| Paula DeAnda – Pops New “It” Girl
| Wednesday, February 14, 2007
She’s the 17 year old songstress who’s currently tearing up the Top 40 and TRL charts. She’s also the girl whose banner ads are on seemingly every website around. She is Paula DeAnda, and today I'm sitting down with the Texas native to discuss her career, including her audition in Clive Davis’ office, whether or not she’s engaged in any celebrity hookups, and who she’s had to lay the smackdown on.
Adam Bernard: I'm going to start you off with a rough one. What makes you different from the dozens of other young women making pop songs today?
Paula DeAnda: I am Latina and I am singing R&B, which is very very different than most people. I write some of my songs, as well, so that’s another different thing about me. And I’m not trying to be like anybody else, I’m just Paula.
Adam Bernard: You look very exotic, what's your background?
Paula DeAnda: I’m not exotic, but thank you. A lot of people tell me that, they usually don’t know what I am, but I guess that’s a cool thing because I can relate to everybody I guess. Sometimes I look Hawaiian, sometimes I look half-Black, sometimes I look Indian. I get Indian a lot.
Adam Bernard: I was going to go with either Indian or Greek.
Paula DeAnda: Oh Greek, too? I’ve never gotten that. Italian, I’ve gotten that. But I’m really just Mexican.
Adam Bernard: That still counts as exotic.
Paula DeAnda: Yeah, I guess so because you never know who your actual ancestors are.
Adam Bernard: So how did you go from being a regular girl to being on Top 40 radio and TRL? What's the Paula DeAnda story?
Paula DeAnda: It’s taken me a while. I’ve been singing since the age of six and I recorded a demo at the age of ten or eleven. I got in touch with a manager here in Corpus Cristi, Ed Ocanas. He basically set up a meeting though a friend of his, Wendy Goodman, who worked at J Records as an A&R. I ended up in Clive (Davis’) office and I sang him a couple of songs a capella, some of the songs that I wrote, actually, that are on my album right now.
Adam Bernard: It sounds like you’ve been doing this for a while, but on a major level for only a short time, so I’m wondering how many of your friends have you forgotten about at this point and how many more are you looking forward to forgetting about in the future?
Paula DeAnda: (laughs) Oh wow, you just put it like that, that’s funny. Actually I haven’t forgotten about any of my friends from my hometown of San Angelo, which is where I lived before I moved to Corpus Cristi. I actually still keep in touch will of them and I have a couple here in Corpus Cristi, as well. There are a lot of fakes and snakes in the world, so I try to pick out the good people.
Adam Bernard: The single is "Walk Away (Remember Me)." Do you sing this to someone specifically?
Paula DeAnda: Not really, but it is something that some of the people in my family have gone through in their personal experiences and that’s why the song means so much to me and why I think it means a lot to other people, as well. It’s very relatable and it’s a real subject.
Adam Bernard: Your banner ads are all over the internet. How does it feel to see yourself plastered all over the information superhighway?
Paula DeAnda: It feels really good. It’s good exposure. When I first came out it was kind of like a shock to everybody at J Records and Arista Records. They basically didn’t know who I was and what they were doing with me, yet. Clive was really behind it like we gotta push her, we gotta get her out there, and all the magazines were already finished because they go so much in advance, so I was just trying to get out there as much as I could. My MySpace is huge, I’m always on it, I check it myself and I try to get back to people when I can. I never thought I’d actually be on TRL and to get up there and for people to actually vote for me, that’s a big deal to me so I like to that everybody for helping me. The web has helped me so much promotion-wise. People are actually seeing my face. They knew my song, they knew my name, but they did not have a face with it.
Adam Bernard: You know you have a lot of Paula DeAnda imposters on MySpace, as well.
Paula DeAnda: Yeah, if you type in Paula DeAnda like 30 pages probably come up. And there’s a lot of them that just have the songs on there, so I’m not worried about that, and there’s some that are actually fan sites that say “I’m not Paula DeAnda, but I’m a big fan.” I’ve only seen a couple of them that say “I’m Paula DeAnda.”
Adam Bernard: Do you consider yourself a celebrity yet?
Paula DeAnda: I don’t actually. I guess I just feel weird about it sometimes. I guess I have to get used to it and I don’t think I’m at that place and time yet, I’m just starting out, but people are starting to get to know who I am, so that’s good.
Adam Bernard: At what point will you consider yourself a celebrity.
Paula DeAnda: I think once I get a number one song on the Billboard charts, that will be real big. Once I actually have an album that sells so quick that people everywhere will know who I am. And when I actually start touring. I’ve just been doing radio shows and promotion and stuff like that, so I’ve got a little ways to go.
Adam Bernard: One of the best parts of celebrity is hooking up with other celebrities. Who has Paula DeAnda hooked up with?
Paula DeAnda: Nobody! I really haven’t. I guess I’m not into the Hollywood thing yet. I’m just pretty much focusing on my music and taking it day by day.
Adam Bernard: So you haven't hooked up with anybody. Is there anybody you’re currently setting your sights on that you’d like to shout out here so they might find out about it?
Paula DeAnda: I don’t know if I should say. No, not really. There’s a lot of people I look up to, and I love their music, and stuff like that. When I was younger I’d have crushes, but not at this time.
Adam Bernard: OK, so when you’re at the MTV awards with everyone around you’ll just be all “yeah, whatever?”
Paula DeAnda: Oh well, you never know (laughs). You’ll know when the time’s right.
Adam Bernard: Five years down the road, where do you see yourself?
Paula DeAnda: I definitely see myself getting into some kind of clothing line, I’ve always wanted to do that. I would have a casual kind of clothing on where you could still look cute but casual. And touring everywhere and hopefully people will know more about me by that time. I would also like to open up a restaurant, as well. I’m not sure what kind, but I have a lot of ideas.
Adam Bernard: Talk to me about the clothing line.
Paula DeAnda: My style right now is, I like to wear sneakers and a lot of girls are like “what?” I have high heels as well, cuz I have to dress up sometimes, but I was such a tomboy growing up. I used to play tennis, soccer and I ran track, as well, so I’ve never really been the type to dress up.
Adam Bernard: You played quite a few sports. So, one last question; has Paula DeAnda ever had to lay the smackdown on somebody?
Paula DeAnda: (laughs) I haven’t had to lay the smackdown on anybody yet except for my little brother sometimes.
For more Paula DeAnda check out pauladeanda.com and myspace.com/pauladeanda
Labels: Music Interviews
|posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:05 AM