EXCLUSIVE: Erica Mena Talks 'Love & Hip Hop,' Jennifer Lopez and More!

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What have you learned from all of this?

I’ve learned more than ever not to care what people think. I’m crazy, but there’s still a lot about me people don’t know. People just pass judgment automatically, so I’ve learned not to care. I never really did care, but at some points you know you take it into consideration certain things. But now, I’m not fazed by much. When you’re in the public eye, you get harsh criticism.

What would you say the public may not be getting from you, they may see you as this crazy person who's always ready to fight, but what do you want them to know about you?

I’m calmer than what you get to see. I’m a lot more sentimental than what you get to see; I have my little soft spots.

How have you been adjusting to the new cast members?

I’m intrigued by their stories. How you guys are watching, I’m watching too. But otherwise, so far so good, besides some people that I have clashed with.

So what’s going on with your music, what can we expect?

We got a single dropping in a few weeks. It’s upbeat and a universal record; it’s going to go all over. I’m real excited about it because I’m going to show you things you guys probably never knew I knew how to do. And just the overall packaging, we’re going to shell out to the world. I think it’s pretty exciting for me and it’s about time.

Where have you been drawing inspiration?

A little bit of everything. I’ve been out of the country a lot doing certain projects and just being around different cultures and seeing how good we have it here. Where I’ve come from, where I want to go, and where I’ve been have also been a source of inspiration. Everything is right now just coming together and finally making sense. Even the crazy stuff, where I’m like "what the hell was I thinking," because you know I’ve had plenty of those moments.

You’re a mom, so how are you balancing everything?

Prioritizing. I got to keep him and what matters with him first, and then everything else falls into place. It’s hard, travelling I’m a single mom and stuff like that. There’s times where I have to sacrifice, like going trick or treating over working. But at the same time, because I work so hard, I get to make up for it when I can. It’s a catch 22 but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

Priscilla Rodriguez is Latina.com’s Associate Editor. She provides coverage on nearly every topic with a focus on celebrity entertainment. Before hitting the pavement at Latina, Priscilla worked for various outlets including Teen.com, InStyle and Us Weekly. You can follow her on Twitter @priscilrodrig.

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