'The Voice' Valerie Ponzio Slays J Balvin's Hit 'Mi Gente'; Talks Career, Plans For The Future [INTERVIEW]

From the first strum of a powerful anthem of the declaration to the softest whispers of tragic lullabies, Valerie Ponzio can’t help to make you laugh, dance and sing your way through heartbreak. Like a train running through a living room, Valerie powers through songs of loss, love and raising your glass to the hope of tomorrow. Out from the West Texas town of El Paso, the singer can be considered as a country Mexican outlaw.

Ponzio is a mixture of Adele with Chris StapletonJason Isbell, Shania Twain and Florida Georgia Line. With her painful yet powerful voice and guitar chops to boot, she's got a story to tell. Valerie was a recent four-chair turn on Season 12 of "The Voice," landing a spot on Blake Shelton's team. “Valerie is unique, you know she’s got a very earthy, very different quality about her sound," said Shelton. "I love that kind of American storyteller voice that she has,” he added. 

She rose to popularity channeling the iconic Dolly Parton and the unique Janis Joplin. Valerie has been keeping busy songwriting in Nashville with heavy hitters such as Justin Ebach who co-wrote the Country #1 hit “Can’t Sleep Without You” with Brett Young. Valerie also recently opened up for Brett in El Paso, TX. She hasn’t stopped after her participation in "The Voice" and she's still looking for opportunities. Latin Times spoke with Valerie about her career, plans for the future, and much more!

"My audience and my fans have been extremely accepting of my music," said Ponzio. "What I write and sing about is my life, growing up in a border town in Texas and loving country music and so many people Latinos or not can relate to that. What makes me really happy is when people tell me they feel a connection to my voice. There’s a lot I try to say in the way I sing. The things I’ve been through in life have majorly shaped how and what I sing and it brings me so much joy when people say they can hear all of those colors and tones in my voice. Music is a connection and when you can establish that with a fan and listener it’s such a rewarding gift."

Valerie loves taking risks and her cover of J Balvin's song "Mi Gente" is one of a kind. "I had way too much fun singing it. I’m still learning and getting better at speaking Spanish so taking on the challenge of turning the super fun/dancy Latin hit into a country/folk-pop version really helped me grow and actually feel more confident in my language learning journey," explained the singer.

"I’m continuosly trying to merge Latin elements into country music and I was really happy with how I was able to do that in this cover. Also, the words 'Mi Gente' which means 'My People' are very special words for me and inspire me as I bring my culture to the country music scene to Nashville."

Ponzio also said that she "would die of happiness" if she could do a "fun country/latin dance song with J.Balvin." "How cool would that be? she asked"But I would also absolutely love to sing a beautiful female strong duet with Natalia Lafourcade. I love her voice so much"

The Mexican singer took the opportunity to send a message to all the Latinos living in the United States. "Keep on telling your story. Walk in the confidence about what your beautiful place is in this country. I have been taking more chances on telling people about what my border town journey has been like and I’ve been so encouraged to see that people not only listen but they want to know more," she says. "It shows me that there’s is more love and support for diversity in our homeland than we think."

Watch her cover below.

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.