Katerina Villegas, born and raised in Southern California, is a Don Antonio Lugo HS graduate and an alumni of Azusa Pacific University, where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies in only three years. She has been in pursuit of a career in music, and it has been an ongoing personal and spiritual journey, where she has drawn strength and guidance from constant prayer, faith, and encouragement of her supportive parents. Their only requirement of her was that she would get her college degree before her musical pursuit.  Katerina graduated from Azusa Pacific University in July 2014. She has gone on to support nonprofits such as The Let it Be Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support and services to families with children with life-threatening pediatric illnesses. And hosted her own internet based radio show called, The Katerina Show. Where she gave positive and inspirational stories, and invited independent artists to come and perform live on the show.

Katerina is on a mission to send a message of empowerment and positivity to this generation and the next. She is a believer that anything is possible, the work just needs to be put in. She sends this message out through her music, because she says there is “power” in music and it is the “universal language” of the world.

Her latest album, called “Dangerous Love,” is scheduled to be released in January, but she has songs from the album already released on iTunes and Google Play. Listening to the songs is like getting a peek into Katerina’s personal journal. This album is a journey of love and loss, trials, and triumphs the artist has faced. She takes a different approach with this album as she gets more personal about her story. “Dangerous Love” presents the growth she has experienced not only as an individual but as an artist.

Previous titles the singer has held were Miss Chino, Miss So Cal Princess of Achievement 20213, and Miss Hispanidad International USA 2015. Her current title is Miss California U.S. International 2016, and is going to compete for the title of Miss US International 2016 in June 2016. The world of pageantry has allowed her to expand her audience as an artist, and given her a platform for being a role model to young girls and encouraging our youth to focus on their goals, education, and making their dreams come true.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: I am from Chino, California, also known as cow town.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: I have been a worship leader since age 12 and have performed in church choirs, and then the Azusa Pacific University Gospel Choir from 2011-2013. I then released my first independent album called “No Longer Ashamed,” which was a Christian pop album. I have now released my three singles from my latest album, “Dangerous Love.”

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: My songs are about life and the ongoing struggles and relationships in daily life.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: My favorite song to perform is probably my song called “You Can’t Handle Me,” because I call it my pageant anthem, because I am Miss California US International 2016, and this song is about setting goals for yourself and going after them, without letting anyone bring you down.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: Sometimes you are going to think you wrote the greatest song ever, only to find out that it is in no way radio ready, or that song that you did not like as much, someone else might. I guess that I have learned that you are always learning new and interesting things, in how to perfect your sound.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: My musical influences are the powerhouses like Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera, and Duffy.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: I would describe my music, as music with a message that is fun and enjoyable for all ages. It has a wide range of sounds that offers a different listening experience from beginning to end.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: Versatility. I can sing and perform many different styles, and do them well. Also, I did not begin my pursuit of music as a career until I graduated from college with my degree in Communication Studies first. I received my Bachelor’s degree in three years from Azusa Pacific University.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: I would like to see more artists pursuing higher education. Our youth look up to our artists in the industry, and it would be great to encourage them to set goals for themselves in their pursuit of education, so they could make their wildest dreams come true.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: I am currently working on some new sounds, where I just might possibly tap into some Latin pop.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: My career goals include touring the world with my music, and in 10 years I see myself also hosting my television show.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

KATERINA VILLEGAS: My fans can access my music through iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. My music videos are on VEVO, and my twitter is @katerinaville and Instagram @katerinavillegas and website www.katerinavillegas.com