Gifted singer/songwriter Inés Gaviria worked her way up in the music industry, singing backup vocals for a variety of artists before she signed to Respek Records and debuted in 2005 with A Mi Manera, an album impressive enough to earn her a couple of Latin Grammy nominations. Though Gaviria is Colombian and enjoyed her initial success there, she was born in New York and later settled in Miami; moreover, she lived in Chile for a while when she was a teenager, around the time she began playing guitar. Throughout her childhood, Gaviria moved from place to place because her father was a diplomat for the Colombian government. She has two brothers, José and Carlos, who also work in the world of entertainment. Before she became a recording artist, Gaviria was a law student, albeit one who had a knack for occasionally winning talent shows with her songs. When she did finally complete her law degree, she decided not to follow in her father's footsteps, choosing instead those of her brothers. And so she moved to Miami in hopes of breaking into the Latin music industry. She didn't break into the industry right away, though; rather, she found herself working in the city's restaurant industry.
Gaviria got her foot in the door of the music industry at long last when her brother Carlos, a photographer, invited her to join him on a shoot. The subject was Latin pop superstar Cristian Castro, and Gaviria didn't hesitate to sell herself to him; she even sang for him on the spot. Alas, he responded with indifference. She got a call several weeks later, however, about an opportunity to sing backup vocals on a song. She jumped at the opportunity and steadily found herself singing backup for established artists such as Ricardo Montaner, Diego Torres, Alessandra, and Victoria. She also saw some of her songs get recorded by established artists. Most notably, Olga Tañón recorded "Una Nueva Mujer," a song Gaviria co-wrote with Ximena Muñoz; the tropical music legend even chose to make the song the title track of her 2005 album, Una Nueva Mujer. (For the record, Gaviria's other brother, José, had written a couple songs for Tañon in the past: "Míenteme" and "Yo por Ti," both recorded for Yo por Ti  and also co-written by Muñoz. José has written songs for other performers as well, probably most famous among them David Bisbal ["Vuelvo a Ti"]. Furthermore, he once recorded an album of his own, Camaleon , for Sony Discos; the album was produced and co-written by Luis Fernando Ochoa, famous for his work with Shakira. And speaking of that Colombian hip-shaker, José sang background vocals on her debut album, Pies Descalzos , and went on to a prosperous production career, working with Luis Fonsi, Santana, Natalia Oreiro, and Bisbal, among others.) In time, Gaviria met the president of Respek Records, Mark Eman, at a songwriting event, and he was so taken aback by her talent that he offered her a recording contract. Gaviria worked on her debut album, A Mi Manera (2006), with her brother José, who co-wrote a handful of songs. He also contributed production, alongside his studio associate Andrés Múnera. Alih Jey de Peña (aka Alih Jey) co-wrote some songs, too. Respek Records promoted A Mi Manera by releasing "¿Que Paso?" as the lead single; a video was shot to accompany the song's release. The same was done for "De Repente," the follow-up single. Gaviria enjoyed some success in Colombia with the singles, and in 2006 she was nominated for two Latin Grammys: Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Album. The awards went to more established acts -- Calle 13 and Shakira, respectively -- yet the publicity nevertheless was beneficial to Gaviria, who had not yet broken into the lucrative stateside market. ~ Jason Birchmeier