Valeria Bonilla was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1987 to a family with strong roots in the verdant country-side. Valeria and her two brothers were raised by their father after their mother passed away when she was very young. At the age of 10, Valeria got her first guitar and from that moment on she would take lessons and perform sporadically with her school band.
In 2006, at the age of 18, Valeria moved to New Zealand to do a sabbatical year. That trip was life changing as she became immediately independent, and soon she had travelled throughout South East Asia opening the door to her world’s next adventures.
It was in that year that she was introduced to electronic or EDM music and in 2007 she moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study. Valeria spent a year in film school and finally graduated with a degree in Advertising. Buenos Aires, the wonderful city that never sleeps also shaped her music and lifestyle. She attended many of the biggest clubs and festivals and started taking DJing lessons while working as a bar manager for one of the hottest underground bars in the city. From there she worked as the producer of an underground art magazine where she got involved in some of the events that featured many up and coming artists in the city.
In 2011, after finishing her studies she moved back to Uruguay and got a job at an international advertising agency as their first Social Media manager while taking courses to broaden her skills. 8 months later she returned to New Zealand where she worked as the Social Media Manager for the biggest music festival in the country.
There she got to meet and work with some of the top music and event producers in the local scene. While living in Auckland, she would attend most techno parties and soon enough she became friends with many people in that community. This also introduced her to many producers, one of which became her first mentor and music production teacher.
She began organizing Techno and South American themed parties and then Valeria began collaborating with other event and music producers. She lived in New Zealand for 8 years until her father passed away and she decided to move back to Uruguay. On one of her trips she had a stopover in San Francisco, where she visited Pyramind, a well-known music production school whose YouTube channel she followed. After the visit she decided she would save money to go to that school one day. 6 months later and 2 weeks after moving back to Uruguay, she won Pyramind’s worldwide scholarship program that the school offered and, in a few months, she moved to San Francisco, California to study Electronic Music Production for a year.
Valeria now spends her time taking classes, and creating new musical compositions. She continues to study recording and production, while composing new material. Her objective is to produce an album of her own while collaborating with other producers worldwide.
What struck us about Val is her insatiable desire to learn, try and DO. There were other applicants with better skills and more experience but it was clear that none of them had the sheer willpower she did. Her story, positivity, willingness to overcome challenges, commitment to her international musical community and “get it done” attitude was inspiring!
She presented us with incredible potential, a positive attitude, desire to build and give to her community and a never-say-die spirit that won us over. Congrats Val – can’t wait to get you into Pyramind’s Electronic Music Producer Program in SF and start working together!
We’re PSYCHED to invest our time, energy and money into her – we think her personal power, love of music and “never quit” mentality will take her far.
Watch her reaction to winning to see how inspiring she is and why we feel great about the choice of Val for winner: