Being one of the few models to pursue a career beyond the runway and magazine layouts, Gloria “Glo” Velez is looking to make up for lost time. She began earning her rap stripes three years ago as part of the Murda Mami’s, but the situation went sour and forced her to re-strategize. Though it may appear as if she was taking a backseat, Velez was just making sure everything was in order. “I was getting my team right,” she says. “A lot of people didn’t have the same vision. I didn’t want to just be in magazines.”
Holding the reputation of XXL’s Eye Candy of the Year and featured in top rap videos such as Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” and most recently The Game’s “Wouldn’t Get Far,” Velez doesn’t feel like she’s reached her full potential. These days, she isn’t wearing a sexy bikini and taking pictures near the shore for a future edition of KING Magazine. Instead, she’s clutching her pen and notepad, and is on her way to the studio to meet with Scott Storch to wrap up her latest track, “Get it Girl” featuring Mistah Fab.
Her currently untitled album, however, is her top priority. “Modeling is going to be there, hip-hop will open doors for me. I’m a model that loves to speak and I’m very verbal,” she explains. “I believe that a lot of girls can learn from my mistakes and there are no rules or guidelines for this business. I had no one to mentor or guide me. I have a story to tell and want my fans and people to know my story. I lost myself for a while, but I came out stronger.”
Having entered the industry at the young age of 15, Velez got a taste of the spotlight through two of the top modeling agencies in the world with Elite and John Casablanca. Once she mastered the runaway, she added her entertainment credentials by touring with the likes of N’Sync and Sisqo as a backup dancer. Not only was she turning heads, but was starting to receive recognition for her unique choreography. Now that the stage lights are off and the studio headphones are turned up, there are no boundaries.
Aside from working with Scott Storch, Velez is recording with Nu Jerzey Devil, Play N Skill, and Scram Jones. Though she is still in the studio, the album will consist of a few party joints, something to sit back and relax with, and a couple of sexy joints, as if she wasn’t already making dudes feel hard. Giving fans more facets to Gloria Velez is her goal. “I want to give them something to grasp,” she says. “My album is going to reflect who I am and I want people to feel me and see me.”
With dozens of labels trying to sign Velez and distribute her record, she is merely taking her time and contemplating which one to link up with. In the meantime, she’s been building a heavy buzz in the clubs. “DJs are really supporting me now. I’m supporting a lot of DJs; if I’m on tour, I host shows, parties, and support the DJs.”
In addition to the album, she has an internet radio show where you can hear her, and see her live three times a week on W305.com. Also, viewers have caught a lot of the one on one, 30 minute exclusive, behind the scenes action on her reality show Gloria Velez on Demand at ExclusiveCast.com. The program was set to give fans a more personal insight into her day to day life.
As if the two programs weren’t enough, Gloria is also secretly working on the pilot season for another reality TV show. “I’ll let Ballerstatus know first,” she says cautiously. “I can’t give all the details, but know that it’s not your typical TV show and definitely not like Gloria Velez on Demand. Just know that there will be a lot of eye candy, a.k.a vixens.”
Determined to make it rain in an industry of uptight and perverted men, Velez is stepping up to speak for the ladies. After all, somebody has to do it. “There needs to be a stronger voice,” she states. “We’re not just videos girls. I’m not just a model. I want people to know me. It’s not about what’s your favorite sex position. If we all stood as one, we would be much more respected and we could make more money. Hip-hop is in my soul and I love it. We need a voice. Back up what you say; don’t just say it.”
Trading her runway pumps for a microphone, there’s no stopping the fierce rapper bursting through the seams of her hustle. It’s a whole new era for Gloria Velez.