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Up Next: Meet Kim Viera, The Nuyorican Powerhouse Singer Soaring Over Tropical Beats

Up Next: Meet Kim Viera, The Nuyorican Powerhouse Singer Soaring Over Tropical Beats

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

Kim Viera is a star — but don’t take it from us. That’s what Daddy Yankee told the rising Nuyorican vocalist when he worked with Viera on her debut single, “Como.”

The hit, a tropical treat about a paradisal romance that features the Big Boss, dropped last July, garnering more than 25 million views on YouTube. Since then, fans of the Bronx-born artist have been hungry for more. Lucky for them, Viera is holding on to enough musical goodies to feed their appetite all year long.

Most recently, the singer, who is signed to Republic Records, released “Here For Ya,” a playful jam that flips Ghost Town DJs’ classic “My Boo” beat into an anthem for every girl who was ever feelin’ someone who was already in a relationship.

“It’s not about pursuing anything. It’s not about taking another woman’s man. It’s more like how you are feeling in your head, what you’d want to do with that person if the situation was different,” Viera says of the banger.

We chatted with the rising act about her musical upbringing, her varied sound, her long journey to the spotlight, working with Daddy Yankee, new music and more.

FIERCE: You’ve described your sound as American Latina. What does that mean to you?

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rehearsal flow.

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Kim Viera: I was born in New York, in the Bronx, and I always had my heritage. It was strongly a part of my life. But I also grew up with American culture. That also influenced who I am as an artist. For me, basically, I always felt like I was somewhere in the middle of my culture and American culture. It’s American Latina. The first culture I knew aside from my own is American. I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. I learned that as I got older. American Latina is a new generation of Latinas who experience culture different. It’s the third-generation types. I was born in the states, and my parents were also born in the states.

FIERCE: Who were your biggest musical influences, English and Spanish, and how do you think they’ve influenced this “American Latina” vibe you embrace?

Kim Viera: I definitely listened to everything. I love Selena, Marc Anthony, La India, J Lo as well as the large voices of Christina Aguilera and Mariah. They all had an influence on me as an artist. Growing up and seeing people who look and sound like you or have similar stories as you was encouraging for me as a little girl. That influenced me to feel like I was OK. They don’t speak the language either, but they love their culture like I do. I wanted to learn more. If they could do it, then I could, too. So it influenced me to push myself to do the same thing I saw artists I love do. I took some of the things they went through in their journey and applied it to my own and how I approach struggles. For instance, Marc Anthony didn’t speak Spanish, and he learned and became one of the best salseros of all time. Selena and J Lo didn’t either, and they’re Latin icons. Seeing them break through these cultural barriers was very helpful for me.

FIERCE: You grew up in a musical home. Your dad launched, owned and operated a live production company, and your mom sang backup for major Latin acts like Willie Colón and Rubén Blades. That’s really dope! When did you realize that you wanted to follow in your parents’ footsteps and pursue music professionally as well?

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I just wanna ride witchu 🏎❣️

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Kim Viera: I’ve always wanted to do music since I was little. I was always naturally an entertainer since a little girl. I decided I wanted to do it professionally or as a career when I was a teenager. At times, it seems like you have the talent but dreams still seem so far away because it takes so much to get to that place. Opportunities started popping up, and I was like, if I don’t take them now, I may not get them again. So I went for it. There were people who took me under their wing as an artist and songwriter, who helped teach me and help me grow. I started getting in the room with the right people. It’s been a whirlwind, but I realized early that I wanted to do music. I just didn’t know if it was attainable or not.

FIERCE: This is a difficult, brutal and in many ways insecure industry, which I’m sure your parents were aware of. Knowing this firsthand, were they concerned about your musical pursuits, hoping you’d do something more “stable” instead, as many Latinx parents do when their children profess interest in the arts, or did they fully embrace and support this decision?

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On the rocks, no chaser. #miami #ipromiseimworking

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Kim Viera: It was a split decision with my family, or my parents. They’ve done this before. They were always supportive of me and what I wanted, but they wanted the best for me and were scared for me, because there’s a lot of rejection, a lot of nos before yeses, a lot of hard work with no payoff. You really have to love what you do. They were always concerned about me finding a way to make a living and how I would be perceived. My dad was like “go for it,” and my mom, who was a singer, was more hesitant because she had a deeper understanding of what you’re up against as an artist and also saw how I reacted to rejection as a child. She saw me go through auditions as a kid and not understand why I was getting rejected. But I had to show her that’s how I reacted as a kid because I was a kid, and I’m older and smarter now.  

FIERCE: You started off songwriting, including for major acts like Lil Wayne, before landing your own deal with Republic Records three years ago. A lot of young aspiring artists think big breaks and fame come overnight, which is actually very rarely the case. Talk to me about hustle, about your grind in this industry that’s taking you from working in the background to becoming the star of your own show?

Kim Viera: It’s taken me so many years to get where I’m at: sleepless nights and a lot of sacrifices with friends and family. When you are young, you want to hang with friends but you can’t do that when you are trying to strive for a dream. I sacrificed a lot of my own money to invest in myself. I spent years writing very crappy songs to get to good ones. There were so many nos, so many doors closed. It was about eight years of that, constantly going and going, nights you don’t sleep because you’re editing videos you need to put out the following day for content. You are sleeping and breathing what you’re working toward till you get there. Then you get there and think you can relax more, but you actually have to work hard to keep it. It’s definitely not an overnight situation. People don’t know who you are or your story or situation. They just think this person came out of nowhere. Some people do pop off in a year. Every journey is different. But it’s very hard and you have to try to not get discouraged and just keep pushing through. If you don’t enjoy the journey, then you won’t enjoy the destination.

FIERCE: Last year, you get on everyone’s radar with your hit “Como” featuring Daddy Yankee. What was it like working with the boss, one of the originators of urbano music, so early in your own career?

Kim Viera: It’s really cool. Freaking amazing is what it was. We had the song. I wrote it like a year before, and he had heard it through a close friend of mine, who was one of his stylists. He was playing it for him at a shoot, and Yankee heard it and kept singing it over and over. He said he thought it was catchy. His stylist told him, “that’s my girl Kim.” The conversation started there. At that time, I didn’t have a record deal. He ended up hearing it again and asked my friend if I was signed yet. At that time I was. He was just like, “I want to jump on it.” This all happened organically, just because my friend was showing love. Next thing you know, I’m in Puerto Rico shooting a music video with Daddy Yankee.

FIERCE: Wow. That’s an amazing story! You have to love community. What was it like working with Daddy Yankee?

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Agradecida. 🙏🏼 #Como #kimviera #daddyyankee

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Kim Viera: Exactly. It was crazy. I can’t explain it. It was wow. The word to describe it would be surreal. I remember listening to his music growing up. Then I’m on set with him and he’s like, “Kim, you look like a star. You look beautiful.” My heart sank. Like, wow, my first record being signed with Republic and I’m in Puerto Rico shooting my first major video with a legend, Daddy Yankee, whose music I would dance to in my car as a kid with my friends. Now I’m standing next to him shooting a video. It goes to show your dreams really can happen and sometimes God has better plans for you than you have for yourself. It was one of the best days of my life, and I’m so grateful and humbled.

FIERCE: Most recently you dropped “Here For Ya.” Like “Como,” this is a fun, upbeat song about a lighthearted romance or affair. How do you want people, particularly women, who listen to these songs to feel?

Kim Viera: I mean, this song is about someone you are interested in that’s taken already. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. It’s a lighthearted thing. I think a lot of girls can relate to being attracted to someone and then being like, damn, they have a girl. That’s what it is, a feel-good, summer, retalateble record.

FIERCE: That is hella relatable. And it’s not like you’re going to pursue anything with this person, just highlighting that feeling of, “damn, why you ain’t single, dawg?”

Kim Viera: Right. It’s real shit. It’s not about pursuing anything. It’s not about taking another woman’s man. It’s more like how you are feeling in your head, what you’d want to do with that person if the situation was different.

FIERCE: Before “Here for Ya,” you released “Never Listen,” which had a much different sound. This wasn’t a playful, dance, pop song. Rather, this was a slowed-down, raw ballad about the pain, rather than joy, of romance. Artists today, in many ways, don’t have genre or thematic constraints that existed just a couple decades ago. How do you think this allows you to be a more authentic and better artist?

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D&G 🌶 #vmas2018

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Kim Viera: I never really put constraints on myself in terms of what I should sound like to people. I try to be truthful in my music and aesthetic. In my writing, sometimes it shows up differently in the way it sounds, thematically or genre wise. I think, for me, before I listened to so many different types of music growing up and that diversity made me different because I don’t put constraints on my creativity. I like to take people on different journeys musically. I don’t think every song has to sound the same. I don’t need to be in a box. I can be Kim. People can be multifaceted, and that’s how I am with my music. I love those things that make me different. People should embrace difference.

FIERCE: You have dropped back-to-back songs that bang, undeniably, over the course of a year. What can we expect next from Kim Viera? What are you working on that you’re excited about and can tell us about?

Kim Viera: I’m dropping another record in the next month or so with a huge a feature.  I can’t say who just yet, but it’s a major feature. And I have my EP coming out at the top of the summer. You’ll have that by the beginning of summer. I’m working on projects and doing a lot more shows, possibly a tour. But I’m working on some dates to make people more familiar with me. I have a body of work people can live with for the summer.

FIERCE: That sounds so exciting. You are at the start of your career and it’s already looking very bright. In 10 to 15 years, what do you hope people can say about Kim Viera?

Kim Viera: I just hope that people would say a few things, see that I was a person who broke barriers for young girls in this music industry, culturally but not just for my own culture. I want to show that you don’t have to fit a mold. You’re enough as you are. That I am a person who tried and cares about people and really touches people. That’s what I care about.

Listen to Kim Viera’s latest song “Here for Ya” below.

Read: Up Next: The Emerging Orlando Puerto Rican Singer-Rapper Ballin’ With Bad Bunny, Anuel AA And Becky G

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Luis Miguel Lives A Private Life And His Life Struggles Might Be The Reason He Is So Secretive

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Luis Miguel Lives A Private Life And His Life Struggles Might Be The Reason He Is So Secretive

For as long as Luis Miguel has been in the music industry, he has incredibly private about his personal life. He rarely gives interviews or even attends award ceremonies. He’s been spotted eating at restaurants with hired staff to hold up sheets and umbrellas to block him entirely from cameras and other fans. Here are some things you might not know about the bestselling Latin music artist.

Luis Miguel was born Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri, named after bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín.

@breluvmusic / Twitter

Born on April 18, 1970, that makes the singer only 48 years old. He’s almost a full year younger than Jennifer Lopez, but his crooner status somehow puts him at viejo status in my book.

He wasn’t born in Mexico, and neither of his parents is Mexican.

“He has been quite a ladies man.”Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

That’s right. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and neither of his parents is Mexican. According to the Netflix/Telemundo series documenting Miguel’s life, his father conceived of a plan to get a fake birth certificate and ‘market’ his son as Mexican.

Miguel’s father actually moved him to Mexico to market toward Méxicanos.

@lmxlm / Instagram

Miguel has absolutely embraced Mexican culture (and Mexico has embraced him). He’s perfected the artistry of mariachi, and he’s currently on his ¡México Por Siempre! tour.

He was born on April 18 but celebrates his birthday on April 19.

@infobae / Twitter

His mother was a famous Italian actress and his father was a Spanish singer (Luisito Rey) born in Cádiz. His father didn’t register him with Puerto Rico’s Civil Registry until the following day, so his birth certificate is dated April 19. Que raro, no?

Miguel’s mother mysteriously disappeared when he was 16 years old.

@InfobaeAmerica / Twitter

Her whereabouts are still unknown, but there are many a Reddit thread that theorize that Luisito Rey killed her after she uncovered some dark secrets; that she flew back to Italy and has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since; that an indigent Argentinian woman might actually be the living Marcela Basteri.

Miguel’s father stole mad money from him.

@musimerides / Twitter

Miguel’s father was also his manager and the ultimate villain. Luis Miguel’s godfather also happens to be a renowned psychologist who has described him as a psychopath and abuser. We know he was an alcoholic and drug addict, and after Miguel fired him as a manager, he drank himself to death by 1992.

It all started when Miguel was just 11 years old.

@intrusoslared / Twitter

The story goes that the family was about to go bankrupt and homeless when Miguel’s father convinced telenovela star Andrés García to let Luis sing a Tijuana club. After the crowd fell for him, Luisito Rey saw his son as a meal ticket.

Miguel’s father made him watch and analyze every movie, recording, and performance of Elvis Presley.

@ZelindaKay / Twitter

By the time Luis Miguel was 11 years old, he released his first album, Un Sol, under EMI Records. It almost immediately became a gold disc.

His father was so obsessed with Miguel’s success, he even drugged him with ephedrine.

@korybabs / Twitter

The Netflix series shows how young Luis Miguel was worked around the clock to study music, and record songs. As a young boy, he passed out from exhaustion and side effects from the drugs.

Luis Miguel is the only Latin singer of his generation to not crossover into the English-language market.

@musicapop30596 / Twitter

Ricky Martin’s entrance into the “Latin Explosion” of the ’90s didn’t get to him. He only ever sings in Spanish.

Probably because he was pioneering his own market explosion: Bolero Pop

@lmxlm / Instagram

In 1991, his career exploded when he released Romance, an album of boleros remade for the modern world. He followed that album up with Segundo Romance.

Luis Miguel’s voice can span three octaves, 6 notes.

@lmxlm / Instagram

The press loves, to call him the “Latin Frank Sinatra.” Luis Miguel’s voice has topped charts in Pop, Mariachi, ballads, and so much more.

Sinatra personally invited him to record a duet album that would be his last.

“He did a duet with Frank Sinatra.” Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

Luis Miguel’s own father used to blab about how Frank Sinatra wanted to record La Gran Ciudad together back in the day, but that was never true. Luis Miguel would be the only Latin star that Frank Sinatra sang with.

Luis Miguel speaks fluent Spanish, English, Italian, and Portuguese.

@korybabs / Twitter

If you only speak English and Spanglish, like me, todo bien. Don’t let that hit you too close to the ego. Todavía somos Latinxs.

Miguel has never been married, but he’s dated the best of the best.

@Trends_Zone / Twitter

Yup. Mariah Carey and Luis Miguel were an item for a while. Who else? Oh, just Salma Hayek, Sofía Vergara, Daisy Fuentes, Aracely Arámbula and Myrka Dellanos. Casual.

Today, he’s been seen with his showgirl, Mollie Gould.

@holamexico / Twitter

But, again, Miguel’s life is private so we can only speculate. He has been seen holding hands, having dinner with, and glowing with the 19-year-old California native.

Miguel has three children.

“LuisMi has three kids, but has never been married.”Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

His oldest daughter, Michelle Salas, was born when Miguel was just 18 years old, but he didn’t acknowledge her as his own until she turned 18 years old and they took a DNA test. Today, they have a good relationship.

Miguel also had two sons with actress Aracely Arámbula.

Miguel is a self-taught sommelier and has his own wine label.

@VinosDeAmerica / Twitter

It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, the only wine worth drinking, IMHO.

The rumor mill has it that Luis Miguel is suffering from some health problems.

@lmxlm / Instagram

He was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in April 2010ds and has canceled concerts and tours since then. Sometimes, he’ll appear on the stage for just a few minutes before calling off the concert and being forced to pay in the six figures for breaking a contract.

Last year, he surrendered to a federal arrest warrant.

@lmxlm / Instagram

He was ordered to pay over $1 million to his former manager, William Brockhaus, and the judge even ordered him to surrender his 2013 Rolls Royce. He was released by the U.S. Marshals the same day he signed over that car.

Luis Miguel was the first Latin singer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

@carlosyegros1 / Twitter

He was also the youngest male singer to receive a star at the time. He’s won 5 Grammys, 6 Latin Grammys and 11 Lo Nuestro Awards. And the guy is still 48 years young. Keep it coming, Luis.


READ: ‘Luis Miguel La Serie’ Is Out And People On Social Media Cannot Get Enough Of The Show

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Bad Bunny Just Dropped a Line of Notebooks With Walmart And We are Officially Ready To Head Back To School

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Bad Bunny Just Dropped a Line of Notebooks With Walmart And We are Officially Ready To Head Back To School

featured image credit goes here

Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny has been a vocal advocate for the betterment of the educational system in the United States — in his island home of Puerto Rico specifically. Last year, he was accused by an educator in a viral post of creating “A generation of idiots” with his lyrics. In response, Conejo Malo replied with an editorial of his own that discussed his experiences with the island’s lacking educational system. His words helped to shine a light on the lackluster institutions while advocating for improvements for teachers and students alike.

Now, the rapper has made another move that speaks towards his dedication to enhancing education.

Over the weekend, Walmart stores in Puerto Rico dropped a line of Bad Bunny approved notebooks — just in time for the back to school season!

Twitter / @drivtexi99

According to this tweet, the Bad Bunny line of libretas comes in three different designs based on BB album art and featuring the Puerto Rican rapper. The retailer and the rapper have yet to make an official statement about the notebook collaboration so the appearance of these books is a fun surprise.

Though we don’t have a statement from the retailer, Walmart’s Twitter account was quick to brag about the awesome new products.

Twitter / @Walmart

As of now, the notebooks aren’t available on Walmart’s website. According to this tweet, they retail for $3.98 each so, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon them at your local Walmart, be sure to stock up for the upcoming school year.

Once news of these notebooks got out, Bad Bunny fans were all for it.

Twitter / @mprodriguezw1

This Twitter user reminds us that the Bad Bunny notebooks aren’t just for back to school —catch us at work using our libretas de Conejo Malo. It will make our 9 to 5 go that much quicker.

This tweet promises to take Bad Bunny notebooks to the highest level of education.

Twitter / @MariaGee04

Twitter User @MariaGee04 is ready to pull up to her final year of undergrad with her arms full of Bad Bunny notebooks. We hope that the presence of the Puerto Rican rapper during her studies helps this educated Latina’s year fly by.

While we can’t promise you’ll find a Bad Bunny notebook at your local Walmart, we can point you towards some other pretty awesome school supplies.

Instagram / @wearemitu

Our Mitú Shop has more than just Latinx-themed tees and jewelry. Right now, our Back To School shop has notebooks, backpacks, shirts, sticker packs, and pencil pouches to get you stocked up in style for the upcoming school year. Check out some of our coolest BTS items. 

1. This Latino Hustle Notebook that lets everyone know who you are. 

Mitú Shop / Latino Hustle Notebook

Let the world know that you aren’t just a Latino — you’re a Latino who’s hustles. Use this notebook to write down all of those big plans and then check them off once you’ve hustled through that list.

 2. A backpack that’s just as hot as you are. 

Mitú Shop / Hot Stuff Backpack 

Since spicy is how you like to live your life, represent with this medium-sized backpack. Perfect for school or for just stowing your stuff, this backpack even has a pocket specially designed for your laptop. The material is water-resistant and it’s designed to be ergonomic so don’t be afraid to load it up and get on with your day. 

3. This reminder that conchas will always be there when you need them.

Mitú Shop / Self Conchas Pencil Pouch

Sometimes you need a delicious sweet treat. Sometimes you need a pencil. This concha pencil case can at least help you with one of those things. Designed to keep all your pencils and pens together, this pouch is perfect to use as a catch-all for anything you’re looking to store.  

4. Show off your superpower with this dynamic tee. 

Mitú Shop / Being Latina Is My Superpower Kids Tee

Send your chica to school with a clear declaration of her super Latina-ness. The 100% jersey cotton shirt comes in three sizes — 2 years, 4 years, and 6 years.

5. Get Your survival pack in Mitú’s exclusive limited-edition Dora and The Lost City of Gold Barrio Box.

Mitú Shop / Dora and The Lost City of Gold Barrio Box

In our limited edition Dora and the Lost City of Gold Barrio Box there are many treasures to discover but some are especially suited for your back to school prep. The Drawstring Survival Pack, Adventure Fuel Reusable Water Bottle and Educated Latina Pencil Pack are perfect for your return to the jungle that is higher education. Be warned — only 100 of these boxes exist so get yours soon before they sell out. 

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