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Monica Capel Cruz
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Mónica Capel Cruz, known as Princessa, is a Spanish pop/dance singer who was born on 18 May 1975, in Madrid. She first became known for her participation in "World On Ice" in Madrid and in Spain's Gran Circo Mundial. She was discovered by producer Frank Peterson at age 16 and a few years later recorded her first album. She has produced three full-length records released in Europe and Japan, and a fourth, All I Want, is in production, having released the title single. Princessa recorded a cover version of Valerie Dore's The Night on her self-titled debut.

Born into a family of musicians on 18 May 1975, it was inevitable that Mónica Capel Cruz would have a love for music. Her grandparents were flamenco singers, while both her father and uncle were musicians. Growing up, she loved listening to her singing-idols like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Such a rich creative environment fuelled the Madrid beauty's desire to realise her biggest dream — of one day becoming a singer herself.

At the age of 8 the first step was taken in this journey, when she recorded her album Navidades Mix, a Spanish-language compilation featuring modernised renditions of Christmas carols. In the following year she auditioned to sing for the Spanish edition of the Disney Channel where she was chosen. Besides singing, she loved dancing and a few years later she took part in the Madrid leg of the live-show "World On Ice" in 1987 and travelled all through Spain for a year with the Gran Circo Mundial in 1988.

But it was to be her recording of voice-over Spanish singing for the various Disney animated-series that would truly open new doors for her. :: the first session During 1991, Frank Peterson was at Ibiza when he saw one of the programmes featuring Mónica's voice. Recognising her talent he was put in touch with the then-16-year-old and an impromptu recording session was arranged for her in Madrid. A couple of demos were made and, impressed with the results, Frank committed himself to producing an album for her.

A few months after that meeting though, Frank teamed up with Sarah Brightman and started immediate work on an album for her. With Peterson's efforts completely focused on Dive, Mónica's album had to be put on hold for nearly two years — but her patience would be rewarded. Meeting the team immediately after Dive was completed in early 1993, Mónica was off to Germany to visit the newly-built Nemo Studios. There she was also introduced to Thomas Schwarz and Matthias Meissner, who had been working with Peterson for a couple years already. The rough arrangements for her album were ready and she just needed to lend her voice. During this studio work Frank, who knew a few words in Spanish, started calling her 'Princessa' because he felt her ponytail made her look like a fairytale princess.

The nickname stuck and when it came time to deciding on her stage-name, it was the perfect choice. Because Princessa was at that time more comfortable singing in her native Spanish language, all the lyrics for the album were written by Susana Espelleta. The two became good friends during the course of recording the album, and Espelleta eventually became Princessa's manager.

Princessa travelled in May 1994 to Mexico for three weeks of promotion, taking part there in the famous Acapulco festival. She then toured all through Spain for two months, performing at more than 40 concerts, practically one day after the other! A change to English once Princessa returned from all the promotion and touring she began work on the next album. The debut's success had been confined mostly to Spanish-speaking countries, so Frank decided it was time they tried breaking into more international waters. This necessitated a change to English singing and also a stronger dance-feel for the music.

By that time Peterson had already worked a few times with techno-maestro Alex Christensen, whom he now invited to help produce the lead single. This track proudly proclaimed that it was a message, a message from Love City and released in April 1996, the infectious melody and lively beat of Calling You ensured enormous success...

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