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Paula DeAnda's Quinceañera Memories

Paula DeAnda lost her voice at her quinceañera, but she hasn't stopped singing since!

By Tammy Tibbetts

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When she was a quinceañera, Paula DeAnda dreamed of making it big as a pop/R&B singer. She’s now 19, and her dream already came true! This Mexican-American from Texas, who you know from her hit video, Easy, and self-titled album, started out singing karaoke at her friends’ quinces. But on the day of her own party, she lost her voice! Paula didn’t let that ruin her big day. Read on to find out how she made her quince special, how she glams up for the Grammys, and why she loves MySpace.

q:Did you have a quince?
a:Oh, yeah, I had a quince, but it wasn’t a traditional one. I wanted to do salsa and I had my girls dress in skirts and little halter tops, in different colors. They all had flowers in their hair. It was really neat. When you get dresses for different quinces, usually you use them once and you never use them again. Those outfits were something they can use over time.

q:That’s a great idea. How many quinces have you been a dama in?
a:Oh, my gosh, I think I’d have to say 20. I’ve been in a lot.

q:Is there one quince that stands out from the rest?
a:No, not really. I’ve been to a lot, but usually it’s the same thing. There’s a lot of people who do Cinderella. If not Cinderella, they do a theme or a color. Other than that, I haven’t been to many crazy ones.

q:It sounds like you’re pretty laid-back. Did you get stressed out when you were planning your quince?
a:I wasn’t stressed, but I was excited about it. Actually, I got sick the day before my quince. I got strep throat and I could barely talk the whole day. I didn’t feel sick until the day before and I actually got really, really sick and I was supposed to sing.

q:At your friends’ quinces, what did you sing? What were the popular requests?
a:“Las Mañanitas” is a good one. It’s a birthday song in Spanish. I would sing karaoke songs, whatever they like.

q:Do you sing at quinces pretty frequently?
a:I sing at them whenever I can. I have a lot of promotional radio shows that I’m doing, but I have sang at a couple [recently].

q:I was excited to hear that you were in My Super Sweet Sixteen: The Movie. Were you a fan of the MTV show before you were in the movie?
a:I was. I used to watch it all the time. When they said there was a movie for it, I was really excited about it. I went and told my manager. I was like, "I would love to try out for that." I had never done acting, never even auditioned. I didn’t even know how to audition to get a role. [In the movie,] I’m not one of the popular girls but I’m not one of the geek girls. I’m in between. It was fun. There’s basically a big, extravagant party at the end.

q:I was on your Website and MySpace profile. You have such a huge Web presence. Was it your idea to start an online community?
a:You know what, I always had a MySpace. Then I got my artist page and everyone was talking about how I should do this and that. I’ve always wanted to let everybody know what I’m doing. Online is something I definitely love. I feel like you can reach a lot of fans as opposed to just a couple at a concert. You can meet everybody across the world. We’ve done a lot of stuff with avatars. It’s like a 3-D world and basically you can make you own face, hair, whatever you want to do. It’s kind of like Sims.

q:What are your style secrets when you’re glamming up for an event like the Grammys?
a:For me, it’s always about the eyes. I always do different things just to make them look more extravagant. I think it’s better to look more natural. Makeup is meant to enhance your beauty, not to make you a whole different person. In music videos, they give you crazy makeup. But in my everyday life, when I’m going to dances and stuff like that, you just want to keep it simple. But, still, eyes are the main thing.

q:What upcoming projects do you have?
a:I’ve been in the studio a lot. I’m actually going back to L.A. tomorrow to record and do new songs for my album. I’ve been in the studio with Sean Kingston. We just did a song called “There’s Nothing,” which is going to be his third single, hopefully. I’m really excited about that.

q:What steps did you take to make your dream of becoming a recording artist come true?
a:I’ve been singing since I was 6 years old, and basically there were no steps that I took, I just went out there and started singing. I tried to get exposure wherever I could. That’s the only way you can do it. You gotta be at the right time, right place, gotta know the right people too. I’ve only been signed for, like, a year now. It’s been pretty crazy. I’ve been doing a lot of things. Radio shows are really fun. You get to meet a lot of different artists and people that you look up to. Hopefully, on my next album I can work with even more artists. It’s been a blessing definitely, since I’ve been singing since I was 6. It’s just been something I wanted my whole life, and now I’m living the dream.
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