See how the Texas-born singer is turning pain into passion
Singer and songwriter Mikaella can remember the exact moment when she fell in love with music. “I was eight years old and visiting my grandma in El Paso, Texas,” she says. “She and my mom came home from the supermarket and told me they got me a surprise.” A piece of candy would have made Mikaella’s day, as her mom was a single parent who worked three jobs to support Mika and her two sisters.
But this surprise would be sweeter than any kind of candy: Mikaella’s mom handed her the soundtrack to Selena, the 1997 movie based on the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla-Perez. “It was the first and only album I owned,” she says. “I fell in love! I would dress up as her and do performances for my friends and family every day. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a singer.”
Two years later, Mikaella scored the lead role in her school play, but was devastated when her voice cracked during a solo. “A girl in the audience yelled, ‘You suck,’ and I cried and never had the courage to sing in front of people again.”
That all changed when Mikaella’s mom passed away suddenly, and she began writing poetry to help cope with her grief. “One poem, ‘Give it a Try,’ was inspired by the different things my mom used to say to encourage me,” she shares. “That became the first song I ever recorded and released.” And while it may have been her first time in a recording studio, it certainly wasn’t four-time Grammy Award winner and 1500 or Nothin’ CEO, Larrance Dopson’s! “I still doubted my abilities, but he made me believe in myself again,” she says about working with the legendary producer.
The pair, joined by Ryan Stockbridge, just reunited for Mikaella’s new single, “Me Encanta,” which translates to “I Love.” The song explores the feeling of being in love for the first time, which Mikaella compares to a rose.
The “Me Encanta” music video, directed by Conor Stalvey, shows a mural being painted in the background, revealing a beautiful rose when complete. It’s the same rose Mikaella has tattooed on her wrist, which was inspired by the gold rose necklace her mom always wore. “Being in love is beautiful, but love has thorns,” she says. “And just as a rose needs both rain and sunshine to grow, we need pain and love to grow. No matter how heartbreaking life my be, the song encourages love so that you can allow light into your life. Through light and love, we are healed.”
Watch the “Me Encanta” music video below!