Thursday, December 12, 2002
While attending Santa Clara University in 1995, 17-year-old Angelina Camarillo heard about an audition for a record contract at Upstairs Records. Needing some extra money to finance her schooling, she went. She didn''t know she''d become a star.
Actually, at first the chances seemed slim. Walking into a room full of girls in high heels and makeup, Angelina stood out, but not in the way one might have thought she would.
"I was wearing my college shirt and jeans and tennis shoes," she explains to www.saludos.com, where she is named as a role model for Latina youth. She and the other girls learned a song, "Release Me," which they then performed as the audition piece. Apparently something about Angelina''s down-to-earth style (or maybe just her stunning pipes) wowed the judges; within 17 days she''d signed a record deal and recorded the song, a Latin-tinged dance track that was quickly shipped off to the biggest radio station in the area. And a star was born.
Her incredible good luck continued as the song shot to number seven on the Billboard chart. "Everything happened so fast," she says. It would have been enough to make any teenager''s head spin, but Angelina somehow managed to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground. "Education is the most important thing in my life," she says.
Still, the music bug had clearly bitten her, and she struggled over the next few years to tour, record, and remain the 4.0 student she''d been before fame hit. While other people on her music tours would sleep, Angelina would study, getting by on three or four hours of rest a night before embracing the next day''s hectic schedule. She managed to maintain her GPA, record two full-length albums and get her bachelor''s degree in science (with honors), all while keeping her vision clear and her head high.
Now that she''s a graduate, she can focus all her energy on her music and where she wants to go with it. She just finished the video for her new single, "Runaway," from the album Love Ain''t Here No More, released in November. She''s moving forward in her life and with her music, and she''s taking the world of dance music with her.
Angelina performs after comedy (about 10:30pm) on Friday, Dec. 13 at Planet Gemini, 625 Cannery Row, Monterey. 373-1449.