“When I was 16 years old I entered my school choir as a piano accompanier and ended up singing,” says Guatemalan-born musician Flaminia.
A few years later the talented artist, who wrote her first song when she was 5 years old, won an international singing competition in Mexico, which landed her a record deal in Miami.
However, it appears that writing, singing, producing and playing her own instruments aren’t enough; Flaminia also juggles being a doctor alongside her music career—something she admits hasn’t always been easy.
“I did have to stop my music while I was finishing med school, and then had to put med school on hold when I was in Miami. But I was able to promote the album this year because of a favorable work schedule, which allowed me to concentrate on music in the afternoons,” Flaminia explains.
After recording her first album in the U.S., Flaminia returned to Guatemala in 2006 and encountered various challenges. “I didn’t have a huge budget to hire studios and producers to do whatever I wanted, so that set me back a lot—until I was able to do it on my own.”
In 2009 she collaborated with Guatemalan DJ Francis Davila on his debut album Shine, which propelled the duo onto the number one spot on local radio stations.
The singer-come-doctor, who lists Alanis Morissette and Nine Inch Nails among her musical inspirations, says she can’t imagine her life without music.
“It’s what I love doing and it helps me release what I’m feeling. I don’t write songs thinking about commercial success, I write them because I’m going through something, or I like a melody in my head and want to extend it. I think the music industry’s lost that. It’s all become about how you look and how much you undress, instead of actually transmitting something and being a musician.”
Flaminia, whose single Whisper was number one on the music station 94.9 FM last month, has no desire to give up her job as a doctor in Guatemala City. Instead, she eventually wants to set up an organization to aid public hospitals in her homeland.
Flaminia’s new single Wanted (Never again) is on sale now in music stores across the country.