Latinx Content Creator Pedro Joao “La Divaza” Figueira On The Powerful Influence of “Influencers”
We are proud to speak with one of Latin America’s most influential LGBTQ+ content creators, La Divaza, during this special month of Pride. As a young emerging artist from Venezuela, Pedro was always looking to make his way in the world, envisioning a better life for himself and his family.
Given the tumultuous state of his country, Pedro turned to creative outlets as a means of escape. From starting his first YouTube video on an iPad touch at the early age of 14, his passion soon turned to fame as his YouTube channel has garnered over 10 million subscribers.
The 24-year-old powerhouse has gone on to create a multitude of successful business ventures from his MTV Award-winning podcast, Radio Divaza, to his massive Latin hit music singles such as “Roast Yourself” with over 123 million views on YouTube alone.
La Divaza is a Style Icon with a heart of gold. His humble beginnings and humility shine through despite his newfound stardom. While Pedro’s on-camera personality is unabashedly strong and fearless, he is actually very shy and introverted in his personal life. His efforts to bring awareness to the crisis in Venezuela are part of his mission to help others through his social influence.
Pedro’s representation as an LGBTQ+ figure, not only in the Latin community but around the world, is a powerful reminder to all to be yourself. “We are in such a wonderful month…This is a time to celebrate queer and trans and embrace each other, along with all the learners in the LGBTQ community. Embrace yourself, whether you’ll be celebrating Pride Month or not. I think it’s important to take pride in yourself.”
La Divaza is embracing all the challenges, opportunities, and blessings that will continue to present themselves with the utmost grace, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this bright star.
Check out the exclusive interview with content creator Pedro Joao “La Divaza” Figueira, below.
You started your journey as a social media content creator nine years ago when you posted your first Youtube video. Your Youtube channel now has over 10 million followers. What was the catalyst for starting your YouTube channel and what lessons have you learned over the past nine years? I created my YouTube channel when I was 14 years old. I was living in Venezuela with my parents in their house. And honestly, I didn’t have many friends. I love the idea of me just speaking to a camera and expressing how I truly feel. I remember watching other Mexican creators. But growing up in Venezuela, we didn’t have many of those. I was one of the first content creators in my country.
I would record the videos with an iPad touch that my mom gifted me as a Christmas present. And I would always record my videos after school. I think the catalyst for that would be that school definitely was really stressful for me. I just felt that I couldn’t be myself around them. And that’s when I found YouTube.
I felt like the camera was like my one true friend where I could express my true feelings and what I liked in music and movies, in art. I could speak about all the things that I liked. I think that it is a magical place that I created at such a young age.
Growing up in Venezuela was definitely an experience because with everything that’s going on in the country, you just grow up feeling kind of hopeless. I know that many people feel like you can just study a career and you work really hard, but there’s not that many opportunities there.
Can you tell us more about your childhood growing up in Venezuela? What does your family think of your career? Are they supportive? My family is very supportive. When it comes to me making videos, my mom even has like 100,000 followers on Instagram, and her name is QueenMamaza, because she’s mom of La Divaza. My older sister, Margaret, is 12 years older. I’ve had some scandals with my sister because I was always on my YouTube channel when I was growing up. I definitely didn’t like my sister as much back then, but I think growing up and being more mature about things I now have a better relationship with her. But when we were growing up, I would say that it was pretty hard getting along with my sister.
I remember when I was growing up, I always dreamed of turning 18 and getting out of the house and escaping to another country. I thought that as a kid, and I think many people when you grow up in Venezuela, you kind of feel like that.
Social media plays such an integral part of our culture nowadays, and is an incredible tool to connect people around the world. What are the best and worst stories of your experiences on social media having such a strong presence on various platforms? I think one of the coolest things about it is when someone comes to you in the street and says hi to you, it’s because they basically know you from the internet. They watch your videos and your content, and I feel that it’s almost like if you guys know each other, right? People follow you because of the things that you have to say and your personality. We share this common ground on my channel, I think that’s very cool. It’s really nice. It’s a really nice bond that you create with an audience. There’s also a fandom, which are some fans that you create a deeper connection with and I’ve become friends with many of them where we share Whatsapp messages. So I think that’s really cool.
On the negative side, I would say that when you have that many followers, I think it gets to a point where now you have to constantly be thinking and worrying about what else to do. There’s a pressure that comes in, and you overthink more about everything that you do on the internet. At least that happens for me. Now, I think more about what I post on the internet. And that could be a bad thing. Because it’s not a hobby anymore. It’s not something that I do alone in my room after school anymore. It is my job, and it’s my career.
So I think many creators, we can become really insecure after people tell them like, “Oh, well, now you have 10 million subscribers, now you’ve made it.” Because many of us started with no idea that all of this could happen. At the end of the day, you can choose what to post. And for me, what works better is that I like to post everything that goes in my life. That can be a very bad thing sometimes. And I think I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. Being so transparent with my audience, I made so many mistakes in my career, and have said things I shouldn’t have said, for example. I regret that.
Speaking of platforms, how do you feel about the current crisis happening in Venezuela and how can you use your platform to bring awareness to people who may not know what is happening or how they can help? As one of the biggest influencers of my country, I always try to teach my audience what they can do to support and I’m constantly giving awareness of what’s going on in my country. I went to Venezuela recently, and I made a video about the way that things are going on right now. Right now, there’s a joke in the country, because some people would say like, “Oh, Venezuela is fixed. Venezuela se arreglo.” That’s because a certain group of people have made investments in the country and opened malls or restaurants, and everything is charging in US dollars. I made a video about that experience.
Even though I’m from Venezuela, Venezuela is not my main audience, because most of my audience is in Mexico or people from all over Latin America, but I think that’s really important to let people know what’s going on. And sadly, that is a small group of people who make it. That’s not the reality for 95% of the people that live in the country.
I think it’s very hard to make money in Venezuela. So if you could donate to some people that really need it, there are a lot of foundations that raise a lot of awareness around the issue that’s going on such as:
Creativity seems to permeate every sense of your being from fashion, to makeup, to radio host, and even into music. Can your fans expect more music from you, or even a full album soon? It is my dream to complete a full album one day. I think, as a creator, one of the nicest things that you can do is jump off from YouTube, or any platform that you use. It’s different for every creator. But it’s nice that people do different things on other platforms. I have released a couple songs, one of them has over like 100 million views which is called “Roast Yourself.” That is insane to me to think about it. But I think music takes a lot of effort and time. I would love to do it, but I think I’m more focused on other things right now. I mean, I’m not saying no. I might one day pull a Beyonce and release a full surprise album.
What projects are you working on that you’re most excited about this year? I would say that there are definitely a lot of things happening. I have my podcast which won an award for Podcast of the Year. It’s also Pride Month right now which is the busiest month for me. And I’m so excited. I’m writing a book right now. I hope to release it probably next year.
It is going to be a collection of stories that I’ve never shared before. So stay tuned for that. We’re also working on the second season of our podcast with La Jose with so many cool guests, so definitely stay tuned for that as well. I wish I could say a lot more. But sometimes you have to keep some things secret.
What are five facts about yourself that fans wouldn’t expect? Oh, wow, that’s a hard one. I think one is that a lot of people assume my favorite color is pink. But the reality is that my favorite color is really light blue, or any kind of blue. I’m just not that into pink.
One other fact that people may not know about me is that I’m so incredibly, extremely, shy. I’m not a shy blogger. I can speak out with a camera. But in real life, I’m very, I’m very shy.
I think another one would be that I graduated at 16 years old from high school. Also before all of the YouTube and all of the social media career, when I was a child I wanted to be a geologist. And I would know all the capitals of all the countries in the world, and the population, and what language they spoke. I really liked that when I was younger.
And lastly, it is my dream to go to Asia. I’ve never been but I would love to visit Japan or Korea, even China, Thailand, all of those countries. The furthest I have gone is to Israel, which is far but it’s not that far.