11-Year-Old Texas Girl Dubbed by Some as 'Next Selena' Wants to Blaze Her Own Path in Tejano Music - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

11-Year-Old Texas Girl Dubbed by Some as 'Next Selena' Wants to Blaze Her Own Path in Tejano Music

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    Girl Dubbed as 'Next Selena' Wants to Blaze Her Own Path

    Music shows like NBC's "The Voice" often help young talent jump into the big times. In fact, there's plenty of young talent being nurtured right here in the Lone Star State. Including one girl, not yet a teenager, and already winning accolades and even comparisons by some to a beloved fallen star in Tejano music. (Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019)

    Music shows like NBC's "The Voice" often help young talent jump into the big times. In fact, there's plenty of young talent being nurtured right here in the Lone Star State. Including one girl, not yet a teenager, and already winning accolades and even comparisons by some to a beloved fallen star in Tejano music.

    In the heart of Texas Hill Country, an 11-year-old is taking a big leap toward stardom.

    "Singing a bunch of songs just made me feel free, made me feel like I don't care who was watching," said Mia Garcia.

    But more people are now watching Mia Garcia's career.

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    "Hi, my name is Mia. I'm 11-years-old. I started singing when I was five, professionally when I was eight. Now I'm here," she said with a smile.

    Here is Austin where she's finding her voice and already making a mark in the music industry.

    "It was all kind of a blur," she recalls.

    Her father Chris Garcia, who is also her manager, was at her side as Mia became the youngest person to ever win Best New Female Artist at the 2018 Tejano Music Awards.

    "When they announced my name I was shocked," said Mia. "I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. I almost couldn't make out my speech."

    New attention and new comparisons quickly followed.

    "A lot of people have said: Oh, you'll be the next Selena," said Mia.

    Selena, the beloved queen of Tejano Music who was murdered in 1995 at the age of 23 and whose star seemingly shines brighter with each passing year.

    Selena's father just happened to present Mia the music award too.

    "It was definitely a trying and challenging [time] at first because there come the comparison," said Chris Garcia.

    "I was like: yeah, I mean, I really want to be somebody as big as that," said Mia. "I want to be known as being myself and somebody not trying to live up to somebody else. I want to pave my own path."

    Mia said she only recently began listening to Selena's music because her parents wanted her to form her own identity as an artist.

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    So they want to set the record straight once and for all.

    Asked 'Can anyone ever be the next Selena?'

    "I do not think so," responded Garcia. "I don't think so. Selena will always be, in my personal opinion, will always be Selena and I don't think that anybody will ever be able to touch that.

    Longtime Tejano radio station owner Michael Borrero agrees.

    "You ever meet somebody who just makes you smile," he asked.

    Borrero met Selena a handful of times during her career.

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    "It's not fair to another artist to say that: they are that. Because that's a lot of pressure," he said. "And honestly you should never do that to one person because that will either crush them or definitely change what they should've been."

    Mia's focus is on her second album yet to be released.

    She says her first priority is school, followed by music and other hobbies.

    She wants to avoid the pressures of stardom too.

    "There's going to be a lot of people that are going to speak negatively of you and just know that they're talking about you," she said. "They're spreading the word. It's talking about you so obviously you're getting popular."

    With many performances and music videos already under their belt, Garcia said it was important to be hands-on in his daughter's career ensuring they maintain control over important decisions.

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    He has some advice for parents of aspiring artists.

    "Encourage them to take lessons. We can never stop learning," he said. "As soon as you start to see some deviation that's becoming negative I think it's time to regroup. Sit down with your child and: hey, is this something you really want to do?"

    Father and daughter say it's about nurturing raw talent, allowing children to fly as high as their dreams and talents take them.

    "As long as she's happy and she fulfills her dreams that's going to make me happy," said Garcia.

    "I just want to be an inspiration to people," said Mia.

    The city of Austin celebrated Mia's success. The city's mayor named October 5th 'Mia Garcia Day.'

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