raised in whittier, california, joy enriquez has had her sites set upon becomming a professional singer since she sang a solo at her kindergarten graduation. taking inspiration from divas such as barbara streisand, enriquez enrolled in the orange county performing arts high school. while attending school, enriquez worked at old navy like an ordinary teenage and performed at beverly hills' mondrian hotel to gain experience. in 1995, enriquez appeared on the internationally-syndicated talent showcase star search, where an eleven-show winning streak confirmed that, for her, there could be no other career. "in high school," enriquez explains, "i would perform regularly at the mondrian hotel but i guess it was my performances on star search that showed me what i wanted to do for the rest of my lifeto be on stage doing what i loved most singing."
like tracie spencer and shanice before her, enriquez was able to parlay her star search success into a recording contract. though offers were pouring in, after her appearances, from a number of prominent labels, enriquez had a plan and she was sticking to it. before accepting any offers, enriquez insisted on auditioning for one of her idols, legendary producer kenneth "babyface" edmonds. as luck would have it, edmonds was holding auditions for a girl group for his laface records. "i didn't really want to be in a group," enriquez admits, "but i'd [have done] anything to get my foot in the door at laface. i just wanted to sing for babyface before i signed anywhere else." a demo tape of a bilingual song written by enriquez's sister, tiffany enriquez, earned her the opportunity she wanted; enriquez was signed to laface after auditioning with songs made famous by whitney houston and fellow laface recording artists, toni braxton.
enriquez's introduction to the public at large came in the form of the anna : the king soundtrack, for which she provided the lead single, "how can i not love you". not only did enriquez's contribution prove a memorable backdrop for the twentieth century fox romance, but it also opened such important promotional doors as the tonight show with jay leno. as enriquez is putting the touches on her debut release, she continues to find herself overwhelmed by the success she has enjoyed, thus far. "it's kind of surreal to be over at babyface's studio working and playing sega dreamcast, and then go out rollerblading with my friends from high school," enriquez, confides, "but i'm getting used to it." it's a good thing, too, since the label head is taking such a personal interest in the artist, providing four of the album's songs. aside from edmonds, enriquez is working with such sought-after producers as rodney jerkins, fred jerkins, soulshock and karlin.
though enriquez is of latin decent and a perfect candidate to capitalize on the current interest in latin-flavored music, her album is an amalgam of a variety of influences. though ethnicity will draw unavaoidable comparisons to latin diva jennifer lopez, one listen to joy enriquez will clear up any confusion. without detracting from the actress-cum-singer's on the 6, enriquez's voice has more in common with the likes of chanté moore and mariah carey making it likely that she will be singled out as the first english-language latina who shows signs of becomming a serious diva.