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Entertainer at 10: Francesca Ramirez

I know this is supposed to be Model at 10 but Francesca Ramirez leans more towards an entertainer than model. Some quick background on Francesca. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico. At ten, she suffered a boating accident which ripped off 70% of her scalp. She spent months in the hospital and years to recover. At 13, she was discovered by a Sony Music exec while she was singing for her father’s band. She ended up turning down an offer for a record deal. When she was a teenager, she sneaked off to NYC to audition for P. Diddy’s Making the Band and made the show. Again, she turned down a Latin music contract. Years later, Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin offered her a lead singer position in “Pussycat Dolls Burlesque.” For three years, she performed with PCD in Hollywood sharing the stage with special guests like Carmen Electra, Eva Longoria and Mya.

Her story is actually kind of interesting and she seems pretty cool. I mean, except for the fact she ‘s never seen Short Circuit. C’mon, Francesca. Really?

How’d you end up learning both Portuguese and Spanish?
While going to Fashion school in Miami I used to hang out with Brazilian people and I was so obsessed with their language that I had to learn how to speak Portuguese.

When did you start learning English?
Well, I learned the basics In School. However, In Puerto Rico people don’t speak English on a regular basis. So, I wasn’t fluent until I moved to LA in 2009.

Since English is your second language, do you still get confused when people use references to older pop-culture? For example, “Dissassmble? No disassemble!”
What! haha I have no idea what that means. LOL. Next!

Did I read this right? A propeller ripped off 70% of your scalp when you were ten? What? How?
Yep. I spent about 9 years going through re-constructive surgery to recover my lost scalp / hair.

What was the recovery process like? Did you have to get grafts?
It was very painful and depressing. As a young kid it is never easy to deal with the bullying. I had a skin graft from my leg.

Did you start singing and dancing before or after the accident?
I started dancing when I was 3 years old. When I had the accident, I used to go to church so much I got very interested in the music. Singing was my escape from pain. My mom would hear me in my room everyday singing my heart out. She was so impressed that she told my dad, whom at the time managed and was part of a cover band, called “FlashBack”. Because of all my noticeable treatments I barely went out or had a social normal teen life. So, my dad had the brilliant idea of convincing me into becoming a character and lead singer in his band. I found a way to express myself on stage without being judged.

You started working out as a result of the accident?
No, I was always a very athletic girl. I played tennis and volleyball and was a pro-wake boarder (Of course all of it before the accident). Even after the accident I still managed to workout in some capacity. I’m not sure why I was so into working out as a kid / teenager and young adult?

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You must have been obsessed because you seem really fit? How often do you work out?
It’s weird because I usually eat a lot of candy and fattening foods. Hahaha. I just run a lot. I love running! It takes my mind away from all the negativity.

How does one sneak off to NYC to audition for P.Diddy’s “Making the Band?” Were you living in the states at the time?
No, I wasn’t residing in the states. I was in PR and I was just recovering from my 10th surgery. I heard about the audition and decide to fly without my parents permission to NYC. I learned some great techniques while singing in my dad’s band and felt ready.

How did you get involved with the Pussycat Dolls? What was the experience like?
I met Robin Antin while living in Miami. She told me about her up and coming group “Paradiso Girls” and how I was a good fit for it. So, I flew to LA to check it out and meet with Jimmy Iovine and gave the group a try. Though, it didn’t workout in the end. It was always in my mind that I wanted to do what made me happy and after my experience with MTB I came to realize ‘girl groups’ weren’t for me. Unless, I was just singing in a band singing covers. After turning down the group, I went back to Miami to finish fashion school. Robin called me a couple months later telling me about her new Pussycat Dolls Lounge in LA. She offered me the lead position of the group. I quickly dropped everything I was doing and moved to Hollywood. I spend 3 years with PCD Burlesque review and it was the best thing ever. I gained all the confidence I needed and since then I’ve been determined to work as hard as I can to show people around the world what I can do and share my life story with them.

Why stop?
I stopped doing the show because I felt like I needed to work on my craft as a solo artist and find my own direction as an artist.

What’s your music like? What genre is it and are you making it bilingual?
I am Latina so my music sticks to my roots. It’s very catchy and fun with some live instruments and some electro/pop sounds. It def has some Spanish in the mix and lots of dance breaks.

Will you have catchphrases you repeat over and over again like Pitbull? Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305, Dale?
Haha! That’s funny. Lately i’ve been thinking about a catchy word I can use in most of my songs.

If you were to have a catchphrase, what would it be?
BOMBA

You also have a jewelry line? You’re a Jack of All Trades aren’t you?
LOL. Yes, I do is called LUCKY FLIRTS. I have always been very creative and crafty. Because I spent so much time alone, I developed a passion for jewelry. I always loved it. But not being able to afford it is what pushed me to want to make it myself and eventually come up with my own unique designs.

What do you enjoy doing more: Dancing, music or designing jewelry?
I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE all 3 equally.

What’s next for you?
Right now, I am starting my second season on my YouTube Channel about my life / music. I am creating a live band to start going on tour. I am being featured on two major artists this year. Continue to develop my fashion blog lovefashioncouture and hopefully releasing a single sometime this year with my first music video ever! ;)

If you want to keep up with Francesca Ramirez, you can check out her website, YouTube or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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