The first nine tracks of Cuban-American singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan's 11th studio album tells the tale of a young girl who hooks up with the wrong guy in Miami after moving there from Cuba. All the tracks on the album were written or co-written by Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Estefan said that Miss Little Havana wasn't originally conceived as a story. She explained: "Oddly enough, when we were writing, we did not set any kind of parameters, we were just feeling out how each one works, and that's a very intimate process. But it wasn't until we finished writing the nine songs ... (that) I told Pharrell, 'Pharrell, there's a story here.' I put the order of the album actually together to emphasize that story ... (and) then, he didn't know I did this, but I picked three little ... phone messages (I got from Pharrell) after one of the songs, and I thought, 'I'm going to emphasize even more this thing.' ... Miss Little Havana tells the story of who she is, then she hooks up with an ex on the dance floor, he calls her — 'Come let's party' — you get a couple of songs where they are back together and then at the end she realizes he's still a dog (laughs) ... It was fun to do."
Though Gloria is herself a Cuban émigré living in Miami, the story is not biographical as the only lover she has had has been her husband, Emilio Estefan. The singer told The Associated Press who Miss Little Havana represents. "Miss Little Havana is a typical story of any young girl that has dreams, that wants to break out and be free. Those were some of my dreams as well. Obviously I come from a different kind of background that kept me very close to the family for a long time, but I was actually 17 when I joined the band. So although it's not exactly my story, it's any girl that is looking for something, that has dreams and aspirations, and of course sometimes the men get in the way, because you're looking for love and sometimes you hook up with the wrong on - I've been lucky that I didn't."