Natalia Bolívar/ NYC
January 29, 2008 AT 04:00 PM EST

Looking natural and simple, Alejandra Alberti arrives to our offices. At only 23 years old, her maturity, along with her inner and outer beauty, stand out. When asked if her good looks have helped her career, she responds: “People have to overcome that stereotype that if you’re beautiful you can’t sing.” And she can sing. The “Quiero” artist won the award for best new artist at the last Latin GRAMMY Awards. Of the feat, Alberti explains that “everything is possible if you set your mind on what you want to achieve.”

The singer grew up in the United States, but stayed loyal to the Latino culture her Mexican mother and Cuban father raised her with. Her parents’ love story has its roots in music, when her father was a drummer in a band and her mother the vocalist, which is why Alberti isn’t ruling out the possibility of falling in love on stage. “Musicians always have a lot in common, but I’m still looking for my drummer,” she admits between laughs. But the singer, who’s also a marketing student and a sports fan, shouldn’t have too much trouble finding him, especially with such a promising career ahead of her.

She launched her first disc Alejandra Alberti in December 2006, but it wasn’t until the end of last year that she began to enjoy the fruits of her success. “I think that every artist who’s starting out experiences tough times, whether you’re with a huge record label or an independent one.” And now she’s asking music fans to be open to new talent. “People keep giving chances to established people, like the Shakiras or the Paulinas, and I think it’s time that they open the gates for those of us who are starting out.”

Click here to listen to “Dignidad de mujer”

Alberti’s music is a fusion of pop, rock and R&B. “I get the pop and rock from Mexico and the R&B from Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey.” Los Enanitos Verdes, Maná and Aleks Syntek are just some of the Mexican artists that have influenced her, and she reveals that she would love to collaborate with the Mexican group Camila. The songs on her self-titled album were all written by Alberti herself, and were based on family experiences. The song “Quiero” was dedicated to her aunt: “Her husband left her for another woman, and she would call me crying; she didn’t have anyone to support her. He left her with three small children. I think a lot of people can identify with that – who hasn’t had a bad relationship?” she explains.

“Dignidad de mujer” is one of Alberti’s 10 songs that can now be heard on the radio, and her music video is gaining popularity on MTVTres. “I composed this song for a friend that was having problems with a boy, when he was lying to her and promising her that he loved her, but it was all a farce. The idea was to write some advice for women, so that they know that a man can tell you a thousand lies, but you’re the one who decides,” she says with strength.

What’s next for Alberti? “This year I want to travel a lot and sing live, which is fascinating to me. Do a tour through the United States and Puerto Rico, put out the disc in Mexico and Latin America. Go little by little, because if you do too much at once you burn out. Then make a second album in the next five months.”

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