Musician and actress Jackie Cruz spoke to CHICA about her appearance on A Tiny Audience and her plans for a new album.

By Lena Hansen
February 27, 2020

Jackie Cruz is keeping herself extremely busy with new projects. The Dominican American star talked to People CHICA about being featured on HBO Latino’s new music series A Tiny Audience, premiering February 28. “People are going to finally see that music is who I am and they are going to get to know me through my music. It’s really special that HBO Latino heard something unique in my music and they wanted to share it with the world,” she says. “People are going to see me in a new light and understand all the struggles I’ve been through. I wrote my music through this struggle hoping I could change something so negative and turn it into positive.”

She is thrilled to share the stage on the show with artists like Juanes, Jesse & Joy, Sech, Mon Laferte, Natti Natasha, Sebastián Yatra, Piso 21, Natalia Jimenez, Cami, and Ally Brooke. “I love everyone. I’m super blessed and it’s so vulnerable to be on stage sharing my songs,” she adds about the series, which will combine intimate performances and unfiltered conversations with the artists.

The actress — famous for her role as Flaca on Orange Is the New Black — says that seeing the Netflix series come to an end was bittersweet. “It’s sad but beautiful because all of us have these incredible things that we want to do and discover. It coming to an end broke my heart. I can do 10 more years of OITNB, but it’s beautiful that we all get to spread our wings.”

Traveling last November to Thailand, where she spent a month filming the movie Tremors, coming soon to Netflix, recharged her. “I came back as a different woman. The ocean is probably saltier because I cried so much, but they were beautiful tears because I’m so grateful that the world is finally going to see my heart, which is music,” she says. “I went to the ocean and did an offering with flowers and a candle at night and I thanked God for everything he has blessed me with, and 2020 is my year. I do want a family and have someone special in my life. If it’s meant to be it will always be.”

She really wants to focus on her music now. “On March 12 I’m releasing my next single called ‘Be Bad,’ and I wrote and directed a little short in the first minute of my music video. The voice of God is played by Eugenio Derbez, so it’s really cool,” she reveals. “Women really don’t stay quiet, we don’t listen and lay down and do what we are told. That’s what the song is about, women empowerment. They want to turn us against one another but if we are together, we can take over.”

Her sound is eclectic, fun, and profound, just like she is. “I grew up listening to Elvis Costello, Billie Holiday, Tracy Chapman, and Fiona Apple, a lot of unique, different sounds. I love the blues, rock ‘n’ roll, from the Doors to the Smiths. Also, Whitney Houston was the reason I wanted to be a singer,” she says. “My music is composed of what I grew up listening to and my people of the Dominican Republic. I can’t leave mi español, my culture behind. … It’s a mixture of the world and that’s who I am.”

An album is in the works and she hopes to see it done by the end of 2020. As an actress, there’s also her recurring role in the NBC series Good Girls and the upcoming films Lansky (with Harvey Keitel and Minka Kelly) and A Nice Girl Like You (with Lucy Hale and Mindy Cohn). It really is Jackie’s year!