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When you think of traditional Mexican music, you don’t think of a saucy, sexy powerhouse Latina diva with a hip-hop swagger and a whole lot of heart. However, Victoria “La Mala” Ortiz is about to change that perception for good. The singer and songwriter transforms the Banda genre with her impressive vocal range, striking style, and urban savvy. She describes this enigmatic musical hybrid best. “If 2Pac and Selena had a child, it would be me,” the singer declares with a grin. “I have old school influences with a new spirit.”
As a child in Mexico City, Victoria started singing nursery rhymes literally before she learned to speak. She can recall wild parties with a live Banda or Mariachi band performing at her family’s home, immersing her in music. Moving to New York City, she formally pursued her dream of becoming a singer, cutting her first demo in between late nightclub gigs. Those songs eventually fell into the hands of tastemaker Pepe Garza. Victoria’s debut single “Ahora Soy Mala” hit airwaves and incited a flurry of requests.
As her stardom rose in Mexico, the States also started to take notice in a big way. In 2015, Victoria made her debut in the US by being on Billboard’s first Latin Artist to Watch article as the only female and the only artist in her genre. She ended the year being recognized in People En Espanol’s Hot List, again being one of only 2 female artists and the only one in Regional Mexican music.
In 2016, Victoria was nominated for Premios Juventud’s Producers Choice awards. That same year, her single “Vete Mucho,” which has the traditional sound of Mexican corridos but with Victoria’s twist, became a female empowerment anthem. Regarding this track Victoria has said,” It’s important for me to inspire and empower women. There is a generation of girls like me who are young, strong, independent, and need to be heard.”
2017 has been her most successful year to date with major television appearances, chart-topping songs, and international recognition. Mala’s most recent single, “Si Va A Doler Que Duela,” remained on the #1 position during four consecutive weeks in El Salvador, making her the first-ever female Mexican regional music singer to do so. The song also topped all six different musical charts in Guatemala; making it the first time an artist has achieved such impressive feat. In the US, her single was even included on Billboard’s Top 40. By the end of the year, Victoria was one of the celebrity participants on Univision’s popular dancing competition, ‘Mira Quien Baila,’ where she danced in support of Casa de Esperanza, a non-profit organization that provides shelter and services to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.
Not surprisingly, her talent has landed her important accolades from renowned publications. Victoria was named one of the “5 Mexican Millennials You Need to Hear” by Billboard. She also earned a nomination at the 2017 Premios Juventud for the “Mejor Fashionista” Award, thanks to her unique style. Victoria is currently working on her upcoming album to be released later this year. She has also been confirmed to open up for Romeo Santos’ Golden tour in select cities throughout the West Coast and Texas.