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MARIANA VELLETTO / “BAD B*TCH” VIBES ONLY

November 23, 2020

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Mariana Velletto is a “Bad B*tch,” and she’s all about giving bad bitch vibes only. The Upstate New York native is here to bless the music industry with her inner and outer beauty, creating heartfelt ballads that will have music-lovers around the world vibing out and wanting more.

Being from the East Coast but now calling Los Angeles home, she states, “I’m boss-like, but I’m also living to learn and grow. I love to learn and grow. I’m out here trying to chase my dream.”

Growing up listening and heavily influenced by Beyonce and Rihanna, Mariana particularly favors the latter due to Rih’s Caribbean side. Being half-Jamaica, half-Italian herself, coining the term Ja-Talian, the singer-songwriter holds both a sweet and spicy side, which bleeds into her sound. Reels in a melting pot of influences and funneling them into her own lane of R&B inspired by real-life experiences, Mariana reminds the masses the importance of self-love and worth.

Most recently, she unleashed her debut EP titled 2020, inspired directly by the rollercoaster of this year. The 4-track project was paired with two standout billboards around the city of Angels, as Mariana continues to create meaningful music with an impact. Flaunt caught up with Mariana in downtown Los Angeles to discuss the turning point in her music career, favorite Beyonce song, life before the music, inspo behind “Bad Bitch,” the creative process writing 2020, the independent grind, love for fashion, and more!

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At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?

When I was 18. When I first came over here, so 2 to 3 years ago. That’s when I started taking it serious, actually my stepmom heard me singing in the bathroom. I used to be so shy, would never sing around anybody. But my stepmom heard me singing and she said “oh no, we’re about to figure something out with this.” [laughs] She’s the reason I started becoming open to doing it.

What were you singing?

I was singing Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable.

What’s your favorite Beyonce song?

“Me, Myself & I.” The meaning behind it, she’s literally saying I got myself at the end of the day. I relate to that a lot, I’ve always felt like that. No matter what I go through, whether it’s relationships or friendships, I prepare myself to look at it like “okay this is temporary.” Because somebody could do something to me or I could do something to them, it’s going to be cut. At the end, you’re left with yourself.

What were you doing before music?

Before music I was working 3 jobs in Utica, struggling in school. I didn’t even want to go to school, I was too money hungry. I wanted to work, work, work. I didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t have a set plan for myself.

I was bumping “Bad Bitch,” bring us back to when you recorded this one.

I really took a lot of thought into that song. I started writing it when I came at a turning point for myself, meaning I stopped caring what people have to say about me. I had self-love, I wanted to put it into a song for other people as a reminder. Women go through a lot of things where the standards are set very high, you’ve got boys coming in your life making you feel less than what you are. You could be the prettiest girl and they can make you feel like dirt. I wrote it as a reminder: feel good about yourself. You’re a bad bitch at the end of the day, no matter what. In order to be that, you have to feel that. You could be so pretty and not feel it. You have to feel it and have self-love.

I was bumping “Bad Bitch,” bring us back to when you recorded this one.

I really took a lot of thought into that song. I started writing it when I came to a turning point for myself, meaning I stopped caring what people have to say about me. I had self-love, I wanted to put it into a song for other people as a reminder. Women go through a lot of things where the standards are set very high, you’ve got boys coming in your life making you feel less than what you are. You could be the prettiest girl and they can make you feel like dirt. I wrote it as a reminder: feel good about yourself. You’re a bad bitch at the end of the day, no matter what. In order to be that, you have to feel that. You could be so pretty and not feel it. You have to feel it and have self-love.

New EP 2020, how are you feeling?

I’m really excited for it, I’ve been getting really good feedback. It’s my first real project. All the songs included in the EP are all my personal favorites. Each song’s a different character of my personality, a different piece of my personality. I’m really happy to have that out.

The project has 4 songs, which reflects your personality?

“Dangerous”, for sure. I wrote that completely based on my personal feelings and personal experience. “Hold Me Down” can define me too, because I’m a very solid person. When I am put in a situation, I’m going to hold whoever I care for down.

Talk about your creative process. Do you record in a studio?

It depends. When I record in the studio, I have to automatically catch a vibe off of the beat. I mainly write when I’m in the car, driving. I’ll be in the car, driving, I’ll think of something random then start writing off of it. Honestly all my songs I wrote on my EP, I wrote on the way to the studio. While I’m driving because I think of something in my head, and I start singing it out loud. I keep repeating it until I’m at the studio. I walk in like “alright, this is what I got. Let me get a beat for it.” They actually make the beat based on what I already bring in.

Where do you usually record at? 

I was recording at NightBird Studios when it was open. Ever since Coronavirus, I’ve been recording at my friend’s studio in his house.

One thing you want fans to get from the EP?

Be in your bag constantly, that’s how I feel. Be in your bag, boss up, let people know who you are. I want them to understand all my songs are true feelings, I try to relate to them all the time. I want my fans to know: what I’m saying is I’m trying to relate to you. Don’t even have you relate to me, I’m trying to relate to you because it’s not always necessarily personal.

How’s the independent grind?

I mean, I’m trying. [laughs] I’ve been really focused. I have a solid team around me that helps me stay focused. They don’t let me involve myself in things that can mess me up. Because being a female artist, especially new, is very hard. You have people coming at you in different ways for the wrong intentions. I’ve been doing a good job on that where I separate myself from it and I stay in my one lane. That’s what you have to do as a female. You have to block that out and wait until after. If you want to involve yourself in that type of lifestyle and have fun, wait till after. Because if you do it right now, you’re going to get messed up.

Do what exactly?

Involve yourself with men or other artists. People try to come at you all different ways. If you ever have to go to a studio session with producers, make sure you’re pulling up a certain way. Because you are a female at the end of the day.

Do you have a love for fashion as well? 

I do. All my inspiration comes from Rihanna. I tend to look at a lot of things that Rihanna popped out in, then come up with my own thing to spice it up. It’s mainly Rihanna. I love how Kim Kardashian dresses, I use inspiration like that. I pull from my creative side, what I want to do with it.

What about visuals?

I’m working on a music video for one of the songs on the EP, “Hold Him Down,” coming out soon. It’s going to be really fire. That’s going to be my first professional video, can’t wait to share with everybody. Which is important because it’s one thing to hear somebody, but you’ve got to be able to put the face to it and actually feel them. I’m excited.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?

Honestly, I’d be trying to do real estate. Eventually when I get to a point where I can and not take any losses, I’m going to branch off into making sure I invest in some type of [real estate]. That’s how my mind works, I want to have a lot of things and incoming money.

How does your family feel? Are they back home in New York?

My Italian family [is back home in New York], I’m around my Jamaican side. My mom, she’s very happy for me. She’s all about morals and traditions so some things I might do, she doesn’t fully agree with. My family always gives me support, but they’re going to let me know. “Why are you doing this?” or “why are you dressing like that?” “Why are you shaking some ass on Instagram?” They support me fully, but I still deal with them treating me like I’m their little young daughter. I have their full support though.

What’s a normal day in the life?

For me, my schedule’s always very busy. It randomly becomes so busy. I always wake up, work out, eat breakfast. Whatever I have planned for the day, whatever my manager has planned for me, I get to it. End of the day, go home, that’s it. Go to bed early. [laughs] I go to sleep at 10pm, I wake up at 6:30am, 7am.

What does the workout entail?

It’s mainly ab workouts, legs, butt workouts, some type of cardio. I workout every day but some days I’ll do yoga instead, so I’m not doing too much every single day. Running for me, I can’t do it. [laughs] I cannot run, especially when it’s cold.

It’s freezing. Does this weather phase you at all?

It does, weirdly. I’ve been out here for almost 3 years, [so I’m used to the warm].

Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?

I really want to keep getting better at writing. That’s one thing I want to work on and focus on, is my writing. I want to have collabs. I want to come out with an album. My main goal is I want to have an album where every song goes Platinum. Not a lot of people do it, but Cardi B has an all-Platinum album. That’s a goal for me, something I’m definitely setting for myself.

Are you working on the album right now?

I’m not really working on the album right now, mainly singles. I’ve been working with some really good producers, that’s something to look forward to. I’ve been working with a lot of producers.

I just worked with Jazze Pha, it was crazy good. That’s going to be something I release next, in the first quarter.

How did that happen?

It was through people. I knew someone who knew him. He heard my music, he heard my sound and told me to come to Atlanta to get in the studio. Soon as we went, automatically we caught a vibe.

Were there any other contenders for your artist name?

It’s my real name, it fits. I’ve always loved my last name. I can see myself branding myself with certain things. When it comes to me wanting to start a clothing line, perfume line, I like that.

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