Ally Brooke is ready to make a name for herself!
We first met the 25-year-old singer as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony, and now Brooke is breaking through as a solo artist.
In the latest episode of "My Life as a Latina" -- a feel-good, inspiring video series where ET showcases powerful Latinas in entertainment and gives viewers an inside look into their life before stardom -- we sat down with Brooke for an intimate interview at a Burbank music recording studio, where she opened her heart to fans about the ups and downs she's experienced over the course of her career.
"I can't believe how far that girl who was in her bedroom making songs and trying to make something happen [has come]," Brooke says while watching one of her early YouTube videos.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Brooke's parents, Jerry Hernandez and Patricia Castillo, did everything they could to make their daughter's dream come true.
"I don't even know how to put into words how thankful I am for them," the singer emotionally shares. "They gave me that confidence and they sacrificed so much for me, and they supported me along the way even when it was so hard, even when I was younger and going through things when I didn't believe in myself. And I felt like I wasn't good enough. They were right there to support me, and encourage me, and say, 'I believe in you.' That is something that's priceless and there's no words to say how thankful I am to have them in my life."
"I remember being in an apartment and silverfish would be in it," Brooke recalls. "We'd have to make do with what we had, and they were still there to drive me to the studio, and drive me to Marshalls to get clothes to dress me up because my mom has always been into fashion and she would help me with the clothes. We may not have had much, but she was there and my parents would find a way."
Little did she know that auditioning for season two of The X Factor in 2012 would change her life, when, at just 18, Brooke was chosen to join Fifth Harmony.
While the experience was unforgettable and she would never change one second of it, she definitely hit some major highs and lows.
"I let the opinions overtake me and I felt like I needed to step back and really be mindful of who I was and what I did," she openly states. "Even songwriting, it was hard to really do that in a group because there are so many opinions and for a little bit, you think, 'I'm not good enough.'"
"People put you in a box and everyone had their role but I didn't want to fit a role," she says. "I wanted to just be myself... I was sad. I was really heartbroken."
Now, Brooke is ready to entertain the world as a solo act. "It's the rebirth of Ally Brooke," she proudly says. "Of who I am!"
Earlier this year, Brooke signed with Atlantic Records, and now she's hard at work on her upcoming, still-untitled debut record.
"In this new experience that I'm being given, I just feel like I'm truly back to who I was," she expresses. "Back to the Ally that I want to be, and I'm in a place of such self-discovery. I just kinda imagine me now and the 12-year-old me meeting, and we're hugging and embracing again. I found you."
See the full interview with Brooke in the video above.
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