Ambition and determination can help a person overcome all obstacles and break through those locked doors. Cristina Quinones believed so much in her own talents that she continued to strive for success in her music career even when some said she couldn't achieve. With first music award from the 32nd Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards under her belt, Cristina is her own way to Pop stardom. SayWhatNews spoke one on one with the rising singer about her music career and much more:
SayWhatNews: Good morning Cristina. Thanks for speaking with SayWhatNews. In three words tell us who is Cristina Quinones?
Cristina: Weird, fun and different.
SayWhatNews: Let’s start with the basics-- Where are you originally from?
Cristina: I am originally from Georgia.
SayWhatNews: Cristina you also go by Tyna Q., where did that nick name come from?
Cristina: Well my producer at the time thought it would be a unique idea for a stage name. And me being 12 years old at the time definitely agreed because I thought it was cool.
SayWhatNews: At what age did you discover you could sing?
Cristina: I would have to say at the age of 9. I mean I used to sing all the time when I was 4 but I didn’t really think I could until I was 9 years old.
SayWhatNews: Did you always want to be a singer?
Cristina: Not always. At the age of 5 I wanted to be a vet, then I wanted to be a environmentalist. Then when I realized that this was really what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to be a singer.
SayWhatNews: Who were your musical influences growing up?
Cristina: Pink, Selena Quintanilla, Toni Braxton and Christina Aguilera.
SayWhatNews: Do you play any instruments?
Cristina: Yes, I play the piano but I’m more skilled on the guitar.
SayWhatNews: At the age of 12 you had your debut performance on BET Tavis Smiley Event. How did that come to be and tell us about that experience?
Cristina: It was interesting. It was my first real performance doing my own stuff and I remember being completely nervous and scared. It was great though, cause that’s when I knew what it was like to be on stage.
SayWhatNews: Your video for your single “Set It Off” has a strong message. What inspired the song and video?
Cristina: So many people in the past kept telling me that I wasn’t going to make it. And everyone kept telling me to sing songs they wanted, or do things they thought was good. And I just got over it. I wanted to show the world that I am grown and that I am mature to handle myself. That I’m going to reach my dreams no matter what you tell me.
SayWhatNews: When can we expect your debut album?
Cristina: Probably around the summer time of 2012.
SayWhatNews: Who would you love to collaborate with and why?
Cristina: I would LOVE to collaborate with the group Parachute or Mayday Parade. I love both of those bands.
SayWhatNews: In 2010 you received your first music award at the 32nd Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards by American Idol finalist Diana DeGarmo. Tell us about that special moment and what it meant to you.
Cristina: It was an amazing moment. I remember going on stage getting my award and I almost started crying because it was Georgia pretty much giving me my home award. I had been doing this for so long and to be recognized for what I do is great. It was heartwarming and I loved it. My family was there and my friends at the time. It was the perfect day.
SayWhatNews: Cristina you were part of “We Are the World” (Next Generation) where a group of youth in the entertainment industry came together for a cause. How did you become part of that project?
Cristina: Well the director of my music video “I wanna know” Alfredo Flores had told them about me and they told me I could come in and sing a bit for them. And once they heard me, they gave me a line in the song. And I was completely shocked. Cause here I am.. with amazing artist and phenomenal voices and I get the chance to sing with them.
SayWhatNews: What was it like singing “We Are the World” alongside Lil Mama, Naturi Naughton and so many other talented singers/rappers?
Cristina: It was amazing, I still can’t believe I was able to sing with them. I’d love to do it again.
SayWhatNews: You have an amazing style for fashion. Who are your favorite designers?
Cristina: I really don’t have any favorites. I kind of just wear whatever I find is cute or different. I change my style up ALL the time.
SayWhatNews: What do like to do in your spare time with friends?
Cristina: We just hang out, watch movies. Go to Starbucks or just goof off.
SayWhatNews: If you had front-row tickets to a concert, who would be performing?
Cristina: Probably Enrique Inglesias or Kelly Clarkson.
SayWhatNews: What’s next in the future for Cristina Quinones?
Crisitina: A new album. A new look. Just everything new!