Entertainment

Record Labels Told Her No Because She Was ‘Too Latina’ So She Said Screw It And Created Her Own

LaLa Romero does it all. No, for real, she does. With every endeavor, LaLa takes it upon herself to build something, from the ground up.

This Chicana is an independent artist, soon-to-be founder of her own label, co-founder of her lifestyle brand Bella Doña, and a radio host for Apple’s Beats 1. But it didn’t come easy. When record labels told her there wasn’t a demographic for her music, she created a label herself. Streetwear brands weren’t catering to Latinas, so she and her business partner, Natalia Durazo, started one. “We weren’t in the forefront of the brands that existed, so we created our own,” she says.

mitú met up with LaLa for lunch at Escuela Taqueria in Los Angeles to see what the life of a real life boss looks like.

6:45 a.m. Daily


I’m forced out of bed by my bulldog, Biggie. He scratches at the side of my bed until I open my eyes and tell him good morning.

7:00 a.m.

?GOD BLESS?

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I do a guided meditation first thing in the a.m. Being quiet and still is really hard for me, so meditating is a serious challenge. Usually, I start off good then move into daydreaming about what I want to eat and completely lose focus. I try to do this daily before I open my emails or social media because once I’m in work mode there’s really no turning back. This guided [routine] is one I do off YouTube; it has you run an inventory of all the things you’re grateful for. I think this is an important way to start your day. All of the most successful, extremely busy [people] I know meditate. I’m hoping I get the hang of it soon and zen my vibe.

7:30 a.m.

She was a smart girl, until she fell in love. ??? #NewMusicComingSoon

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I journal daily. I have this Inner Guide planner my mentor gave me as a gift that has changed my life. She is the busiest woman in the music biz, anything she advises me to do, I’m on it. I update this journal every morning; it helps me sort my heart and work for the day.

8:00 a.m.


I walk Biggie to Starbucks and check all my emails. I’m basically juggling three different sectors of my career and brand, so I have to stay really organized or else all hell breaks loose and shit starts falling through the cracks. I spend around 20 minutes each morning in emails for each category: Music stuff with my manager, Beats 1 business with my producers, and Bella Doña with my business partner Natalia – which always turns into gossip sessions, since we are best friends, basically sisters.

9:00 a.m.

?

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The gym is like my therapy. If I skip it, I’m grumpy all day. It sounds corny, but working out gives me a cool, natural high and keeps my anxiety issues at bay. I listen to my Beats 1 show talk breaks from the day before, then listen to Zane Lowe because his show is a roadmap for many things I’ll touch on during [the] request [segment]. I learn so much by listening to him broadcast.

10:30 a.m.

???

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I grab more coffee and walk home. I walk instead of drive because it gives me time to listen to music and vibe in the sunshine. Nature, blooming roses, the fall leaves scattered on the ground all make me feel. I currently have Mac Miller’s new album “The Divine Feminine” in heavy rotation. I mostly get a lot of creative inspiration from heartbreak, so I’m always intrigued when people are in love and write about it’s upside.

10:40 a.m.


I check in and call our Bella Doña assistants. I break down daily objectives and put out any fires. We discuss customer service stuff, etc.

11:00 a.m.

Recent thrift find!! #22bucks

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I get ready for my day! I don’t do full hair and makeup daily, so I can then move pretty quick.

12:00–3:30 p.m.


I work on Bella Doña early afternoons. I try to go into our office three times a week and take meetings outside the other two days. Designing, photo shoots, styling–all concepts, Natalia and I handle it all except shipping. On Fridays, which is the only day I’m not on air for Beats 1, we do photo shoots.

The brand mimics our life, taste and sense of humor. It’s really hard to pass the baton and hire people to do any of these jobs because no one gets us like us. One of our goals with the brand was to create opportunities for women from the neighborhood. Our office manager Karmen was the president of my MySpace street team back in the day. She did so much for me I vowed to hire her one day when I could afford to. It’s been dope to hire from within our community. Models, photographers, everyone we work with is from our community, and I’m really proud of this.

Our office is filled with music and tacos. It’s a super fun creative environment where everyone is fighting over the aux cord to put each other up on new music or some shit we think the other has never heard. Music is the catalyst of why I started the brand. Bella Doña, all of it, was inspired by my struggles as an indie artist and me trying to find other creative ways to push my music and message.

Basically ???

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We have a taco stand on the corner up from our office. We reward ourselves with tacos when we finish our to-do list every day!

3:30 p.m.

✨BEATS1✨

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I head to Beats 1. If I’m busy with Bella Doña or my music stuff, I Uber so I can continue to work.
I get an oatmeal peanut soy smoothie every day [around this time] when I get to the studio! I’m a creature of habit. This smoothie is like a sweet reminder I’m halfway through my day!

4:00 p.m.


I start my show prep, run through new music and my show with my producers. It’s like dress rehearsal because my show is live!

5:00 p.m.


From 5–7 p.m., I’m strictly in BEATS 1 mode. I’m checking out new music, playing requests and talking to listeners. For those two hours, I force myself to not to even look at my texts or emails. I like to stay in the music and in the moment; the rest of my life gets put on hold for those two hours. I get so hype to crack the mic every day that if I think about it too much, I get nervous. I’m broadcasting to the entire world, and I’m among people like Ebro Darden and Elton John on any given Monday.

I’m extremely passionate about Beats 1 because of the platform it offers artists, especially indie artists. I’ve been indie my whole career. I know the struggles personally. I was tired of the music business telling me there wasn’t a market for my music. They weren’t understanding that this is viable. There’s no one speaking for this demographic of people, where are the people telling our stories. We exist. Our stories are important.

7:00 p.m.

Spent the day in studio with this beauty!! @reverielove X @kinglilg X me coming soon! ???????

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Once I wrap my show, I switch gears and start working on my music. Today, I was dealing with logos for my new record label. I have a bunch of deadlines to meet for my mixtape and for my next two music videos, which I’m finishing up now.

8:00 p.m.

Love hard 365 ❣

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I order delivery for dinner so I can work on my mixtape release. Currently, I’m working on video treatments, and locking in locations and styling. As an indie artist, it’s like five times the amount of work when I shoot a video. But I’m a total control freak, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love planning and shooting videos. It’s so much fun bringing my songs to life!

12:00 a.m.


I read a little bit before bed. I’m obsessed with memoirs and biographies. Right now I’m reading Kim Gordon’s “Girl In A Band” and Angie Martinez’s “My Voice.” These two books just happen to be about women who kicked down doors and lit the way for so many in the music business. It’s a pretty cool note to fall asleep on!

1:30 a.m.



I walk Biggie and time for bed!

Photos courtesy of @lalaromero‘s Instagram


READ: Meet Lora Arellano, the Latina Makeup Artist Rihanna Swears By

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Cardi B Stands Behind Bernie Sanders Because Of His Desire To Fight For All People And Their Rights

Entertainment

Cardi B Stands Behind Bernie Sanders Because Of His Desire To Fight For All People And Their Rights

iamcardib / Instagram

Cardi B refuses to be boxed into any archetype. The Afro-Dominican rapper has used her platform in the past to talk about the injustices of America’s healthcare system. This Monday, she effectively put her weight behind Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders by telling her 6.7 million Twitter followers that she feels “really sad” about “how we let him down in 2016.”

Claro, Cardi B’s endorsement of the progressive Democratic socialist candidate has ignited a firestorm of responses from fans and haters alike. 

In a single tweet, Cardi acknowledged the authenticity of Bernie’s platform–which has remained consistent throughout decades of politics.

Credit: @iamcardib / Twitter

Often, voters feel isolated from politics because political speech is too pedantic to resonate with. Cardi was speaking from the heart of America when she said that Bernie’s issues are not a “front” for a campaign to win. She believes Bernie’s passion to creating a safer America for all is genuine.

Bernie Sanders narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Instagram

It’s no secret that, after Trump won, the Democratic party experienced a deep disillusionment over party ideals. Bernie brought a much more progressive stance than establishment Democrats, advocating for free healthcare as an American right, free college tuition and equality for all. The Senator thanked her in a tweet that read, “Thank you @iamcardib! Our fight for justice is far from over and we are not giving up.” 

The conversation continued after a critic pointed out that Cardi has once complained about high taxes.

Credit: @itixmix / Twitter

The Twitter user seemed to think that Cardi’s disdain for high taxes would be in direct conflict with Bernie Sanders’s outspoken platform to raise taxes on the rich to effectively redistribute to the masses in the form of free healthcare and education. He was wrong.

His didn’t get away with going up against Cardi and Bernie without a good dog walk from Latinas in charge.

Credit: @JulieSmithM / Twitter

It’s the name of the game–perception is a reality in politics. The perks of being a civilian are being able to say things like “que chinguen a su madre” to anyone who twists your words. 

Cardi clapped back by saying that she’s here for high taxes, but only if she can see her dollar effect positive change.

Credit: @iamcardib / Twitter

With a large chunk of our taxes going to the military, subsidizing the dying dairy and meat industries, and a clear lack of funds directed towards the humanitarian crisis on the border, Cardi wants someone in power who will improve the quality of life for as many Americans as possible. She wants to see what she’s paying for.

Of course, the sexism and racism came out to play in the comment threads.

Credit: @iamblakemarie / Twitter

This user claimed that “hood rats” are implicitly lacking the “mentality” to have political opinions. “I wish some people would stay in their lane,” is tantamount to someone like Trump telling The Squad to “go back” to “where they came from.” It implies that you’re born into the limits on your own agency, and it’s toxic thinking.

The Bardi Gang came through to defend Cardi’s right to use her political voice.

Credit: @Genadievna_ / Twitter

Cardi B is an Afro-Latina woman who worked her way to fame by stripping at the club across from her high school. Her work has invited criticism from conservative pundits, claiming her body and sex-positive messaging is anti-feminist. As a black woman taking up space in the world, everything she does is overanalyzed.

 They also offered her support amidst all the “hate.”

Credit: @TwinklingTania / Twitter

Other politically invested folks came through with comments like “Girl read about ELIZABETH WARREN,” and “Kamala2020 get down read up on her.” Sprinkled throughout were messages of support for Bernie, happy that 6.7 million followers could #FeelTheBern thanks to Cardi.

Cardi might be a celebrity, but she’s also a constituent who wants to see her taxes put an end to bankruptcy by medical and student loan debt.

Credit: @iamcardib / Instagram

With 2020 around the corner, campaign season is in full swing again. As always, we are mitú and we want everyone to educate themselves about every candidate and get out the vote!

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

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