Twinkle is an award-winning American singer and songwriter of Peruvian origin who is known for creating dance-pop melodies that are suitable for all ages. On September 15, 2017, she will release "Just Dance," an album that is a blend of Pop, Country Rock, EDM, and glam.

Twinkle, who always goes by her professional name, grew up inspired by Shania Twain, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Selena, Prince and Cher and she is also a big fan of modern-day celebrities like Lady Gaga. The nine original songs featured on her latest album play homage to these artists--and more--while also promoting education and embracing the wonders of life.

Twinkle grew up performing in musical theater and television and those early influences show in her live performances. Having opened for Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and supplied soundtracks to A-list movies including Disney features, Twinkle knows her way around the entertainment industry.

Twinkle recently spoke about her career and her plans for the future via an exclusive Interview.

Stage, songs, and kids

Meagan Meehan (MM): What prompted you to embrace singing and how did you get your start on stage?

Twinkle: It was by accident that I discovered I could sing. When I was five years old, my dance studio was doing an original production of “Goldilocks” and there was a part of a singing blue bird.

For some reason, I really loved the song, and I practiced it in my room pretending to be Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. Yep, I was that little kid who listened to Broadway music! As I was practicing and putting on a show for my grandpa, my dad who was a former trumpet player, asked me, “Where did you learn to do a vibrato, and where did you learn how to sing?” My response, at age five, was, “What's a vibrato?" I ended up getting the role of the singing blue bird, and the rest is history…I got the performing bug and it’s never left!

Believe it or not, I was extremely shy and being onstage was my land of make believe.

MM: You have opened for Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys and worked on movie soundtracks, so what was all that like?

Twinkle: Amazing! I learned so much from being on tour with Britney and BSB. We were their opening act, so sometimes it wasn't as glamorous as most people think the life of a musical artist may be.

Sometimes you are pulling up in a van that you just traveled in for over twelve hours, doing your make up in the car, etc. Sometimes we were lucky, and we had our tour bus, which is fancy and always appreciated, but touring is no joke. It’s a LOT of hard work! You truly have to love what you do because it’s constant work, traveling, and making sacrifices, but the final outcome of getting on that stage and seeing a sea of people who came there because they love what you do and are inspired by your work is the most humbling thing ever!

Recording songs for soundtracks was pretty awesome too. My first soundtrack was redoing the song “Let's Get Together” for “The Parent Trap” movie with Lindsay Lohan.

Other great memories are of doing an original song, “Whatcha Gonna Do (With Your Second Chance),” for the “102 Dalmatians” movie with Glenn Close, recording “Pokemon World” with my hubby’s group, Youngstown, for the “Pokemon 2000” movie, and doing two songs, an original -- ''There is Always Tomorrow" -- and a cover of “Ain’t Nothing But A She Thing” for “The Princess Diaries” movie with Anne Hathaway (for which we received a Gold Record). The best part was attending all the movie premieres and, of course, receiving a Gold Record!

MM: How did you decide to branch out into a solo career and why did you gravitate towards children's music?

Twinkle: After I lost my record deal with Hollywood Records, I went back into stage acting, performing in the national tours of some Broadway shows, and recording songs as a bilingual crossover musical artist in mainstream music.

In the music industry, every performer has to have side gigs in between gigs. My side gig was teaching kids all over Southern California--from two years old to teenagers--singing, dancing, and musical theater. That’s when I fell in love with working with kids and teaching, and that’s when I decided I wanted to bring something fresh, new, and bilingual to the KINDIE music scene that would incorporate all my loves of singing, dancing, acting, pop culture and fashion.

MM: Can you tell us a bit about the song themes on your latest album and the inspirations behind them?

Twinkle: Totally! The overall theme to my third album, “Just Dance,” is to be in the moment, do what you love, and let music be the soundtrack to your life!

Music is the universal language that brings all people of all different races, cultures, and walks of life together to celebrate and be free.

MM: You have cited Lady Gaga as a major influence, so might you want to collaborate with her one day?

Twinkle: Heck yeah! It’s so funny, we both came out around the same time, obviously in different musical genres, but we both stepped onto our musical genres--Gaga in mainstream and me in the kindie scene--being RISK takers and unique! Me with my orange hair, hearts on cheeks, flamboyantly dressed…the industry didn't take me seriously at first, and sometimes to date, I still have to break through walls to prove myself and my talents. People assume by looking at me that I'm a manufactured artist, but they are wrong.

This is who I am. I write I produce, I sing, I am a Latina who since day-one wanted to be a crossover artist for kids. However, as an indie artist, when I first started I didn't have the funds to pay for PR or a marketing campaign to get me to the masses. My audience, the kids, and families who come to my shows, grew organically!

For my first album in 2009, I wrote a song called “It’s OK 2 Be Me.” It was a song I wrote because I never fit into a box my whole life. In this industry, they always want to throw you in a box. I’d hear, “You’re not Hispanic enough,” “You’re not American looking enough,” “You’re too this, not enough this, change your name,” etc. Hollywood likes to have these stereotypes, but I want to break them.

Why can’t we teach kids it’s ok to be themselves? It’s ok to be you, and it’s more than ok to be different! We are all mixed with something. Let’s celebrate our uniqueness and our differences, with no color lines, just accepting people’s personalities and their heart!

Kids grow up faster these days, thanks to YouTube. We should never dumb things down for kids and always remember KIDS accept everyone! Gaga in 2011 released “Born This Way” and I was like "O.M.G.! It’s like we’re sisters from different mothers!” I get her, and I really want to thank her. It’s taken from 2009 to just now for the industry that I'm in to start being a bit more open-minded and not think I’m "too edgy,” and a lot of that is due to Lady Gaga’s influence.

Concerts, albums, and other events

MM: What is it like to prepare for your concerts and what can audiences expect from them?

Twinkle: Lots of cardio! Seriously, my big concerts are over an hour of nonstop, high energy, LIVE singing and dancing in both English and Spanish. My live concerts are a little like Lady Gaga meets KISS meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse! My dream is to one day have pyro and enter the stage flying over the audience (even though I’m afraid of heights) on a rainbow with bubbles shooting out of the rainbow.

MM: What have been the greatest experiences you've had working as a musical artist and what kinds of fan feedback have you received?

Twinkle: Honestly, I love what I do so much! Sometimes people may think I’m rolling in dough when they see that I’ve booked over 200 shows a year, but what they don't know is that, being an indie artist, I'm the one who's putting money back into making music videos, webisodes, putting out a new album, paying for merchandise; the list goes on and on so that sometimes as an indie artist who does this full time it can get scary financially!

BUT I believe in what I do so much.

This is all I know how to do! I believe that all my dreams and goals will come into place at the right time. My followers are everything to me; it’s weird to call them followers because they've become friends, and as families, they support me in my dreams. They are the ones who have kept my dream alive since 2009, and they are the ones who have helped fund my new album and music video. I’m not an industry artist who has had the support of radio or the support of the industry, and I owe everything to my "Twinklettes and Rockstarz." That’s the best feedback a true indie artist can get!

MM: Are you working on any other songs and/or albums, or planning any big events, at the moment?

Twinkle: Well, my new music video comes out on July 21, 2017, and I’ll be performing my new song “Just Dance” for the FIRST time on Sunday, July 30 at The Levitt Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. I’m getting ready to tour Wyoming and Montana for the first time in August, and I’m putting together my first full Spanish album that will be coming out in 2018! Of course, I have a lot of other things but everyone will just have to wait for them!

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To learn more about Twinkle, visit her official website by Googling “Twinkle and Friends.” She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, and she can be seen on YouTube via searching “Twinkle Time” and Instagram via searching “TwinkleTimeandFriends.”

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