"If you fall down seven times, get up eight times," says the young Colombian talent who moved to Miami at 18 to make it in the entertainment industry

Por Natalia Bolívar [BR] Translated by Laura Kusnyer
Updated Noviembre 30, 2007
Cortesía Andres Cuervo

The sky was the limit for Andres Cuervo when he moved to Miami. He was never the popular kid growing up in Colombia, so when he moved to Miami at 18, he changed his lifestyle, starting going to the gym and stuck to a healthy diet. Cuervo, now 24, made such a drastic change that he ended becoming a model.

But his dreams went far beyond the fashion world. The Colombian model had his heart set on becoming a singer, and once his talent was discovered, he did just that. His rookie album is called Tras de ti, which he'll be promoting with shows in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Cuervo spoke exclusively to Peopleenespanol.com about his biggest challenges when he arrived in the United States as a teenager and his new album.

What was it like to leave Colombia and move to Miami?
I left after graduating from high school when I was barely 18. It was a total adventure because I went with hardly any money and, in truth, a bag full of dreams. I went with the innocent dream of sending demos to record companies, and there was no response. The first year was hard until I started modeling and met important people in the industry.

You had to deliver clothes to survive. What was that like?
It was really funny, because my savings ran out right away, so I started selling clothes, but I was naïve, and people never paid me. Those months were crucial for my personal growth because I vowed not to go back without following through with my dreams.

Tell us a story about when you arrived to the United States…
I stayed in a hotel when I got here using the little savings I had. I decided to buy a dog, so I had no money, and they had to throw me out of the hotel in South Beach, which is when I started to sell clothing. It was tough, but my motto is if you fall down seven times, get up eight times. I had no money because of the dog, but it was the best investment of all. When I get rich I have to make a movie about it all.

Tell us about your first album, “Tras de ti”…
Tras de ti is a personal and musical celebration, musical because it combines pop, dance, rock and electronic music. It's easy to dance to. It's the starting point of my personal goals. I want to try to say everything with this opportunity, not just talk about love, but also create a positive message through the music. The song “Empieza a caminar,” by Jorge Villamizar, talks about following your inner voice and getting on your feet to achieve your dreams.

How did you meet your songwriters, Rudy Pérez, Jorge Villamizar and David López?
I started to meet people at the fashion shows, and two and a half years ago I met Rudy Pérez, who was really interested in me and introduced me to other songwriters and producers who were working with him at the time. From there we made the decision to start working on the disc.

What musicians do you admire?
I really like Juanes, personally and professionally. I like how he has evolved musically. He's always doing something different, new, fresh, super urban, pop and commercial. I also really like Paulina Rubio. I met her at fashion week two years ago when I hadn't yet done anything, I told her I wanted to be a singer, and she wished me a lot of luck and told me to send her a copy if I made it. I would love to see her again to give her the CD and thank her for wishing me luck.