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Q&A: María Becerra, from YouTuber to the Latin Grammys

NEW YORK,-- Maria Becerra, an Argentine singer, was a YouTuber whose hilarious videos of her bathing her cat and shaving her face with foam generated millions of hits. She was passionate about music and not comedy. Now she is up for the Latin Grammy for best emerging artist.

She recalls her teenage years of making her own videos and says, "I was such an actor." "And I was always that way, inventing plays and scripts in my mind that I wanted the whole world to see. Everything related to art was something I was involved with. I enjoyed theater, but I also was very involved in managing my own time. When I was doing my work, I enjoyed being independent.

As an emerging Latin-urban singer, that's what stuck. Becerra doesn't have a label or distribution. Nevertheless, she has been in Argentina's Spotify Top 10 for the past few months with collaborations such as "Wow Wow" and Rusherking with Becky G, and "Antes de Ti", with Ricky with Rusherking. She also appeared in "Mal Acostumbrao", with Mau and Ricky, and the international hit "Que Mas Pues?" featuring J Balvin.

She is a singer-songwriter and reggaeton artist, but she has also done bachata and R&B. In 2019, she released "222", and two years later, she released "Animal, Part 1". This was followed by "Animal" her first full-length album. Her first No. 1 was also her first No. 1. On Argentina's Hot 100.

"It would have been a great accomplishment for me if my career could continue like this," says the 21-year old artist. She started her career at age 12 when she posted her first Facebook video (a 5-minute parody monologue) that was viewed more than a million times in a matter of hours. "I am aware that it can be very difficult to cover all expenses. The videos, everything, are my expense. ... My goal is to own my own record label. It would be amazing.

Becerra will compete with Giulia Be and Boza for Latin Grammy. She says that she would love to meet Rosalia and Karol G, as well as Natti Natasha, at the awards ceremony in Las Vegas on November 18.

She spoke out about her first steps in music, and a new wave of musicians hailing from Argentina. Argentina is best known for its tango and rock en Espanol. These remarks have been edited to be concise and clear.

RP: What was it like to go from YouTuber into a singer?

BECERRA: The transition occurred when I realized that making videos, which I enjoyed but was hard work, wasn't fulfilling me. I didn't want to do this all my life. At 17, I was able to say that I wanted to become a singer. I also thought that it was not something I wanted to do all my life.

RP: You're part of a group that includes Tiago PZK, Bizarrat and Nikki Nicole. What are your thoughts on this emerging movement in Argentina? It's not unusual to see reggaeton musicians from Puerto Rico or Colombia, but it seems that this movement is newer from Argentina.

BECERRA : It is. Cazzu's album "Maldades" was one of the first reggaeton artists in Argentina. There were many others, but they were more underground. Although J Balvin, Daddy Yankee and Farruko were pioneers in Puerto Rico, Colombia, and elsewhere, we were still just getting started because national rock was king. It's been a long journey, but I believe that things are easier now because of those who helped us, such as Cazzu, whom i admire greatly.

RP: J Balvin is a singer that you listened to growing up. Now you're a fan.

BECERRA: He is a legend. Eight years ago, I was dancing with my friends to one of his most well-known reggaetones. It's almost like "J Balvin", don't you think? It's a wonderful example of hard work, perseverance, and achievement to have a song written with him today.

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