Malu Trevejo may be your typical teenager in the sense that she likes to play with makeup and accessories and post about herself on social media. Not typical: She has over 5 million followers on Instagram who have helped the blossoming singer’s music videos sky-rocket to success. “I started like a year ago,” she told PEOPLE CHICA of becoming Instafamous. “I posted a video of me dancing and people liked it a lot and they started reposting it. I started getting followers and started doing more music videos and videos of me dancing.”
That led her to record her first single “Luna Llena.” The sultry video, which highlights her hip-shaking moves — watch out Shakira — has over 44 million views on Vevo since it was posted in late September. “My mom is Cuban and my dad is from Spain so I grew up listening to Spanish music,” the Cuban-born singer says. However, her second single, “En Mi Mente” (over 2.5 million Vevo views since Dec. 8), has more English verses and her upcoming album will be in Spanglish, including songs in both languages. “I’m into English music, hip-hop or rap,” she says of her influences.
A big JLo fan, she would love to record a duet with the Latina icon. At the speed she is rising, that dream might not be far off for Trevejo, who signed with label In-Tu Línea, a division of Universal Music Latino, in June. “I felt really good but weird too because everything was happening fast,” she says of her record deal. And she has family support: “They think it’s super cool and they are proud of me.”
Success has come with a price though for Trevejo, who encountered bullies and Internet trolls after she stepped into the spotlight. “I’m homeschooled because I cannot go to school. There are too many people coming up to me and asking dumb questions,” she admits. “I can’t be a normal teen, to be honest. If I want to sing, then I have to live this life.”
Her Instagram bio bares the mantra “A queen always turns pain into power” — a message she relates to. “I’ve had a lot of pain and all of that makes me stronger,” she adds. “All the haters and all the bad vibes make me more powerful, more intelligent.”
Anonymity, she now realizes, had its perks. “Sometimes I feel pressure because I can’t do the things that normal kids do, but I also feel super proud because I have all these followers that listen to me,” the young influencer says. How will she manage to enjoy the rest of her adolescence with her growing fame? “I don’t know,” she says with a laugh. “But God knows, so I’m good.”