Miami's Youngest Pop Star Released a Pint-Sized Feminist Anthem

Beyoncé is still the reigning queen of musical female empowerment, but a new all-girl group is spreading a similar message to a younger demographic. L2M (Listening 2 Music), a five-member ensemble made up of trained young performers Mariangeli, McKenzie, Lexi, Tati, and Jenna. The mostly preteen pop group was signed to Warner Bros. Records earlier this year and has already debuted its first single, "Girlz," a track that was prominently featured in the Lego Friends movie Girlz 4 Life and has already racked up more than 500,000 views on YouTube.

"If we can do this, so can everybody out there."

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L2M is a diverse bunch, both in talent and background. Mariangeli, one of L2M's standout performers, hails from Miami. And the singer, who recently celebrated her 13th birthday, has already been performing for years. Her YouTube channel, part of a web series called HitStreak, which features cover songs and music videos with preteen performers, has views numbering in the millions. On her channel, Mariangeli has covered artists such as Adele and Katy Perry, but now she's set to make a name for herself with L2M.

New Times: How would you describe L2M?

Mariangeli: L2M is all about girl empowerment and showing everyone that you can be yourself and be strong. We just love to inspire other girls and boys and really give back to fans and be there for everyone.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

We hope people are confident with themselves and they learn that just because some other people may not like how you look or how you act, it doesn't mean you have to change. And we also love to put out there that we're all normal, hometown girls. We are normal just like everybody else, and if we can do this, so can everybody out there. We love to encourage people to follow their dreams and to stick through it, because eventually you're going to get somewhere.

What do you love most about being in L2M?

There are a lot of things. I love that I get to experience filming music videos, going to award shows, and all of that cool stuff with my closest friends. It really would be much more difficult without them. We always support each other, and we're basically like sisters, so I love them a lot.

You've had the chance to travel to Los Angeles and New York with the group. What's the first thing that helps you feel back at home when you return?

Definitely going to my studio. I go to a performing arts studio in Davie called Broadway Kids Studio, and all of my friends are there. They're basically like my second family. They are the one thing that keeps me going all the time. I definitely love them, and I know that my family loves them too. So when I get there and I get all the hugs and the smiles, it's just so refreshing and I know people love what I'm doing.

Is there anything you'd like to say to your supporters?

It's crazy, the fact that there are so many supportive people out there in the world and that there are so many good things out there. I am just so grateful that everybody loves what we're doing. All of us really do love our fans, and we love to contact all of them and stuff like that. We're so grateful for all of the support and kindness that people have given us. We just hope we can return that favor.

What do you hope is in L2M's future?

We all want to go on tour eventually, whether it's opening for another artist or going on our own tour, because that's something that's your own little experience and we'd all love to do that together. We love experiencing everything together, so whether we're still doing stuff in the recording studio or out on a stage, as long as we're together, it's all the best thing ever.

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Junette Reyes is a Miami native multimedia journalist with previous writing credits at FIU Student Media, South Florida Music Obsessed, and WLRN. She generally prefers chilling with cats over humans and avoids direct sunlight to maintain her ghastly appearance.