Alumni Spotlight: Aspiring Young Artist Reaching for the Stars

Calista Del Toro, South El Monte Class of 2018 alumna says “Do what makes you happy!” when it comes to pursuing your dreams.

Daniela Miranda , Fashion Editor

A new aspiring artist who came from a small community is now not only achieving her dreams but showing that it is possible to accomplish one’s goals and dreams. Who is she? Her name is Calista Del Toro. She is a young rising artist who is starting to be recognized for her work. She currently has over 4,000 Instagram followers and has a single on Spotify titled “Nostalgia.”  She grew up in South El Monte and attended South El Monte High School. She is an inspiration to look up to due to her unyielding optimism and courage. She has been able to achieve her goals, and it should give students more motivation to pursue their own. I had the opportunity recently to interview Calista via Zoom and below are the questions and answers to that interview:


What people did you look up to growing up?

Growing up Calista looked up to her sister, as it was for her the reasons she started singing. At just four years old, she started taking singing lessons with her sister. “I saw the attention my sister was getting and wanted that attention as well,” says Calista during the interview. Over the years, she worked on it and now is becoming known for her talents.


What was it like going to South El Monte High School?

Calista belongs to the graduating class of 2018 and mentions how her first performance was her freshman year in the quad for spirit week she performed with her guitar.


Why did you want to start a music career?

When she did her first talent show, she fell in love with the stage and performing. She just knew that was what she loved, and that she wanted to do that for a living and make a career out of it. It was the best feeling. “When I started singing in front of the audience, I knew that the stage was where I was meant to be.”


How did you get to where you are today?

There aren’t many community events in South El Monte. Calista had to go outside of our community to look for opportunities. She would travel to other cities to get her name out there. Her dad believed in her which gave her the motivation to keep pursuing her dream. He would take her to singing lessons and guitar lessons. Calista was naturally shy, however she started a band that helped get her out of her shell and be more outgoing. Her family was the support group that helped her get to where she is today. 


Has it been a smooth or rough road?

It’s been a pretty smooth road. Although she has had to make sacrifices, she knows they will pay off in her future. That is the reason they are worth it. 


What are you currently focused on?

Currently, she is trying to write new music to put out there.


What was it like releasing your first song?

“Nerve-racking.” to her music, kind of like letting people read her diary. She writes how she’s feeling or what’s going on in the world. Whenever she releases a song, it’s kind of like if the world was reading her diary. It was exciting she had accomplished another huge goal she had worked for.


What’s next?

 Calista wants to meet other artists and hopefully collab with someone. Going on tour is something she wants to do. She had a tour planned but with COVID all tours got canceled. However, in the future she does see herself going on tour.


Any advice for current students who want to pursue a music career?

“Keep doing you! Although you will have people give you input just keep doing you if you think something is right for you do it. Do what makes you happy!”