Inspiring Young Latina: Dineen Laurel Lopez

Dineen Laurel Lopez, 20, who goes by Dineen Laurel, is a New York City native who produces her own music and is already working on her second album. We got the scoop from the student-songstress on balancing her studies, the inspiration for her music, and her dream collaboration (hint: he brought sexy back).

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

"I'm Puerto Rican and European. I was born and raised in 'Loisaida' where Salsa was created!"

What was your introduction to music? What artists did you grow up listening to?

"While growing up my grandfather, who is Puerto Rican, would always show me his band's doo-wop music and sing to everything. In kindergarten I asked him for a guitar which he purchased for me immediately. But then as I got older I really enjoyed listening to mostly NSYNC, Spice Girls, and Menudo; my mom and aunt actually used to dance for them (Menudo)."

How have you managed school and music?

"From time to time it gets a little hectic but I deal well with deadlines, pressure, and stress. I barely feel like stress exists since I take things as they come. I always remember to be positive, and always smile."

You're studying criminal justice in college — why not music? What do you hope to do for a career?

"I've always wanted to be a police officer and 'save the day.' Just as music runs in the family, being a part of the force does too."

What was the inspiration for the first album? What's the inspiration for the second?

"Many young teens would agree, we often experience an immense amount of 'deep' emotions. I was young and I fell in love; but then my heart was stomped on. Luckily, music helped me get through the great and rough times of love. I decided to make music, and made sure to make my music appeal to all audiences, because I believe 'Love is Love.' As for the second album that I'm currently working on, there will definitely be a change; my old album was written when I was 15. I'm 20 years old now and have a lot more to offer."

Do you want a career in music? 

"Any artist would love to have a career in what they enjoy doing most. If I could be a singing Sergeant... A singer and a Seargent for the New York Police Department... I would have definitely hit my success bell."

Do you compose all the music for your albums yourself?

"I compose all the music for my albums. I have dreams sometimes of melodies, then I’ll try to wake up and record them on my phone, so I don’t forget. Once I wake up, I can go to my room and work on it. My room is a home music studio."

Who would you love to work with?

"Justin Timberlake, hands down."

When is the second album set to release?

"I'm planning on releasing it the summer of 2013 as a free gift to my fans. They've been very loyal to me."

What are the struggles you face in performing or recording?

"As shocking as it is, I'm a shy person and my own worst critic, so that can be a struggle when it comes to performing. You can even say I am a perfectionist, and I set high standards for myself that I always want to exceed. When it comes to recording, I want to make sure that things come out perfectly and close to how I envisioned it in my head. Sometimes, it can get frustrating when you have so many ideas in your head, and then try to mold it to fit your expectations; it can be a very long process."

Where can everyone hear your music?

"My first album 'Love is Love' is still available on iTunes. Also, many can visit my YouTube channel youtube.com/dineenlaurel to listen to my covers and get free downloads."

Do you know of an inspiring young Latina? Nominate them by sending an email to inspiringlatinas@latina.com!

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Samantha Leal, Senior Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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