Exclusive Interview With 16-Year-Old Singer/Songwriter Paula DeAnda
Cute lil’ Paula DeAnda is a 16-year-old pop star straight outta Corpus Christi, Texas. This gal has a success story that would make most hard working musicians still stuck in the clubs puke blood.
After scoring a local urban radio hit with her tune “Doing Too Much” that made its way on to the Billboard charts as a result of constant airplay throughout the South West, she nabbed a live audition in front of music industry honcho Clive Davis, who signed her on the spot to Arista.
Feel the blood-puke rising up in the back of your throat yet?
She digs Selena, Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes and cut her teeth singing at parties, family gatherings and local charity events. Not exactly slugging it out in da clubs, but hey, a gig is a gig, right?
But how can a teenager sing about love, loss and life when she’s still in high school and hasn’t experienced much, er, life?
“I may not have lived through all the things I write about,” the bi-lingual crooner explains, “but I do have friends who have had different experiences which I can put into my songs when I write.”
So there ya go.
G4: Hi there, Paula. How are you?
PAULA: I’m great, thanks for asking.
G4: How excited are you to have your album out now?
PAULA: I’m very excited. It’s all been a blessing for me to get this chance. I cant believe it’s really happening.
G4: Who are your inspirations singing and songwriting-wise?
PAULA: I love all kinds of music...my taste in music is diverse so I have many inspirations. A couple would be Alicia Keys because of her classiness and skills with the piano, Aaliyah ‘cause of her soft sultry voice, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey. Songwriting-wise it would have to be Ne-Yo, who I actually got to work with. He’s very talented and writes lyrics you can relate to Christina Milian who is a sweetheart and writes great lyrics as well. Ne-Yo and her co-wrote together on my single out right now, "Walk Away."
G4: You’ve worked with some cool rappers, right?
PAULA: I absolutely love Baby Bash. He’s so down to earth and is really showing people how he can grow throughout the years. He’s also my label-mate thanks to Clive Davis. Man, I got to work with Lil Wayne, which was tight. I have been listening to him since Hot Boys. I like Ak’Sent who brings her bad girl sassy self in her lyrics. I enjoyed working with V-Nice who is from TX just like me, representing for H-town, P.B., and The Dey.
G4: Who are your favorite rappers?
PAULA: Tupac, TI, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, and Chingy.
G4: When did you start singing?
PAULA: I started singing when I was only 6-years-old.
G4: How did you get discovered and signed to a record deal?
PAULA: I was in New York with my mom and manager Ed O’Canas in search of a label. We had meetings set up with Atlantic, TVT, Columbia and J Records. I auditioned for various A&R reps, but the most important was when I sang for Steve Ferrera [Arista A&R]. Ultimately Steve and Michael Williams took me into Clive Davis, who I auditioned for too and he signed me on the spot. That’s the short version.
G4: Are you a big videogame fan?
PAULA: I recently got a PS2 and I love it. I spend hours on it when I can.
G4: What is your favorite game?
Need for Speed. I don’t have too many -- I’m just starting my collection.
G4: What were the first videogames you really got into when you were younger?
Spyro and Mario.
G4: Are videogames too violent these days?
PAULA: Some are really realistic and can get very violent. I just don’t choose to buy those.