Who’s that Girl? Meet Sophia del Carmen

Half-Guatemalan, half–Costan Rican singer Sophia del Carmen has already worked with Pitbull and Akon and opened for duo Wisin y Yandel on tour. Her first single “No Te Quiero,” is featured on the Spanish-language soundtrack of the upcoming Disney film Step Up 3D (out August 6). If you don’t know who she is, you will soon!

Latina.com chatted it up with the Miami-based 22-year-old and here’s what she had to say:

How did you get started?
My mom tells me that I used to sing in church when I was little. She put me in singing, piano and acting classes. From there she’d try to book me in local shows. I’ve been trying since I was 11. At 15, I started writing my own music. A year ago I won a contest in Miami, an American Idol sort of thing. A few months ago Pitbull signed me [to his label, 305 Inc.].

How did the Pitbull connection happen?
He saw me the day that I won the competition. I’ve known him since I was 15. When I wrote this song, “No Te Quiero,” my manager sent it to Disney to see if they could place it in a movie. They wanted to feature [a well-known artist] and we sent it to Pitbull. Pitbull said yes. He’s idolized here in my Miami. And now he’s my mentor, my padrino.

Who are your musical influences?
Of course, Selena. A lot of Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Maná. When I was younger, my parents listened to Juan Gabriel. I grew up listening to ranchera music. I take all the drama from that style of music and use in my songs.

What was the inspiration for your first single, “No Te Quiero”?
My little sister was breaking up with her boyfriend and I took her anger and created this song. It was meant as a story to get her past it, give her strength and let her know that she needed to wake up. My two sisters [ages 19 and 30] are drama queens so it’s a lot of what they go through. I’m more calm.

When can we expect an album?
I’m finishing it this year.

Here’s Sophia del Carmen and Pitbull in the video for “No Te Quiero”