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Irene Diaz: From Trader Joe’s to Touring Musician

Irene Diaz lives a double life: by day she works at Trader Joe’s and at night she’s a singer-songwriter. You could call her a modern day torch singer – someone who sings canciones de amor con mucha emoción – à la Billie Holiday. Oh, and she’s got a fierce eyeliner game. Here’s how Diaz built a buzz beyond her hometown of Los Angeles:

While other kids watched cartoons, she taught herself to sing.

But, she hasn’t quit her day job — not yet.

My last day at work before the trip!!!! Leaving tomorrow morning to the Bay!!!! 🙂 #irenediaz #labohemiaproductions

A photo posted by Irene Diaz (@irenediazmusic) on

She’s paid her dues in the L.A. music scene.

She mixes business and pleasure.

She got NPR’s attention.

Her first album was paid for by crowdfunding.

#musicala #iloveyoumadly #irenediazmusic #ukulele

A photo posted by Carolyn Cardoza (@ukanttouchthis) on

Credit: Irene Diaz / YouTube 

She managed to stretch the funds from the Kickstarter campaign to include the filming of a video for her song “Crazy Love.” The video features Irene in a white slip pouring her heart out on the beach. It’s simple, straightforward and haunting.

Her release party proved that you can do it your way.

Credit: Don Pipa / YouTube

The official release party for the I Love You Madly EP was held at The Edison in downtown Los Angeles. But it wasn’t your average party for a bunch of suits. Guests included her backers, aka friends, family and people who believe in her talent. It was a labor of love and ganas from an independent artist.

She sold out — in a good way.

She rocked NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert with only her voice, a piano and a guitar.

She is steadily building her audience.

She’s only just begun …