Cheesa Laureta

Photo from Ernesto Casillas

Photo from Ernesto Casillas

With a father who played music and performed in talent shows in his spare time, you could say that Cheesa Laureta’s talent as a singer came naturally.

But her father’s belief that a career in music would mean financial instability sometimes was a point of contention in their relationship.

Luckily, he eventually came around.

“Over the years, he accepted it — or he had to learn how to accept it,” Laureta says with a laugh.

Two years ago, the local girl appeared on NBC’s popular The Voice. Competing on CeeLo Green’s team, she made it as far as the quarterfinals before being eliminated.

“I may not have made it as far as I wanted to, I may not have won the show, but I definitely made a lot of great friends and a good network,” she says.

Despite competing musically on the show, Laureta’s take away from her experiences was more about discovering herself.

“I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned from The Voice was just to really find who I was and be comfortable with it, and to just be yourself and really own your artistry and your craft,” she says.

Since then, Laureta, who appeared on MidWeek‘s May 20, 2012, cover, released an album, Naked, in 2013. She also has kept busy with various musical performances, recently touring with Charice and also providing background vocals for musicians such as Deborah Cox.

Up next for Laureta is an EP she hopes to release next year. Though still untitled, she hints that it will be different from what her fans have heard in the past.

“I think it is going to be a little more throwback ’90s,” she says. “That’s what I’m highly influenced by.”

Not surprisingly, musical talent in the Laureta family also extends to her brother Troy — whom Laureta affectionately calls her “bro-mager.” Together, they are working on Laureta’s upcoming EP.

At 16, Laureta and her family moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles. Though she is not able to return home as frequently as she would like, among Laureta’s cherished island memories, she misses those close to her the most.

“Most importantly, I miss my friends and my family,” she says. “I think that’s what made it what it is — just the people you surround yourself with in Hawaii.”

While she focuses on immersing herself in the music industry, moving back to Hawaii at some point is not entirely out of the question for Laureta.

“If I do start a family, I definitely would want my kids to know and see where I grew up and the culture,” she says. “I feel like Hawaii has one of the most amazing cultures because we’re so filled with different types of people.”

Fans who would like to keep up with Laureta may find her on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram @CheesyFbaby.