Norma Valles -A Story of Determination and Talent

Norma Valles learned to adapt to the circumstances since her childhood, “I remember that when I was a child I used to sing along with my grandfather “De Colores” to the simple accompaniment of a three string guitar. 

En español: Norma Valles -Una historia de determinación y talento

"All the songs were always in the same key", explains Valles, smiling, while evoking the image of her childhood: "because at that time there was not much money, and his guitar had nothing more than three strings".

In her office, North of Dallas, Valles has behind her desk, and on the top right, a picture of her grandfather: Luis Rocha, originally from Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, a town located south on the Mexican border. His love of music and her deep Mexican roots made her to value and respect the mariachi and Rancheras since childhood- her father sang as well, a style called Norteño.

Norma was born in Dallas and grew up in Grand Prairie, and on the contrary of what occurred last year when a young boy dressed in a Charro outfit was singing the National Anthem during the NBA finals in San Antonio, this Mariachi-Texan (dressed in her Mariachi Outfit), during the Rangers and or the Mavericks game receives a standing ovation each time she performs the “Star Spangled Banner”.

"I can't believe people insulted a child. I have been singing for many years in Dallas wearing my traje de Charra. The time that I was not dressed in my Charra Outfit to sing the Star Spangled Banner was at one of the Ranger home games, I was questioned and asked what happened, why don't you have your Traje on? Valles stated.

Her formal beginnings in the music go back to 1996-1997, when a friend registered her without warning - in a contest that a local magazine 'La Fuente' (at that time published by the Dallas Morning News) organized to attract soloists, musicians and Latin groups.

Norma overcame all the qualifying rounds and became the overall prize winner of the contest.

During high school, she had won a competition at South Grand Prairie High, singing "Somewhere over the rainbow" at the age of 16; and her teacher always insisted for her to pursue a career of music but her parents, who were very conservative at that age did not allowed her.

"When I was home, my parents were very strict, I was the only girl, I have an older brother and a younger brother, therefore, couldn't do much. I remained in my own world and listened to my music. There was a lady that wanted to contract me when I was young, but my parents did not let me."

Later on, she realized "I must be a light for others, and I began singing and never looked back," Valles recalls.

During the contest of “La Fuente”, Norma met the man who would later become her manager George Olvera, who after listening to her invited her to join the group “Carino” (affection), Tejano music.

"Norma auditioned to sing with them, and from that time she became part of the group," Olvera recalls.

Valles sang with the group for a year, before becoming a soloist. She started to build her career as a singer and entrepreneur in the following years. Now she is a mother of three children the fruit of her marriage with her husband Alfonso.

"She has a Charisma that not many artists have. When she performs, she does it at one hundred percent and therefore always has a very supportive audience," states Olvera, who considers Norma as a sister.

In 1998 she sang the US national anthem for the first time before thousands of people. It was in the extinct Reunion Arena… "I felt nervous, although I had practiced well, but you have to focus on the flag, think about what you're singing, get into the song and after that, you forget everything that surrounds you."

STRONG AND TALENTED. Valles had an opportunity to record with Sony Records, she remembered during the interview.

"I was introduced to a gentleman, who said to me: ‘I like the way you sing, you are very beautiful, but I want to talk to you in the hotel, without the suit (of charra) or any clothes on,’ I did not want to have to compromise my beliefs and values, so I did not go.”

I then, decided to focus more in becoming a fulltime businesswoman without leaving music. “I have always been a businesswoman. I began working for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and continued singing,” she summarizes.

On one occasion, President Clinton was eating at the Restaurant Ojeda’s, and Valles, in a spontaneous strike got up and started to sing acapella for him on the front balcony of the Hispanic Chamber f Commerce.

"Any opportunity that puts me in front of important people, I am taking advantage of it."

Last November, during a visit by the former Mexican president Vicente Fox to a private function with entrepreneurs and businessmen, Valles was hired and contracted to perform the U.S National Anthem.

PARTNER AND MENTOR. At the beginning of 2003, after singing the American Anthem at a Mavericks game, Norma met David Albert, who convinced her to record jazz, country music and other styles, since then they have been business partners.

"He taught me a lot about business, of which there are no limits. That you can do everything you want to achieve. He helped me to believe in myself, in that there are no barriers, no limits, that everything is possible with effort and hard work.

"He is the investor, and I produce. From music to ‘Sí Se Puede’ educational tutorials, to a Citizenship guide CD, 100 (questions and answers)”, explains Valles.

From private functions, parties and Sports gatherings, educational videos, the voice of Valles has fulfilled its purpose, and has earned the respect and recognition among her community.

“She has always been a professional woman, with a spectacular voice,” says Dr. Elba Garcia, Dallas County Commissioner.

"The most beautiful thing about Ms. Valles is that she performs at many events free, she does many things to educate us about the beauty of the Mexican and American culture,” adds Garcia.

LIBERATED. But the path that Valles traveled before reaching her success, so much like a singer, businesswoman and mother of three children in fact was not simple at all.

"As a child I was sexually abused, but that didn’t stop me from becoming the person that I am today," Valles admits.

"Many times when that happens one searches for drugs, alcohol or remedies to solve what one feels; but I told myself, I am going to forgive, I am going to make something better of my life, because I do not want that someone to have control over me, and I will not let them have the last word over me."

Valles decided to share her story, so that other people in similar circumstances know that all does not end there. "The most liberating thing one can do is share their story - perhaps it is a little different, because since I was a child my roots were well-grounded, but I went through what I went through and I don’t blame anyone for that.”

"I tell my daughters as well as my son that no one can change the past, but you can certainly change the future. We must forgive and not let anyone have power over our lives.” affirms Valles.

En español: Norma Valles -Una historia de determinación y talento

"All the songs were always in the same key", explains Valles, smiling, while evoking the image of her childhood: "because at that time there was not much money, and his guitar had nothing more than three strings".

In her office, North of Dallas, Valles has behind her desk, and on the top right, a picture of her grandfather: Luis Rocha, originally from Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, a town located south on the Mexican border. His love of music and her deep Mexican roots made her to value and respect the mariachi and Rancheras since childhood- her father sang as well, a style called Norteño.

Norma was born in Dallas and grew up in Grand Prairie, and on the contrary of what occurred last year when a young boy dressed in a Charro outfit was singing the National Anthem during the NBA finals in San Antonio, this Mariachi-Texan (dressed in her Mariachi Outfit), during the Rangers and or the Mavericks game receives a standing ovation each time she performs the “Star Spangled Banner”.

"I can't believe people insulted a child. I have been singing for many years in Dallas wearing my traje de Charra. The time that I was not dressed in my Charra Outfit to sing the Star Spangled Banner was at one of the Ranger home games, I was questioned and asked what happened, why don't you have your Traje on? Valles stated.

Her formal beginnings in the music go back to 1996-1997, when a friend registered her without warning - in a contest that a local magazine 'La Fuente' (at that time published by the Dallas Morning News) organized to attract soloists, musicians and Latin groups.

Norma overcame all the qualifying rounds and became the overall prize winner of the contest.

During high school, she had won a competition at South Grand Prairie High, singing "Somewhere over the rainbow" at the age of 16; and her teacher always insisted for her to pursue a career of music but her parents, who were very conservative at that age did not allowed her.

"When I was home, my parents were very strict, I was the only girl, I have an older brother and a younger brother, therefore, couldn't do much. I remained in my own world and listened to my music. There was a lady that wanted to contract me when I was young, but my parents did not let me."

Later on, she realized "I must be a light for others, and I began singing and never looked back," Valles recalls.

During the contest of “La Fuente”, Norma met the man who would later become her manager George Olvera, who after listening to her invited her to join the group “Carino” (affection), Tejano music.

"Norma auditioned to sing with them, and from that time she became part of the group," Olvera recalls.

Valles sang with the group for a year, before becoming a soloist. She started to build her career as a singer and entrepreneur in the following years. Now she is a mother of three children the fruit of her marriage with her husband Alfonso.

"She has a Charisma that not many artists have. When she performs, she does it at one hundred percent and therefore always has a very supportive audience," states Olvera, who considers Norma as a sister.

In 1998 she sang the US national anthem for the first time before thousands of people. It was in the extinct Reunion Arena… "I felt nervous, although I had practiced well, but you have to focus on the flag, think about what you're singing, get into the song and after that, you forget everything that surrounds you."

STRONG AND TALENTED. Valles had an opportunity to record with Sony Records, she remembered during the interview.

"I was introduced to a gentleman, who said to me: ‘I like the way you sing, you are very beautiful, but I want to talk to you in the hotel, without the suit (of charra) or any clothes on,’ I did not want to have to compromise my beliefs and values, so I did not go.”

I then, decided to focus more in becoming a fulltime businesswoman without leaving music. “I have always been a businesswoman. I began working for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and continued singing,” she summarizes.

On one occasion, President Clinton was eating at the Restaurant Ojeda’s, and Valles, in a spontaneous strike got up and started to sing acapella for him on the front balcony of the Hispanic Chamber f Commerce.

"Any opportunity that puts me in front of important people, I am taking advantage of it."

Last November, during a visit by the former Mexican president Vicente Fox to a private function with entrepreneurs and businessmen, Valles was hired and contracted to perform the U.S National Anthem.

PARTNER AND MENTOR. At the beginning of 2003, after singing the American Anthem at a Mavericks game, Norma met David Albert, who convinced her to record jazz, country music and other styles, since then they have been business partners.

"He taught me a lot about business, of which there are no limits. That you can do everything you want to achieve. He helped me to believe in myself, in that there are no barriers, no limits, that everything is possible with effort and hard work.

"He is the investor, and I produce. From music to ‘Sí Se Puede’ educational tutorials, to a Citizenship guide CD, 100 (questions and answers)”, explains Valles.

From private functions, parties and Sports gatherings, educational videos, the voice of Valles has fulfilled its purpose, and has earned the respect and recognition among her community.

“She has always been a professional woman, with a spectacular voice,” says Dr. Elba Garcia, Dallas County Commissioner.

"The most beautiful thing about Ms. Valles is that she performs at many events free, she does many things to educate us about the beauty of the Mexican and American culture,” adds Garcia.

LIBERATED. But the path that Valles traveled before reaching her success, so much like a singer, businesswoman and mother of three children in fact was not simple at all.

"As a child I was sexually abused, but that didn’t stop me from becoming the person that I am today," Valles admits.

"Many times when that happens one searches for drugs, alcohol or remedies to solve what one feels; but I told myself, I am going to forgive, I am going to make something better of my life, because I do not want that someone to have control over me, and I will not let them have the last word over me."

Valles decided to share her story, so that other people in similar circumstances know that all does not end there. "The most liberating thing one can do is share their story - perhaps it is a little different, because since I was a child my roots were well-grounded, but I went through what I went through and I don’t blame anyone for that.”

"I tell my daughters as well as my son that no one can change the past, but you can certainly change the future. We must forgive and not let anyone have power over our lives.” affirms Valles.