NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2019 -- HOLA! USA celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of another with the magnificent double cover featuring Natti Natasha and Eva Mendes, two Latinas who are setting trends in their respective fields. The Dominican songstress, who covers the East Coast issue, candidly shares how she went from being undocumented to one of the most in demand artists. The star of our West Coast cover, Eva Mendes, lets us in on the secret to her success and how she keeps her Cuban culture alive for her daughters with Ryan Gosling.
On being undocumented when first moving to the States:
"Yes, I was undocumented. It really wasn't planned because I arrived with a visa, and it expired while I was in the U.S. Obviously, nobody wants to be an undocumented immigrant because it is extremely difficult and even a little abusive—they put you to work for hours that you didn't expect, and you have to do it. I cleaned the house where I stayed; that was how I paid my way, by cleaning. [I also worked] in a factory, and I remember that they had me do different things. One day, I was on the cosmetics production line; another day, I was wrapping packages."
On all her musical collaborations:
"It's difficult to decide. Every collaboration I've done has been with an artist that I admire. For me, Daddy Yankee was a dream since childhood. I thought, 'My god, one can never imagine that someone so admired can be so humble.' Daddy Yankee marked a before and after in my career. Another collaboration I loved was with Thalía. Who wouldn't love to collaborate with that spectacular woman! Ozuna has also been a boom. When one of his first songs came out, I said, 'I want to record with him because of his voice.' I participated in the writing of the song "Criminal." Now the remix of "La mejor versión de mí" with Romeo [Santos] has just come out. Romeo is a source of pride for the Dominican Republic, and doing a bachata with him, from a song of mine... I'm going to tell you the truth; I still don't believe it."
"No, not yet. I'm in love with music, with my career. It's been so much work to get to where I am. I still have a long way to go. I love what I'm doing, and I feel that everything has a moment and a place. And everything will come, but first the man has to arrive, and the stability has to arrive."
Natti Natasha Photographer: Gio Alma
On launching her collection with New York & Company:
I feel so lucky to be doing something that I can be creative with and that gives me another way of expressing myself. I grew up in the '80s and '90s, and as soon as I turned 12, my mom would let me go to the mall with my girlfriends because it was only a few blocks away. I have a very strict Cuban family. And all we would do is hang out in malls. So the fact that I'm in an actual brick & mortar store means a lot to me because it is a dying breed.
On her family being a big influence:
I have two sisters that are older than me, and I remember seeing them and my mom when they would put a little bit of effort into what they were wearing. I would stare at them, and I loved to see them feel good about wearing something beautiful. My mom helps me with a lot of women that I personally didn't know growing up. I get a lot of inspiration from Latin women from that era, and then me and my mom will start to talk and look up to stuff, and it's just fun. That's a way for me and my mom to bond.
Eva Mendes Photographer: Alexi Lubomirski
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