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Forget Viking horns and men in tights—opera’s finest byproduct, by far, is Kat DeLuna. Before belting out party-starters like “Whine Up” and “Run the Show,” the Bronx-born chica developed her vocal chops warbling high notes, Pavarotti-style. But today, the Dominican songstress’ almond-shape eyes are focused on shattering records, not just wine glasses. “Since Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, there hasn’t really been a Latin-American girl to represent worldwide,” the petite 20-year-old says confidently. “And now I come.”

Judging by her hips-don’t-lie music videos, Ms. DeLuna is definitely a mover and a shaker. But don’t confuse her free spirit on stage for prelegal wildness. When it comes to guys, she’s all about old-school conventionalism. “I don’t like for men to get out of certain traditional habits,” says Kat, who’s crafting her as-yet-untitled, pop-friendly sophomore album. “That totally bothers me.” For you chivalry slayers, that means reach for the plastic on the first night. Don’t even think about the latex.

By John Kennedy

Did you feel at home on our dollhouse set?
I loved it. It was so girly. Believe it or not, a lot of the themes tell you who I am as a person and a musician. I’m the little doll everybody’s looking at, but they don’t know what’s coming.

Meaning those who slept on your debut, 9 Lives. What were your expectations for your first LP?
I wanted to make an internationally appealing album. It was amazing how “Whine Up” took off. But then I noticed that “Whine Up” grew so big that it sort of took the shine for itself. Eventually, people discovered Kat DeLuna the artist—after. But don’t get me wrong; I’m very pleased with how the public worldwide and the fans have accepted me.

You even recorded a version of “Whine Up” for the New York Mets. Isn’t that hood treason for an uptown girl like yourself?
[Laughs] Of course. I’m from the Bronx; I’ve got to rep hard. But I love [the Yankees and the Mets] equally. To me it’s about the game.

What type of guy makes Kat purr?
I like nerdy-but-cool guys, the guy in college who’s very smart and all about his work. He’s the sexiest guy in the class, because he’s cute but stays to himself. And that’s sort of mysterious. That’s the type of guy I like—the one that dresses nice but is still on his work.

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