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Paula Deanda: Sweet Sixteen

Although just barely old enough to obtain a California Driver License, teenage songstress, and latest J Records’ acquisition, Paula Deanda, is well on her way to the BIG leagues. With her current chart-topper, ‘Doin Too Much,’ burning up the airwaves, which is just a small taste as to what can actually be expected from her eagerly awaited debut, Paula Deanda, the Lone Star State representative only further proves that the age-old adage, “Don’t Mess With Texas”, definitely still holds its’ weight.

Paula Deanda: Sweet Sixteen

"I would say I (first) became interested (in music) when I was in piano lessons at the age of six," Paula answers, when queried as to when she first became intrigued by song. Recalling, "My piano teacher basically told my parents, ‘You gotta hear this girl sing!!’ So, at first they were like, ‘Okay!?!?’ They never thought anything of it. I started getting into choirs, and singing in churches, and just anywhere and everywhere that I (could) get exposure at basically."

Paula Deanda, who lists Jo Dee Messina, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, and a host of other country, as well as several gospel acts, as her major musical influences, was born in San Antonio, by way of San Angelo, Texas. “(I live) in Corpus Christi (now). I moved there about four years ago,” She mentions.

It was after the Deanda family decided to relocate to Corpus, a known hub for new undiscovered talent, in order to further Paula’s career, that she would eventually meet her, now, manager, Ed Ocanas, of E.D.O. Entertainment. “I think once I started recording actual demo tapes, and people got back to (me positively on ‘em), that was when I really wanted to strive to get somewhere with it,” the 16 year old singer/songwriter confesses.

With the guidance of Mr. Ocanas, Paula would go on to write and record her first ‘official’ single, ‘What Would It Take,’ a regional hit, which helped garner her local notoriety, in addition to a chance opportunity to work with a well known Hip-Hop producer by the name of Happy Perez {Baby Bash, Frankie J, Chamillionaire & Juvenile}. “We came to New York, and I auditioned for (Chairman and CEO of BMG North America) Clive (Davis),” Paula says sort of nonchalantly, before beginning to explain the actual string of events that led to her recent inking to J Records. Adding, “It was, basically, my manager knew somebody that knew him [Clive]. (That) got us into the offices of an A&R guy, which is (Senior VP) Steve Ferrera, who I auditioned for before I went to Clive. And, I sang for him about 10 o’clock (in the morning). It was really early (for an industry executive), and he just, basically, said, ‘You know, I see you have the total package, and hopefully you can sing for Clive later on if he’s around.’ So, he presented (me to) Clive saying what I did, how early I came in, and just how much, (and) how (well), I could sing live. I came back later on that day, they called (me back in), and I auditioned for him [Clive], and eight or nine other A&R guys, so that was really cool. I wasn’t nervous at all (either) — I was just more excited. And, I knew I only had (this) one (big) chance.”

Paula’s follow-up single, and video, ‘Doin’ Too Much,’ featuring Baby Bash, taken from her soon-to-be released J Records’ self titled debut, is already a mainstay on radio and video outlets nationwide. “I think my style is really Urban-ish,” She describes, trying to come up with an accurate definition for her music. “I don’t sound Mexican on my songs, so it’s funny that I’m Mexican and I sound kind of Urban-ish.” Paula claims her absolute favorite track on the album is the Stargate {Ne-Yo, Rihanna Lionel Richie} contribution, and, potential, future classic, ‘So Cold.’

On other future goals or aspirations, Paula foresees, “I would love to…Actually, my dad, he’s a very good cook, and he’s always wanted to open up a restaurant (but) we never had the funds to do that with. So, that’d be really cool to have that. And, it’s also gonna be named, probably, Dacia, which is my middle name. So, that’d be really cool, and it’s gonna be like different kinds of food, so that’s kinda cool, too.”

“I really want to pursue acting as well, ‘cause I’ve always been a drama queen,” Paula giggles, before further relaying. “Since I was little, my mom’s (always been) like, ‘You can make yourself cry on the spot, and you can do this and that.’ So, that’s always been something I would (like) to look (more) into. I used to do pageant stuff, and I used to want an agent, and now (that) I have an agent myself, that’d really be cool looking into something for acting — As well as having my own clothing line, maybe.”

“My biggest career highlight (to date) would be actually seeing myself on MTV’s TRL [Total Request Live],” Paula gushes. “That was like a once in a lifetime thing for me. (To hear) them to talk about me like, ‘Muy caliente (which is Spanish for, very hot), Paula Deanda!!’ It was just so cool, ‘cause I grew up watching BET, watching MTV, and just to see myself on there was, like, the greatest feeling (to me).”

“As long as I continue to make great music, not only that, but to grow as a writer, and (to) grow as an artist myself, and just learn from all the people that I’ve been working with, that’s the key (to) making it last,” Ms. Deanda, a major shop-aholic, truly believes. “I really appreciate everybody that’s been supportive of me, and everybody that will buy the record, and everybody that’s been voting on TRL for the video. Also, I am a down to earth person. I’m not better than anybody out there — I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do. And, I’m actually getting the opportunity (now) to work with awesome artists, and I never (will) take that for granted. (To me the most important things in my life are) being real with my friends, and being humble, staying the way I am, and (always) knowing where I come from.”