Desiree Lee Cuchiara (@dezcleo)



Desiree Lee Cuchiara, famously known as Dez Cleo is a music recording artist, singer, songwriter, and actress. Belonging to the sunny city of San Diego in California, the 33-year-old pop singer has gathered thousands of fans thanks to her confidence, powerful voice, and stunning visuals, which help her have a strong stage presence. With an energetic personality and positive attitude, she also won the award for Miss Congeniality in the Miss California USA 2011 pageant.

Dez Cleo has had an interest in acting and singing since a very young age as her mother was a musical theatre major and an opera singer. Her father was an entrepreneur and always supported her in following her dreams. She has taken part in various stage performances and appeared on the silver screen as well since her childhood. After graduating from high school in 2005, she moved to Los Angeles where she signed her first production deal with a pop-rock studio. She worked at Gold’s Gym in Venice beach and as someone who loves singing, she often used to sing on the microphone and because of her impressive singing, no one would stop her.

One night, a person who could recognize talent, heard her sing over the microphone and asked her to work with them. That was when she found a passion for music, especially for hard-hitting, edgy music which was quite unusual at that time. What helped her a lot in advancing in this career was that she was studying at The Groundlings School of Improvisation at that time so she could think, sing, and act pretty quickly. Taking another step in her singing career, she became the lead singer of a band called ‘By All Means Necessary’ in 2008. Throughout the next two years, she attended many shows, events, and festivals. She also toured with music bands and recorded songs for television commercials and even movie soundtracks such as Fright Night 2 and Sequan Casino. It was during the time period from 2011 to 2014 when Cleo started focusing on her singing skills and aimed to get forward in that field. Her main subject of interest now was mainstream pop music, dance, and EDM (Electronic Dance Music).

She signed a 5-album deal with Warner Brothers Music in 2010 and had recorded a single that Chad Kroger had wrote called ‘Reach Down’. They had even got Bumblefoot and Slash, members from the renowned band ‘Guns N Roses’, on the record. Unfortunately, the day before it could go to be cleared, they canceled it. Cleo who was very excited about it felt defeated and depressed. As the circumstances did not seem quite favorable for her, she decided to enter her first beauty pageant in an attempt to find her feminine side. Her fashion and style were extremely Rock N Roll with a bright red and black Mohawk because of touring with a rock band. According to her, touring with such bands easily brings out one’s inner Joan Jet. One of her friends helped her make her wardrobe for Miss California 2011 which as she says, made her look like Tim Burton’s very own Beauty Queen.  When the day of the contest came, Cleo ended up stealing the audience’s and judges’ attention. As a result of her friendliness and willingness to help and work with others, she won the Miss Congeniality award after being voted by the contestants. What she particularly loved was that she had even made a strong impression on the girl who won Miss California that night. That girl was crowned Miss USA next year and in an interview, she revealed that she was greatly inspired by the “punk rock beauty queen… in regionals” who “totally stole the show”, so much that “no one cared who Miss California was”. According to her, Cleo had helped her understand more about herself, which made Cleo very happy. That was the event that marked the birth of her more famous name “Dez Cleo” because of the several different opportunities which arose after she returned from the pageant to her home in Santa Monica.

Dez Cleo has released her songs, such as ‘Tell Me Again’, ‘Damsel’, and ‘Gemini’, which are available to listen to Apple Music. Her latest single ‘Hate.Feel.Love’ was released in July 2019, and its music video is uploaded on her YouTube channel @Dez Cleo. She continues performing, dancing, writing, and creating music in the studio with the help of producers and collaborators so she can fulfill her dream to sing the national anthem in the Super Bowl. She loves singing it and has sung it numerous times, the most memorable of which was when she has sung it at the retirement ceremony for a family member at the US Navy. To make her dream come true, she is working hard and putting in all her efforts to expand her music brand. She has also uploaded her acting clips on her Vimeo channel @dezcleo and tweets @DezCleo where she has more than 24,700 followers.

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