Maluca: Artists To Watch 2011


Genre: Latin

Last summer, New York native Maluca released her first mixtape-called "China Food," it leaned toward tropical-punk and functioned as an ode to the Dominican-Chinese restaurants of her Lower East Side neighborhood. Since then, Maluca has toured with U.K. artist Robyn and released her first single, "El Tigeraso" (Mad Decent), a playful track about cat-calling in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. Maluca is working on a follow-up mixtape, as well as her first, still-untitled album, and so far she's worked with producers Junior Sanchez, Diplo and Scoop Deville. Maluca also appears in the latest BlackBerry Torch online campaign and is starting to get major-label offers. She hopes to sign a deal soon. "The crazy thing is that I live at my mom's house, so when I'm out in Norway and I'm the only Dominican there, I'm like, 'I'm really blessed,' " Maluca says. "But at the same time, I also feel like I work fucking hard too. I deserve a little something extra."

Best Bets 2011 Main next: Vincente Garcia