The reggaeton artist joins the new season of ‘Billboard and Samsung Present NXT 2.0.’
By Jessica Roiz
Mariah Angeliq’s unapologetic lyrics and fierce personality have positioned her as one of Latin music’s most important female urban acts. But the Miami-based artist has come a long way since the release of her debut single “Blah” in 2018.
“I feel that I’ve grown spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and I’ve overcome so many obstacles not only in my career but as a person,” she tells Billboard. “I know more now of what I want in life than I ever did before, and I’m just ready to take over the world.”
Throughout her blossoming career, the half-Cuban, half-Puerto Rican artist has already charted on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart with Karol G’s “El Makinon,” Anuel AA’s “Bandido,” and her 2019 single “Perreito,” which ultimately put her on the map.
It’s also “simply one of my favorite songs to perform live,” she notes ahead of her En Vivo performance during the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Week, where she will also form part of the Women on the Rise panel alongside Tini, Tokischa, Lili Zetina, and Emilia.
“It feels like I’m at home every time I’m part of Latin Music Week because everyone is so welcoming,” she continues. “It’s my third year attending the conference, doing what I love, and I’m just so blessed to be surrounded by my colleagues and talented artists that inspire me.”
Passing along that knowledge and expertise, Mariah has also joined the new season of Billboard and Samsung Present NXT 2.0, where she will champion the creative expression of artists while empowering Gen Z fans to listen, discover and bring the next great unsigned artist to the top of the charts.
Ahead of a grand finale performance in Los Angeles, the singer and two other celebrity judges will coach the three finalists with one-on-one mentorship sessions. It’ll all culminate with a final showdown, where the contenders will compete in front of a live audience and A-list judges for this season’s winning title. As one of the three celebrity mentors, Mariah aims to be transparent with her mentees.
“My approach as a mentor is going to be very blunt, very straightforward, very black and white because that’s what this industry is about,” she notes. “It’s very coldhearted, it’s challenging and I want people to know that. I want these aspiring artists to know what they’re getting themselves into. Are they ready for this? Are they willing to fight for what they want? Are they willing to stay focused and consistent? This industry is not as easy as it seems and I want them to know that.”
She knows the struggles and hustles, leaving home at the age of 16 to pursue her dreams in music. Now, at 23, she’s signed to Universal Music Latin Entertainment and has collaborated with artists such as Jhayco, Sech, Sebastian Yatra, Guaynaa, Maria Becerra, Lele Pons, Nengo Flow, and many more.
“In addition to the discipline and the confidence, the competing artists need to have the ‘full package.’ For me, this means, stage presence, ambition, and the fire!” she shares.
And when it comes to sharing business advice, she’s a faithful believer in cultivating your own brand and being surrounded by trustworthy people.
“Open your own company, your own LLC. Read your contracts. If you don’t know how to read your contracts, find someone you trust or a lawyer,” she elaborates. “People in this industry are going to want a piece of you. Some will treat you as a product, as a piece of money, so it’s important to find a team who’s going to back you up no matter what. You need to find people you can trust.”
Coming up, the singer will drop her collaboration with rising Puerto Rican rapper YOVNGCHIMI, whom she discovered on social media. She also hopes to release her debut studio album.
“Everyone knows I ran away at 16 without knowing what my future holds,” she recalls. “But I made friends at a music studio and sat there every single day to learn. I met people who believed in my talent and began connecting me with other artists and producers. I feel that I not only looked for my own opportunities but also earned them.”