Francisca Valenzuela

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Francisca Valenzuela
Francisca Valenzuela.jpg
Valenzuela performing in Antofagasta, Chile in February 2012.
Born (1987-03-17) March 17, 1987 (age 27)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Residence Santiago, Chile and Los Angeles, CA,
Nationality American, Chilean
Citizenship American, Chilean
Occupation Singer-songwriter, poet, fashion designer
Years active 2006–present
Partner(s) Vicente Sanfuentes
Parents Pablo Valenzuela, Bernardita Méndez
Musical career
Genres Pop, jazz, folk, alternative rock
Instruments Voice, piano, acoustic guitar, percussion
Labels Feria Music Records, Independent
Associated acts Los Bunkers, Julieta Venegas, DJ Bitman

Francisca Valenzuela (born March 17, 1987 in San Francisco, California) is an American-born Chilean singer-songwriter, poet, and multi-instrumentalist. Valenzuela was born and raised in San Francisco, California, where she resided until the age of 12, before moving to Santiago, Chile. She gained to popularity in Chile and Latin America, following the release of her debut album, Muérdete La Lengua in June 2007. Her second album, Buen Soldado followed in March 2011 while her third and latest, Tajo Abierto, was released in September 2014, reaching #2 in Chilean charts. Valenzuela has earned both gold and platinum album certification in Chile.[1]

Early life[edit]

Francisca Valenzuela was born in San Francisco, California to Chilean-born scientists, Pablo Valenzuela Valdés and Bernardita Méndez Velasco. She is the fourth oldest and only daughter of five children. Valenzuela attended Park Day School in nearby Oakland, California.[2] At a very early age, Valenzuela demonstrated an interest in music and began taking music lessons at the age of 7. By age ten, she was playing acoustic guitar and continued studying classical piano. During summer vacations and Christmas, she and her brothers would travel to Santiago, where they would visit relatives.[3] Eventually, the family would make the permanent move to Santiago, when Francisca was 12. Valenzuela attended Saint George's College, an elite private school in the Vitacura neighborhood of Santiago.[4]

In 2000, Francisca published her first book,"Defenseless Waters", a collection of her poems. She released her second book,"Abejorros/Madurar", which was distributed in Spain and Latin America in 2001. As part a promotional tour for "Defenseless Waters", she brought her guitar and keyboard to venues in northern California, where she gave poetry readings and performed songs of her own composition. Valenzuela is fluent in English and Spanish, and often composes songs in both languages. She currently resides between Los Angeles, California and Santiago, in Chile.

Music career[edit]

2004-2007: Debut album: Muérdete la Lengua[edit]

Valenzuela performing at a concert in 2008.

Shortly after the release of her first book, Francisca and her family moved to Santiago, Chile when she was 13. While residing in Chile, Francisca took part as singer in school festivals, where she performed her original songs. In 2004, she attended an intensive jazz program at the Berklee College School of Music in Boston.

In 2006, Valenzuela released her first solo single, "Peces", which she wrote at age 13 about a boy she liked who did not reciprocate her feelings. Within a few months after its release, "Peces" gained popularity on Chilean radio. "Peces" was recognized by Rolling Stone magazine in Chile, as one of the best 100 songs of the year 2006. Due to the success of her first unofficial single, Valenzuela began recording her debut album in Santiago. Brothers Mauricio and Francisco Durán of Los Bunkers produced the album. In December 2006, she released her second single, "Dulce", which reached number two on Chile's national charts.

To add more achievements to her short musical career, on May 19, 2007, she was invited by Julieta Venegas to open her concert at Teatro Caupolicán. On June 30, 2007, her debut album, Muérdete La Lengua was released in Chile. The Chilean press quickly dubbed her as The Princess of Rock, calling her,"[a] new musical revelation". Soon after its release, the album was certified as Gold in Chile. Valenzuela performed in New York City at the annual LAMC conference in July 2008. This was Valenzuela's first musical exposure in the US and gave her an opportunity to showcase her music outside of Latin America. To promote her debut album, Valenzuela performed at various venues across Chile, as well as Mexico, Argentina, and other countries throughout Latin America.

2009–2012: Second studio album: Buen Soldado[edit]

In early 2009, Valenzuela began the pre-production stages for her second album in Santiago and Berlin. She contributed to the Chilean water conservation documentary H2O:Cero, by composing a new song called "En Blanco" for the film. She has also participated in the album tribute for Violeta Parra, recording a new version of "Run Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte" as well as recording a version of Inti-Illimani's song "Vuelvo".

In 2009, she collaborated with Chilean rapper, Latin Bitman for his album Colour; Valenzuela co-wrote and sang two songs, "Help Me" and "Someday". "Help Me" was later released as a single in the United States and Chile and a music video was also filmed in Los Angeles in November 2009.[5] In August 2010, Valenzuela began recording for her second studio album in Santiago. Production on the album was completed in late 2010. On January 1, 2011, Valenzuela released in digital formats her first single "Quiero Verte Más" from her second studio album called Buen Soldado; the album was released on March 3, 2011 in Chile as a physical and digital release.[6]

2013-present: Third studio album: Tajo Abierto[edit]

In addition to embarking on a national tour in Chile, Valenzuela also promoted her album internationally at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas in March 2012. She also performed at Midem in Cannes, France, representing Chile. Valenzuela had previously performed at the festival in 2011.[7] In January 2013, Valenzuela announced that she planned to begin working on her third studio album sometime in during spring of the same year. In March 2013, production on her third studio album began in Los Angeles, California, following the conclusion of her national tour in Chile.[8][9] Valenzuela is a featured artist on Spanish singer-songwriter, Alejandro Sanz's tribute album, Y Si Fueran Ellas. She recorded a cover of Sanz's Lola Soledad for the album. The album features contributions from thirteen female vocalists, including Thalía and Ana Torroja. The album was released on iTunes worldwide on November 19, 2013.[10][11][12][13]

In May 2014, Valenzuela confirmed that her third studio album, Tajo Abierto, is scheduled for release in September 2014.[14][15] [16] The album's first official single, "Prenderemos fuego al cielo", was available for digital download on iTunes on July 15, 2014. She wrote the single on piano before learning how to use special computer software to create the final studio version.[17] Valenzuela began recording her third studio album in November 2013 and completed production in May 2014. The majority of the album was recorded in Los Angeles, California, with the exception of one song, "Cuequita del corazón", which Valenzuela recorded in Santiago, Chile at Estudios del Sur. Valenzuela worked on the album with four producers: Jesse Rogg, Vicente Sanfuentes (who co-produced her second album), Dave Sitek, and Áureo Baqueiro. Valenzuela wrote 25 songs for the album and chose 11 for the final tracklisting. [18] [19][20]

The album was released digitally worldwide on September 9, 2014.

Fashion career[edit]

Valenzuela began modeling for the Chilean clothing brand, "Foster" in 2012.[21] In May 2013, she partnered with the company to design a collection. Her collection features black and white pieces insprised by 60s mod and SKA. The collection is available exclusively in Foster stores throughout Chile.[3] [22] On November 6, 2013, Valenzuela revealed that she had designed a second collection for Foster. The Summer 2014 collection features 21 pieces, including accessories like handbags and wallets, designed by Valenzuela.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Valenzuela took a summer course in International Relations at University of California, Berkeley.[24] Later, she studied journalism at Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile. In 2010, due to a busy touring and pre-production schedule for her second album, she put her studies on hold during her fourth year in the program.[3][25] As of August 2014, she is in a relationship with Chilean producer, Vicente Sanfuentes.


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Muérdete La Lengua 7
  • CHI: Platinum (10,000+ sales)[1]
Buen Soldado
  • Released: March 3, 2011 (Chile)
  • Label: Sony BMG/Independent
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Tajo Abierto
  • Released: September 9, 2014
  • Label: Frantastic Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Single Year Peak chart positions Album
"Peces" 2006 85 Muérdete La Lengua
"Dulce" 2
"Muérdete La Lengua" 2007 6
"Afortunada" 2008 30
"Muleta" 78
"El Tiempo en Las Bastillas" 2009 93 Los 80, más que una moda
"Quiero Verte Más" 2011 17 Buen Soldado
"Que Sería" 71
"En Mi Memoria" 91
"Buen Soldado" 2012 10
"Prenderemos fuego al cielo" 2014 9 Tajo Abierto
"Armadura" 2014 Tajo Abierto
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Single Year Peak chart position Album
"Help Me"
(with Latin Bitman)
2009 91 Colour
"Al Frío"
(with Leonel García)
2010 84
"Mucho Corazón"
(with Sussie 4)
2012 Radiolatina
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b Francisca Valenzuela receives platinum and gold album status
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  5. ^ Latin Bitman, Colour Nacional Records 2009.
  6. ^ "Francisca Valenzuela sale a confirmar su ascenso con nuevo disco para marzo.". La Tercera. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ Valenzuela va a presentar en Cannes
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  9. ^ Francisca Valenzuela entrevista Paula Marzo 2013
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  21. ^,0bbf5c8302c96310VgnVCM5000009ccceb0aRCRD.html
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