Maluca

Top, HELLO ELIZA. Underpants, FRUIT OF THE LOOM. Coat, STYLIST OWN. Beanie, STYLIST OWN.

photographer/ JASON RODGERS

story /GINA TRON

makeup / Valissa Yoe using FACE Stockholm makeup

hair / CHARLEY BROWN @ Next Artists
(using Oribe)

stylist / Valissa Yoe

assistant stylist / REY PEÑA

style editor / Cristina Leiva

Bad Girl. What singer isn’t these days? What with 14 year olds blasting Rhianna’s beloved melody about sadomasochism and whatnot. But what singer is named “Bad Girl.” Maluca, meaning “bad girl”, is a nickname given to the spicy singer as a child. “”I’m not as mischievous as I used to be. But I got a bad girl side of me. I like a little trouble now and then.” Inspired by the likes of  freestyle and early nineties tunes Maluca offers a vibrant sound that is a mixture of all genres from tamba to techno.

The Dominican talent has an appropriately wild style, and credits Aaliyah, Selena (not Gomez), Bjork, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez for some of it. “TLC is everything,” she told me. “[Lisa Lopez] had this group called Blaque. They were definitely another source of fashion inspiration for sure.” She claimed she was going through a revamping phase right now and has been enjoying the style of Luar Zepol. Her most recent favorite item is a pair of Silver Forfex/ Opening Ceremony callabo pumps.”

While researching Miss Maluca, I spotted many articles that credited Diplo with curing her once debilitating stage fright. “He [Diplo] didn’t really play a role getting over my stage fright. that was all me,” She explained to me. “Its kind of like playing the game telephone. One journalist says [one thing.] Another rewrites it in their own words.” And now I’m writing it in my own words.

And speaking of the game of telephone, Maluca received a bit of attention when Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s Telephone video came out in 2010. Gaga was sporting soda bottles in her hair for the video, a look that Maluca had rocked prior. A lot of media outlets claimed the Dominican singer was fuming because she felt Gaga copped her style.  “I didn’t say that,” claims Maluca. “People said that. I’ve never said that… I’m not the first one who did it [the hairstyle.] Did she copy me? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m the kind of artist that does things for herself.. If people are copying me I don’t worry because i have many more amazing ideas.” She also claims that she doesn’t read her own youtube comments, steering clear of the digital trolls.

She told me that she currently working on some new music that she can’t elaborate on. “The music i’m working on is so new I don’t even know what to call it. She told me she just did a drum and bass like song with Bangladesh, a producer known for his work with LiL Wayne and Rihanna. She also performs in PR every year where she claims people are “very responsive” to her music. Though, she states that “the reality is not everyone is gonna like you. I’m sure there are some people out there who probably don’t like what I do or don’t think its an appropriate reflection of the [Latino] culture, but they’ll come around.”

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