Vikina Lopez is a Latina Singer/Songwriter from Miami, FL. She has a strong local following and an extensive fanbase that reaches Europe and South America. Vikina’s fans look up to her for style & beauty advice. As an indie artist she is known for being able to look like a “diva on budget”. According to Vikina’s bio, fitness is a huge part of her life but so is good food. She in turn likes to promote a balanced lifestyle. You can learn more at vikinamusic.com or follow Vikina on Facebook and Instagram, to name a few.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you broke into the music industry?

Well, I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I think a lot of girls can resonate with that dream of wanting to be on stage as a little girl. And it was just one of those things that growing up, maybe I wasn’t the prettiest and the most popular, but when I sang everybody shut up and listened to me. And that’s an amazing feeling and that’s an amazing platform that I take a lot of responsibility in nurturing and growing in and it’s just something that I’ve never been able to let go of.

So I invested pretty much all of my life in this and it’s just growing my talent and my skills. I’m really proud to say that I make my living almost full time from music and from the platform that I’ve created as a performer. And it’s really an amazing blessing to be able to say I do what I love every day.

At what point did you branch out into influencer marketing? So when did you determine that, hey, this is a viable revenue stream and I’m going to pursue this as well as my music career?

So Instagram and social media was one of the primary tools that I used to try to get myself out there. I used to sit on hashtags and just sit there liking, and this is before Instagram put the guidelines, you can like more than a couple things per hour. So I would just sit there and sit there and I would just try to grow and grow and grow and grow my audience, and I realized how powerful social media marketing really is.

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I had more and more brands contacting me and reaching out to me and realizing that I can use my platform and use my voice and use the people that are listening to me and listening to my music. The people that follow me as an individual, they really care to see what I’m wearing and what I’m using and what products I’m taking and things like that. And I would get DMs all the time. So I’ve kind of shifted into creating social media, marketing and influencing as a huge part of what I do every day.

And during quarantine, I can see you’ve been keeping busy with brand collaborations, so checked out your Instagram and it’s awesome to see. So can you list a few of your favorite brand collaborations to date?

Well, I really liked collaborating with Goli. I really liked collaborating. I had a lot of people reaching out and asking me questions about that one. I really liked Neurohacker. I actually met them through Intellifluence. I really like their products. I’m feeling a lot of energy and I think it really does have to do with their product and it’s very natural and not jittery.

Aside from that, none are popping to the top of mind. But I’m really thankful for influencer marketing and coming into my life, especially throughout quarantine. Because I, as a performer, as a singer, I’m not booking shows right now. So this opportunity and being able to use influencer marketing to sustain what I’ve got going on is really been a blessing for me.

Influencers sometimes receive pitches that aren’t exactly a good fit. So can you think of any that were particularly weird or completely irrelevant off the wall that you’ve received? And if so, how do you let the brand down easy?

I haven’t really been approached by any brands yet that didn’t align with me. I think the brands do a good job of screening who it is that they want to … who it aligns with what they do. I was recently approached by a keratin brand that’s on the platform and I really love my curly hair. So as much as I feel like a bunch of my fans would really like to hear about it, it’s not something that I would really viably use right now because I really do love my curly hair. So I just kind of had to let them know via email, “Thank you so much for the pitch and for the offer. At this time, I’m not partnering with keratin brands.”

So what are you doing to keep in touch with fans and stay creative during these unpredictable times?

Actually, over quarantine, I learned how to record myself on Pro Tools and Logic, which is a really cool change and shift for me. So many times as a female, especially in my industry, we have to depend on a lot of other people, engineers, men, producers, to kind of open the door to the studio for us and record us and do this or pay for studio time. So the fact that I’ve been able to learn how to record myself and I’m editing on Premiere and stuff at home as well, has really helped me just kind of keep my flow, my creative flow going throughout quarantine when I can’t have sessions with people and can’t get to work with other creatives.

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So that’s been pretty what I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on, just writing and recording and doing things here at home, trying to stay safe and keep putting out good content for my fans. I’m putting out a healthy mix between singing videos, my lifestyle images, and then a little bit of sponsored posts in the mix because I really want to maintain a genuine aspect to it.

When you’re in the studio and you’re working with Pro Tools and you’re primarily doing your solo stuff, do you still have collaborations? Do you still have people that send you a piece and you’ll implement it or [add] backing vocals, etc?

Yeah. So a lot of what I’ve been doing is I work with producers … A lot of producers and people reach out to me via Instagram and social media as well. That’s the magic of the platform. People from the UK and Austria are reaching out to send me beats. So it’s so cool because I don’t need anybody now. I can just get the beat, load it into Pro Tools and I can write my song over it and then we can collaborate from there moving forward. So that’s a really cool blessing.

What advice do you have for others who might be considering launching careers as a musician while still looking to harness the benefits of influencer marketing as well?

I think that as a musician, nowadays we have to think like an octopus, and I have multiple tentacles that I manage within my career. I manage my performing. I manage my song writing. I manage my influencing. I manage all the aspects that it is to be a performer. It’s more than just writing songs and putting them out on Spotify and Apple Music. It’s really taking advantage of all of the facets. I’m trying to branch a little bit now into merchandising too, which is a whole other daunting task that I’m sure retailers and people will relate to. But my biggest advice would be to just not think narrow minded and try to just manage all of the tentacles as best as you can, and the 25 cents all inevitably add to the dollar and it’s totally feasible.

Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.