NATIVE NEW YORKER MALUCA GETS DOWN WITH DIRTY, 1 ON 1

NATALIE YEPEZ, BETTER KNOWN AS MALUCA, IS THE DOMINICAN BEAUTY FROM NEW YORK, TAKING STAGES (AND NIGHTLIFE) BY STORM WITH HER WICKED BANJEE STYLE AND KICK ASS ATTITUDE. A CHANCE MEETING WITH DIPLO WHILE PERFORMING KARAOKE EVENTUALLY LED TO “EL TIGERASO,” A SPEEDY SLICE OF ELECTRONIC MERENGUE RELEASED AS MALUCA’S FIRST SINGLE.
DIRTY CHASED LA MALA MALUCA DOWN TO HEAR WHAT MAKES HER SO BAD!
TEXT Paul Bruno
PHOTOGRAPH (ABOVE), FROM MALUCA’S UPCOMING VIDEO ‘LOLA’ Aviva Klein
SYLING Jason “JJ” Farrer
HAIR Shawn Mount
MAKEUP Michael Anthony

 

 

DIRTY: I READ THAT YOU WERE BORN IN THE BRONX AND GREW UP IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — HOW DID THAT INFLUENCE WHO MALUCA (NATALIE YEPEZ) IS TODAY?

MALUCA: I grew up all over Manhattan, the NYC night life is what really inspires my work.

 

D: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?

M: Yes I’ve been out there many times and spent almost every summer out there, when I as growing up, with my grandmothers.

 

D: I READ THAT YOUR UNCLE GAVE YOU THE NICKNAME MALUCA, WHICH MEANS CRAZY IN PORTUGUESE — WERE YOU REALLY THAT BAD AS A KID?

M: Yes, I was really that bad. I still am!

 

D: WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?

M: I’m an Aquarius.

 

D: WAS MUSIC A PART OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE A KID?   WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS / FAMILY LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WERE GROWING UP?

M: Definitely. My family listened to lots of merengue, bachata, and salsa, old boleros and mambos, as well as disco, house music, freestyle, hip hop, R&B, new wave and rock & roll.

 

D: HOW HEAVILY IS YOUR TASTE IN MUSIC INFLUENCED BY YOUR DOMINICAN BACKGROUND?

M: I think what inspires my taste in music is NYC as a whole.  Living in the city I’ve been exposed to all sorts of sounds.

 

D: ARE YOU A BIG MERENGUE FAN?  BACHATA?

M: Yes, I am a big fan of merengue and bachata. Aventura and Oro Solido all the way!

 

D: WHEN DID YOU FIRST START MAKING MUSIC?

M: I started making music at a very young, about 4 years old.

 

D: PLEASE EXPLAIN FOR OUR ENGLISH SPEAKING READERS, WHAT DOES THE TITLE OF YOUR SONG ‘EL TIGERASO’ MEAN / REFER TO?

M: El Tigeraso is a bad boy’s swag. El Tigere is the bad boy!

 



 

D: WHO DIRECTED THE TIGERASO VIDEO?  WHO STYLED?  THE STYLING IS PRETTY OFF THE HOOK!

M:  LAZLO directed the video.  I partied up with my friend Paloma Perez. The styling was influenced by Las Chicas Del Can.  I’m very involved in everything from the directing, to styling and all the creative aspects when it comes to my projects.

 

D: HOW HAS IT BEEN PURSUING YOUR MUSIC CAREER FULL TIME?

M: It’s been an emotional and creative roller coaster, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

D: DO YOUR PARENTS SUPPORT YOUR INSPIRATIONS OR ARE THEY LIKE MINE, PRAYING THAT YOU WILL GET A GOOD FULL TIME JOB WITH HEALTH BENEFITS AND STOP DREAMING?

M: I think my parents now understand “the dream” and so they support me 100%.

 

D: WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING SHOT BY A—LIST PHOTOGRAPHERS TERRY RICHARDSON (A DIRTY FAVORITE) & INEZ LAMSWEERDE AND VINOODH MATADIN, AND BEING INTERVIEWED FOR A—LIST MAGS LIKE W  AND V?

M: Working with folks like Terry and Inez & Vinoodh has been AMAZING. You’d be surprised how down to earth these folks are, absolutely no egos and they really make you feel comfortable and fabulous!! I would definitely work with V and W again!!!

 

D: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ONLINE SHOW, THE “WEPASODE” SERIES.

M: The Wepasodes are a look into the surreal life of Maluca. They’re part documentary, part reality TV.  And they are directed by Bijoux Altamirano.

 

D: I LOVE THE FIRST EPISODE WHERE YOU TAKE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH YOU TO GET FOOD STAMPS — REALNESS IN THE DAYTIME!!  WHAT FUTURE WEPASODES DO YOU HAVE PLANNED?

M: Thank you!  I can’t tell you what the other Wepasodes are gonna give. You’re just gonna have to tune in!

 

D: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DOMINICAN DISH?

M: My favorite is mango with queso frito and salchichon.  And a tall glass of Morir Soñando!

 

D: DO YOU WATCH MUCH TELEVISION?  WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW?

M: I’m definitely a voyeur so I like I reality TV. Whats so funny is that it’s hardly based on reality… it’s def over produced and contrived.  But I’m really hooked on Top Chef.

 

D: WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY?

M: That’s a hard one to answer because everything inspires me.  It’s really based on my day to day.  When writing my song “HECTOR” I was in Sweden and I was inspired by Sailor Moon, Power Rangers and Captain Planet. My mix-tape was inspired by Chinese-Dominican food.  So I never know what will inspire me!

 

D: TELL US SOMETHING DIRTY IN SPANISH!

M: Sucio, Cochino y Asqueroso!

 

D: THANKS FOR GIVING US THIS INTERVIEW — DIRTY LOVES YOU, MALA!  WE KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE IT BIG!

M: THANK YOU GUYS!

 

Maluca — El Tigeraso

 

Maluca & Party Squad — Lola (Ging Dance)

 
 

MALUCAMALA.COM

 

 






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