Christian Review Magazine Issue 3 - March 2015 - Page 73

“I want to inspire and encourage others to be who they are.” Blanca “It was so hard at first,” she says. ‘I had to break through a lot of creative blocks. The thought of being vulnerable can paralyze you. And there’s always that question of, ‘What if I fail?’ lingering in the background. Finally, I just went for it and let my guard down. I allowed the truth to set in and really started believing that I was enough. “That was a very stretching process,” she continues. “To realize that I didn’t have to try so hard and that I could be the real Blanca and let people see the real me taught me a lot. I was able to put it down on paper. I found my mission statement. I wanted to see the things I’ve gone through as part of who God has made me to be. One of the statements I found myself repeating was, ‘Be true, be real, be you.’” Soon the creative process yielded five songs that comprised her debut solo EP, aptly called, Who I Am. Released in January, the music has garnered critical acclaim, while her live show is captivating arena-size crowds night after night, as a part of Winter Jam 2015. “The first night I was out there by myself without Manwell or my husband, I was so nervous and scared. I think it’s just the unknown. Those stages are so big. And you’re trying to cover it all by yourself,” she says. “But once I got that first one out of the way, I could breathe again. The more that I’ve done it, the more comfortable I’m getting with my music. Soon, I really began to feel that I can do this. I’m ready.” Without a question, her show is ready. She can more than cover the stage. And her music, an amalgamation of shimmering pop sensibility influenced by “the divas of the 90s,” she says. “Whitney, Celine, Mariah Carey...all are huge voices that I looked up to. Throw in some Lauren Hill and I think you’ll find in this music a level of growth and maturity in me.” Sonically, relationally, spiritually, Blanca is undoubtedly at a new phase in life. The circumstances of her past have been hard. The circumstances of her present are equally hard. She lost her father to cancer about three years ago and her mom is currently undergoing another round of chemo for breast cancer. Life isn’t easier. But time, faith, and sheer determination have made Blanca stronger than ever. So now, as she continues living out the story God is writing for her each day, she’s doing so honestly and openly, with a clear mission to help others a lot like her. “I feel that everything I’ve gone through has given me some wisdom I can share with other young women,” she says. “I used to feel like my past defined me...that I could never be anything outside of those experiences. But I know and I want others to know that we are all enough in the Lord. Through Him, we can take the story we’ve been given and use it to be the strong, beautiful people God has intended us to be.” Night after night, song after song, day after day, Blanca’s story is infused with gratitude and her life is fueled by the mission God has so clearly laid upon her heart, her voice and her life—Be true. Be real. Be you. ABOUT BLANCA: When it comes to stepping out on faith, Blanca has a tendency to sprint. After wrapping her powerhouse vocal around infectious and intense beats as part of hip/hop group, Group 1 Crew for nearly a decade, she's making the leap and is flying solo. "Who I Am," the lead single from her forthcoming debut solo album, slated for 2015, is an upbeat reflection of a season of soul-searching and surrender, buoyed by an effervescent soul/pop vibe that brings a crowd to their feet, and hearts to the throne. Read our review of Blanca’s “Who I Am” EP on CHRISTIANREVIEW.COM > 73