Natalie Ann Yepez, better known by her stage name Maluca, grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Raised on a steady diet of bachata, cumbia, merengue, and mambo, as well as hip-hop and other club music, Maluca's music has been described as "experimental tropical punk, ghetto tech, and hip-house". Although a bad case of stage fright kept her out of the spotlight for much of her life, a chance meeting with Diplo while performing karaoke eventually led to "El Tigeraso", Maluca's first single.
The years 2009 and 2010 saw her touring, performing, and releasing what she calls "tropical punk" tracks. Since the release of her single in 2009, Maluca has recorded tracks that range from merengue mashups to kuduro to old-school deep house and focused on her stage show, which includes two dancers named the Cookies. China Food is her latest release as she prepares for a second visit to South by South West.
The name Maluca in Spanish is a derivative of Mala which means bad or mean girl. In PortugueseMaluca means a crazy or mischievous girl.