THE NEW STAR OF REGIONAL MEXICAN MUSIC
Success chases after Victoria ‘La Mala’ anywhere she goes. Her appearance in ‘Duetos’, Estrella TV’s reality show, helped her gain millions of followers. In ‘Mira Quien Baila’ (Look who’s dancing), she has shown her well-rounded talent. Victoria enjoys living in Los Angeles, but she greatly misses her ‘tacos al pastor’ like any native of Mexico City. She is preparing her new album with the help of Romeo Santos and rapper Jay-Z, that includes songs written by her. “I want to tell stories that I have lived and that people identify with,” said the singer and songwriter.
A complete artist
Victoria Ortiz, also known as ‘La Mala’ (The Bad one), was born in Mexico City. She discovered her passion for music from an early age. As a teenager she migrated to New York to grow as an artist. She started as a Regional Mexican singer. When she returned to Mexico, she was part of ‘Duetos’, a reality show broadcast by Estrella TV. Due to her success in that show, the famous Valenzuela brothers produced her first album “Mala”. Victoria has also participated in the most recent edition of Univision’s ‘Mira quien baila,’ (Look Who is Dancing).
What did you learn by participating in “Mira Quién Baila”?
Victoria: I learned a lot. I came here as the most uncoordinated person, with two left feet. Now I see the videos and say “Wow!” I can’t believe the person dancing in that video is me. I believe this learning experience is going to help my artistic career a lot. Now I have more skills that I can add to my videos and concerts. I greatly enjoyed the experience.
What was your favorite rhythm to dance?
V: Out of all the rhythms I had to dance, my favorite was the salsa choreography. I enjoyed and felt I could move my whole body with ‘flavor’. The same happened to me when I danced “La Bicicleta” in cumbia style.
Which choreography posed the biggest challenge for you?
V: Rhumba. Everything about that genre has a particular technique. It starts with how you walk, and then how you start moving.
Which genre do you want to master?
V: Many. I have mastered none yet. I am an apprentice dancer. I would love to go deeper on dancing urban rhythms. I will continue to study to become an expert in hip-hop, reggaetón, all their fusion, so I can entertain my audience.
¿Any plans for soap operas, Netflix or a movie? Any offers for acting?
V: I haven’t gotten any offers yet. I am in the process of developing my music videos. I enjoy acting in them. In the video ‘Si va a doler, que duela,’ (If it’s going to hurt, let it), I believe I showed my audience the story of the character. Also, at ‘Mira quien baila’ I had to get on character with each song. As a dancer, I had to act different for each genre. If I get a good offer, I will consider it.
Innovating with urban rhythms
Her first album, launched in 2013, included 12 songs. One of them was written by Espinoza Paz. For her second album, she is writing most of her songs. This new work is being produced by “Roc Nation Latino”, a division of Jay-Z’s label that is managed by Romeo Santos. The first single of the album, ‘Si va a doler, que duela’ has been received well by the public, who enjoys the revolutionary mix of sounds from Regional Mexican with an urban touch.
What is new at your new music production with “Roc Nation Latino”?
V: I am working on my new album. It will be ready for the summer of 2018. There will be lots of surprises, we are creating fusion and collaboration with artists from other genres. But I can’t tell you much, you will have to wait for the surprises that are coming.
Do you want to be a successor to Jenni Rivera or Paquita la del Barrio? Or how do you want people to remember you?
V: I would love for people to see that I can sing and write from my heart. I want them to her the stories I have lived and those that people identify with. I want people to know that regardless of what happens, there is always a way to move forward pass difficulties. I also want to represent my Mexican culture with dignity. I would love to travel the world showing how rich is the culture from my country.
Which city and venue in the world do you dream of?
V: I dream of acting at the Mexico City National Auditorium. I grew up in that city and that is where I attended the first concerts in my life. Then, I would like to have a concert at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, a city full of fellow Mexicans. I also want to travel through Latin America, Europe, and why not, Asia.
Now she is bad
Her first single in 2010 helped her launch her career. And it also gave her the nickname she has now. The name of the song is “Ahora soy mala’ (Now I am bad). With that single she obtained a nomination to the Radio Awards in the Revelation of the Year Category. The artist feels identified with the song and the difficulties she endured while she was living in New York. She says she became “bad” after having to endure a boss that sexually harassed her and blackmailed her on her immigration status.
Do you have any regrets?
V: Not at all. I believe things happen for a reason. I believe all the suffering we go through makes us stronger. And I believe that is the purpose of life: To be able to tell those stories that happened to me that made me think at times that I couldn’t go on. Those are the circumstances that made me come back stronger. When you are in a difficult situation, it is encouraging to listen to someone who already went through that.
How did your fans react when they heard about your struggles?
V: I am in shock to see how many women have written letters to me. They say my story touched them because they have lived through the same situations. I believe that is the reason why I went through all this, to be able to tell them, first, they don’t deserve to be treated that way, and second, they must not allow to be treated that way. And last, if you have the strength and you hold on to it, you can get ahead and do anything you want with your life. God sends the hardest battles to the strongest soldiers.
Looking for love
The artist has confessed she was the victim of emotional abuse by an ex-partner. She also stated she was victim of physical abuse in the relationship. She began to think she had a problem or that it was her fault. “That got in my head, and that is how you allow abuse,” she said to Univision. Today, she shares her experience to help other women. But at the same time, she hasn’t lost her hopes to find love.
How is the man you would love?
V: He would have to be self-confident. He would have to make me laugh a lot, be my best friend and be there for me.
¿Anyone in mind that meets those conditions?
V: Not yet.
The best of two worlds
It is impressive to hear Victoria “La Mala” sing rancheras. At the same time, she has the groove to sing pop, ballads and R&B. The single “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber sounds really good in her voice. Her musical style shows her bicultural identity. Victoria grew up in touch with both sides of the border. She grew up in Mexico, but she frequently visited her relatives in Los Angeles. That contact with both cultures expanded her horizons and exposure to music genres.
What do you miss the most in your life in Mexico City?
V: Definitely the tacos al pastor. I am Chilanga!
What do you enjoy the most about living in Los Angeles?
V: Living in Los Angeles allows me to enjoy the best of two worlds. This city has the perfect combination of the U.S. style of life and the things we find in Mexico and Latin America. In this city you can find the Latin flavors and our delicious food. And you can hear people speaking Spanish everywhere. I love that.
Victoria “La Mala” shined during her participation at “Mira Quién Baila”. She danced choreographies to multiple musc genres. She loved dancing salsa to the song “No le pegue a la negra” and vallenato to the song “La Bicicleta”. Her biggest moment on the competition was when she danced the adagio “Contigo”. She confessed it was liberating for her and healed many wounds. She looked as if she was floating when she danced to that song.
She confirmed her continued commitment to help Casa de Esperanza, the institution she sponsored at the reality show. This non-profit organization, that provides shelter and services to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence, will receive 5 thousand dollars from Victoria’s participation in the show. She will continue to advocate for women, and will participate in campaigns to raise awareness about sexual harassment prevention.
En twitter @lamala
En Instagram @victorialamala
A family of artists
Victoria “La Mala” comes from an artistic family. Her mother Lupita Ortiz was an actress. She participated in Mexican movies at the beginning of the eighties. “Pelea de Perros” and “Tres Contra el Destino” were two of them. She was also a singer. Victoria remembers listening to her mother singing in family parties. Her late father, Jesús Octavio Hernández Gómez, was an attorney, but he was a Mexican Banda lover. She learned to love that music through the eyes of her father.
The video of the song “Vete Mucho” is the first one that has been launched in Tidal, a streaming service owned by Jay Z. In this song, Victoria “La Mala” represents a woman that is tired of being mistreated. The abuse she faces makes her lose her mind. In the song, as well as in real life, she is not afraid to tell any man “Go to hell”. Victoria admires singer Paquita la del Barrio and identifies with her. Her most recent video is “Si va a doler que duela”.
Si va a doler que duela