The Mexican American artist talks to CHICA about her new video and EP.
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Alaina Castillo
Alaina Castillo
| Credit: Chris Shelley

Alaina Castillo is only 19, but she's already got years of experience under her belt. The Houston-raised, Los Angeles–based artist started singing in a church choir as a kid, and her enjoyment only grew from there. On Tuesday, she released the video for "Un Niño," from her new Spanish EP Mensajes de Voz.

"It’s basically [about] the moment when you decide to let the past ruin your future relationships or if you want to forgive and learn to trust new people," she tells People CHICA of the song. "Everyone’s been through their own hard relationships — things that they have tried haven’t worked and people have lied to them, so maybe their trust issues are messed up. Just avoid the overthinking moment when you’re like, 'I’m not sure if I should trust again and risk being hurt. ... I don’t know what to do but as long as I am myself and I’m learning to trust, that’s all that matters.'"

Castillo started to release music on YouTube when she was in ninth grade. "I started making YouTube videos because I had to find a way to find what I wanted in life, which is singing," she says. "When it started working and paying off, I was still in college. After that first year, I decided to just build a music path."

The 19-year-old uses music as a way to express her feelings; she says her latest EPs are the deepest she's ever gone emotionally. "The Voicenotes is all the things I wish I didn't have to talk about," she explains. "You never want to accept that there are things and people upsetting you, but at the end of the day we are all human. The Voicenotes is me coming to terms with all my problems and everything I’m thinking about through the day to start the healing process."

In addition to The Voicenotes, Alaina also released Mensajes de Voz, her first Spanish EP, this year. "I’m still learning Spanish, but it’s something I wanted to do because it is a part of me, and although I cannot really speak it fluently, I do relate to it and I’m proud to have this culture on my side," she says. "When I’m talking about it musically, it adds a different beauty to it. There’s beauty to both languages, but being able to sing in Spanish so that more people can hear it and relate to it and help them was the goal behind it."

The Mexican American artist hopes to release her first full-length album soon and one day wants to work with artists like Rosalía and Daniel Caesar. "I would love to be able to keep creating different music that can help those who listen to it and make them happy, because music is for me the one thing that allows me to not stress out," she shares. "I want to be able to make a mark with music that means something."

Watch "Un Niño" below.