EXCLUSIVE: Mayra Veronica Talks New Music, Cuban Heritage, and the USO

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In the past, you’ve worked with the USO. What was that like? 

We’re still working with them. I’ve done a total of 8 tours with them mostly with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The last one I did was the one where they captured Osama Bin Laden. 

Wow! That’s a crazy story! Can you tell us more about that? 

We were in Afghanistan, and then we went into Iraq. We usually go into the Iraqi palace, and we were there and I just remember feeling a little bit off. There was something going on, but I just couldn’t pinpoint what it was. We were doing our shows and performing for the troops, and when we got back, we found out the whole thing had just gone on! We had gone to Pakistan while we were there, and the whole thing had gone on while we were on tour! We actually got a medal for it. It was pretty crazy While we were there, we didn’t even have a clue. We realized when we got back.

What was your reaction when you heard that?

There is perspective aspect to me. I was feeling a little bit uneasy while I was on tour. It was very different from all our other tours, because there were more artists on the tour so there was more action. I subconsciously picked up on what was happening. It’s amazing to have been a part of something like that. I have been doing so many tours. I remember being on tour when the whole thing in Iraq ended, and performing for the troops.  They were all happy because everything was over, and they could come back home. That was the most amazing feeling ever. I’ve got a lot of history with them. To me that has been the best part of my career.

Have you done any other charity work?

Mostly USO, I do a lot stuff for the Wounded Warriors as well. I’m also starting a non-profit for children of domestic violence.  It’s in the very early stages. I can tell you what it’s going to focus on. I wanted to partake in domestic violence victims, and use my celebrity for that. I started finding that a lot of them focus on the physical aspects of what goes on, trying to find them shelter and food, but none of them focus on the emotional impact it has on the victims, mostly children. I have a psychology degree and I figured why not open up a non-profit that would focus on that. Were calling it the Wish Upon a Star Foundation.

So what comes next for you?

I think just a lot more of music. I’m focusing a lot on music.  We’ve also been working with some movie producers as well. So some movie stuff coming up, But mostly the music I’m composing a lot as well with BMG, I got signed with BMG. Trying to bring back that femininity for women through the Bettie Page brand.

 

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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Editorial Assistant

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Cristina earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to BrooklynNew York. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking...), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or baking her favorite sweets. You can follow her on Twitter at @c_arreola

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