway each year, where you provide dresses, makeup and accessories to underserved teens so they can attend prom and feel like a princess for an evening. Talk to me about this. Why do this?


Victoria La Mala: To me, this is one of my favorite times of the year. I love being able to connect with young girls. When I was in high school, my dad wasn’t there anymore, and my mom, by herself, had to make sacrifices for my siblings and myself. For my high school graduation, I had to figure out dresses, which was so expensive, and I thought, maybe I should come up with a giveaway for girls doing their prom and can’t afford it. There are so many circumstances as to why they might need help. I started this five years ago. I had people, whoever I knew, give me dresses. I said, “anyone who wants to donate, I will give you a CD.” That’s all I had. People donated dresses, and I think we dressed 10 girls that year. I did it all on my own. I had no clue what I was doing, but it was an amazing experience to see girls have the dress they wanted. I knew I needed to do it again. Here we are now in our fifth year. Last year, we  dressed more than 60 girls. This year, I’m hoping that doubles. Now we also have sponsors.

FIERCE: What do you think is your overall goal with this giveaway?

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Victoria La Mala: My goal is for girls to enjoy their prom. I want them to feel like all their efforts were worth this moment, that all their hard work does pay off. I just want them to be happy that day. I’m also really hoping every year we can double the amount of dresses we give. I also hope that we can take it out of LA. This is my home and community, so this is where I’ve been doing it, but I hope to take it to other cities and one day everywhere.

FIERCE: Love that! I want to get back into music. You haven’t released a new song in a little while, and there’s a lot of anticipation around Victoria La Mala and demand for new music. What do you have in store for this year that you can tell us about?

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Baby it’s cold outside ❄️❄️❄️

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Victoria La Mala: Well, last year, I put out only two songs. One did amazing and was on the charts, “Merezco Mucho Más,” and the other I put out during the end of the summer, “Corazón valiente,” which was for immigrants. But after that, I had a couple changes within my team. I took time for me to get in the studio, work on music, write my stuff, get involved in everything, from production and sound to writing new songs. We are almost there. It’s just been a process. I’ve just been waiting and writing and making sure everything sounds and is how I creatively see it. Again, we’re almost there. I think it’s going to be something new and different from what I put out in the past and reflects who I am, a mix of Mexican culture and me living in New York, LA, Mexico City, more of the urban side. So it’ll be something new and something I’ve been wanting to work on for a while, so I’m excited.

FIERCE: You’re 30 years old, at the earlier stages of your career, what do you hope people can say about Victoria La Mala in 10 to 15 years?

I hope people can say that I’ve helped them feel empowered, that my music has been a big part of their life. I dont think a lot about this. I think about things I want to accomplish more than things people say about me. I hope my music can empower them and be a part of their life and touch them the way other artists have inspired me.

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