August 10, 2018 | 10:24am
Latina artists such as Jahzel Dotel, Vikina, and MoMo are advancing music careers in their hometown of Miami by putting out new singles and trusting the process. These powerhouse women have known from an early age that music runs in their veins. Each artist has forged her own unique genre and continues to fight the stereotypes of women in music.
Jahzel Dotel, 29, was born in New Jersey to Dominican parents. Sultry and soulful best describe her. Her family moved her to Miami when she was young, and she never left. She's proud to be the progeny of a father who plays musical instruments and a mother who danced on Broadway. Jahzel describes her recent music as soulful alternative pop, but she started off in jazz. She finds inspiration from past toxic relationships and life experiences that she portrays in her work. As an up-and-coming Miami musician, she knows how important it is to support women on the same career path. She wants to dispel the misconception that women have to always be competitive with one another. “It makes it more light and fun as if we were a team,” Jahzel says. Her recent single, "Jitterbug," showcases her ukulele-playing and includes the lyric, “You give me the jitterbug.” Jahzel plans to release two more singles in upcoming months.
Victoria Cristina Lopez
Photo by Indigo Ize
Victoria Cristina López, 26, better known as Vikina, is from an Ecuadorian and Cuban family. She’s a Virgo like Beyoncé, which perfectly describes her work ethic. She realized early on that her singing was powerful and could move people emotionally. At 17, she began writing her own music and struggled to convince her parents she could be a singer. She knew if she could win over Mom and Dad, she could convince anyone else who came along for the ride. At times, she’s a one-woman show, producing and editing her own creative work. Vikina has gained attention from media outlets such as Uforia music. She even won IHeartRadio’s Tu Estrella music competition. As a woman in the music industry, she’s aware she faces struggles behind the scenes. That doesn’t stop her from wanting to showcase her power within. Vikina released her sixth digital-release single, “Give It to Me,” the story of a night out getting the guy she’s been eyeing at the club. It’s a flirty urban pop hit that should be playing from the moment the party starts.
Photo by Liz Grady
Monique Gonzalez, 24, better known as MoMo, is from a Cuban family. She started modeling at 5 years old, which led her to acting, and one day noticed she could sing. Some artists who inspire her musically are Gloria Estefan, Selena, and Jennifer Lopez. MoMo was cast as the lead woman in an Austin Mahone video and quickly gained attention from that fan base. She also collaborated with Pitbull on “El Perdon (How Can I)” and started building a following. MoMo is all about female empowerment. She would like to see more female collaborations in Latin music and let women know to lead with their talent. "Now it’s the wave of the women; it's our time to stand up and show this industry what they’ve been missing,” MoMo says. As a Miami artist, she wants to put her city back on the map. She recognizes there's a lot of talent in her hometown and that it’s better to make it here. MoMo describes her music as pop Latin urban with a Caribbean influence. Her recent cover, "Boo’d Up," gave her a chance to show a different take on the Ella Mai hit by switching the lyrics to Spanish. She’s currently working on her next single, “Tumba.”