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Ventura was born in New London, Connecticut. Her father is Filipino and her mother is of African-American, West Indian and Mexican descent. She attended the preparatory Williams School on the Connecticut College campus in New London, graduating in 2004.
Ventura became a recording artist unexpectedly. Shortly after being introduced to music producer, Ryan Leslie, her mother requested that she record a song for her as a birthday gift. Ventura approached Leslie about producing the song, and he put together a duet for them called "Kiss Me". As it turned out, Ventura's mother wasn't the only one who loved the song. Leslie played "Kiss Me" for Tommy Mottola, former chairman of Sony, and the record mogul behind the careers of Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and most notably Mariah Carey. He offered Ventura a management deal, and weeks later she struck a deal with Leslie to produce her debut album. She signed with Diddy's record label Bad Boy and Recordings, after he heard the track "Me & U" played in a club.
Before the launch of her music career, Ventura was a fashion model for the Wilhelmina modelling agency, where she worked with Adidas, Complex magazine and Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns, among others. As early in her modeling career as 2002 she modeled for local department stores, the Delia's fashion catalogue and the popular magazine Seventeen.
Production on the video to her next single "Long Way 2 Go" has wrapped and is awaiting release.