MAGIC VALLEY — Growing up in Mexico, Cindy Valenzuela was always bullied for how deep her voice is. Some people even told her they thought she was a boy, but she decided to use that as encouragement to become a singer.
"I think music was my cure. My love for music was my cure and my way to open up to people and say, hey, you're here to be a person that deserves respect," Valenzuela said.
Cindy started singing in grade school and would perform in front of the whole school during the pledge of allegiance. She went on to join her high school's choir, but after moving to Idaho, she kept that passion hidden. She recently reignited the flame after her sister signed her up for a singing competition earlier this year.
"I've always tried to encourage her. But there's only so much that I can do, but she has the voice. I told her I'm not pushing you because if I was pushing you, that means you don't want it," Isneida Valenzuela, Cindy's sister, said.
At first, Cindy was skeptical about joining the competition, but after getting permission from her manager to take the day off, she decided to give it a shot. She ended up winning first place and even started performing at the restaurant she works for. After that, people in the community began to recognize her.
"Because of that, people started saying, oh, that's that girl, Cindy. Even American people are like, hey Cindy, I've seen videos from you, I don't know what you're saying, but I like it. They don't care. They like the music and the way you sing," Valenzuela said.
She hopes bringing a part of her culture to Idaho will give people a different perspective on the Mexican culture.
"Being able to bring it to a country and see how positive we can be as Hispanics with our music. And being accepted by the American people feels nice. Even though you have people that have brought negative things, you are showing that you can bring positive things to the country," Valenzuela said.