Hispanic Heritage Month: 16-year-old Puerto Rican singer Mia Lailani from the Bronx
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're diving into the journey of an up-and-coming 16-year-old Bronx singer Mia Lailani and her music-making family.
Mia Lailani's dad and producer, Maximino, said they found their toddler singing Alicia Keys in her crib one night and knew she had a gift.
"She couldn't even talk but she could belt out a melody already at the age of two," he says.
"I make R&B music, kind of pop-ish music, funky music," Lailani says.
Lailani, now 16, released her debut album "Blink of an Eye" on July 2 in collaboration with her musical powerhouse Household. The self-proclaimed passionate old soul, a rising junior at La Guardia High School, loves to express herself from head to toe.
"Song writing in itself is like a skill. It's a big skill and she's really good at it. It's really cool to like be a part of her journey," Lailani's brother, Devan, explains.
She says many of her latest songs were inspired through how she felt during the pandemic.
"It was hard for a lot of people, for all of us. But in that was a source of light because I made the album and I wrote all these songs," she says.
She says she draws inspiration from artists ranging from Billie Eilish to the Beatles as well as her upbringing.
"We're Puerto Rican, we're Latino," Maximino says. "The kids got influenced by all types of music. We play Latin music. We play hip-hop. We're in the Bronx!"
As for the future, Lailani says she hopes to win a Grammy one day.
"Don't let anyone else influence your dreams or tell you can't do it because you definitely can," Lailani says.
Most importantly she wants to keep doing what she loves - making music.