Best New Artist Spotlight: Meet Tiare, High School Senior & Latin Grammy Nominee

Los Sueños Se Hacen Realidad: For 17-year-old Tiare, the Latin Grammys seemed a far-off dream. Photo courtesy of PJ Records

Tiare always looked forward to the Latin Grammys. It was a big annual event for the aspiring singer and songwriter and her entire family who together feasted on the show, the artists’ dresses on the red carpet and the live performances.

The ceremony was not only entertainment for her, but a lifelong fantasy imagining herself in the company of other Latin music superstars.

“My mom would tell me, ‘One day, you’re going to be there.’ It wasn’t just my dream. It was all of ours,” Tiare tells Pollstar. “I have a speech that I wrote about five years ago as if I won a Latin Grammy.”

That dream will soon become reality for Tiare as the 17-year-old rising pop star from Venezuela was nominated for Best New Artist for the 2022 Latin Grammys, which will be held at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 17. The young singer joins a diverse list of nominees that includes artists from all genres and ages, including 95-year-old Angela Alvarez.

“I never imagined a nomination so important would come to me so early in my career,” says Tiare.

The exposure is already helping. Tiare has garnered nearly 50,000 monthly listeners and more than 1.2 million Spotify streams. She was just booked to open for two-time Latino Grammy winner Manuel Medrano in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 26 and told Pollstar that another booking is on the horizon.

“When I began doing shows with completely my own repertoire, that’s when the sensation of performing [became special], seeing the crowd sing your lyrics. That’s when I realized this is what I want,” Tiare says.

Though her career officially launched only two years ago, Tiare’s musical journey began when she was a toddler performing flamenco at 3 years old and musical theater at 4. After moving from Venezuela to her mother’s native Peru, Tiare began taking music classes and performing in ensembles.

As her love for music grew, so did her aspirations and she took the initiative to write her first song “Ella,” a pop ballad about heartbreak, at 13.

“That’s when I thought, ‘OK, this is for me,’” she says. “Writing my own songs and singing my own lyrics is when I discovered my passion, and that’s when I knew it was music or nothing, literally.”

In 2020, one of Tiare’s vocal coaches managed to introduce her to Periko and Jessi León, a pop duo nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best New Artist category in 2014.
León recalled Tiare approaching her, asking if she would listen to her songs and exchanging emails. A month later, the couple listened to her music.

“We hear her voice and we go, what is this? This girl can really sing,” León says. “And she writes her own songs. We were amazed.”

So amazed, León and her husband put aside their own musical aspirations to take a chance on Tiare. They started their own label, PJ Records, and began producing Tiare’s music.

“It was a hard decision, but we knew we weren’t going to have much time for us, and that’s okay for now,” León says. “For now, we’re happy to give opportunities to other artists. It really makes us feel fulfilled.”

Two years after discovering the young star, León’s feeling of fulfillment turn to elation and relief when Tiare’s name was said during the September Latin Grammy nominees announcement.

“We feel like we’ve gotten nominated again,” León says. “[Tiare] is the artist and got the nomination, but we were behind everything with this new album. It feels like our album because it is on our label. It reaffirms we are doing the right thing, we are doing something good.”

Under PJ Records, Tiare released six singles in 2021 before dropping her first EP titled Dieciséis (“16”) in May. The five-song extended play showcases Tiare’s vocal talent, versatility and eclectic taste with records drawing inspiration from her home country of Venezuela, Spain and a certain pop superstar.

“Taylor Swift is someone who’s influenced me so much and someone I have listened to since I was a baby,” says Tiare. “I very much relate to her story, because she began [her career] at the same age I did, and she’s also a singer and songwriter. I see her as an example to follow.”

One listen to Dieciséis and the inspiration is evident as Tiare emulates Swift’s ability to weave a narrative into her songs.

“In my music, what works for me is to be as transparent as possible and put everything on the table,” Tiare says. “I believe I’m more of a lyricist than a musician. I love to create narratives and fiction.”

Still only 17, Tiare is sure to have more stories navigating the musical landscape and what many others her age experience: college. She graduates from high school in December and plans to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston in May while continuing to write and produce music.

But first, she wants to enjoy the spectacle and scenery of the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas with her parents, Periko and León by her side.

“Planning my outfit is like an adventure,” Tiare says. “I feel like Barbie looking through her closet, but I am so excited to meet all the artists I greatly admire.”