Christina “U-Niqe” Castellanos, was born in the Bronx, New York to parents Denise Szymoniak and Merling Castellanos. Her father was a professional boxer that spared with the likes of Mike Tyson and Hector “Macho” Camacho (RIP), Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini amongst others. He was also discovered and trained by legendary trainer Hector Roca, who worked with Hilary Swank for the motion picture “Million Dollar Baby”. Her Mother was born in New Jersey and grew up in the Bronx, NY. Her parents separated shortly after birth, so Christina and her Mother began living a new chapter in their lives that would be more suited for an epic drama than the life of a young impressionable girl. The Bronx in the 80”s was a tough place for anyone let alone someone like Christina, that had to live with bullets flying through her corner bedroom. Living with up to 20 relatives in a 3 bedroom apartment was a challenge within itself, but Christina found a way to persevere.
Christina’s Mother remarried and her Step-Father was heavily involved in the concert merchandise business. Being a part of that business would prove to be dangerous after her Mom was kidnapped for a short period of time. Her Step-Father worked, selling T-Shirts during major concerts such as the Budweiser Superfest and HOT 97 Summer Jam. During that time she was able to meet some of her Hip-Hop idols including ONYX, etc. That’s when Christina realized there was more to life than what was surrounding her on the block. One encounter that comes to mind was meeting “Hip-Hop Icon” Slick Rick while visiting her Mom’s friend on Rikers Island. Even with all of the tragedy in her life Christina has found ways to press on and follow her own path, even staying clear of neighborhood gangs that were and still are so very prevalent where she grew up.
Even growing up Christina was always destined for greatness. While growing up in Bridgewater NJ, U-Niqe lived next door to a rising star in her own right. It was none other than Keisha Spivey-Epps of the hit making 90’s R&B group Total. Once they became friends, Keisha along with 90’s rap sensation Da Brat took U-Niqe under their wing and proceeded to introduce Hip-Hop stalwarts such as Missy Elliot, LiL Kim, as well as other major artists in the industry. When her first encounter with Da Brat, she was told she has the style and attitude to rap. The next day she penned her very first song titled “Trife Life”.
Working consistently on her craft of music over the years gave her access to so many opportunities, one of which being an extra in the motion picture “Exposed” starring Keanu Reeves. Shortly thereafter, Christina was bitten by the acting bug and started really honing her craft, auditioning for various parts in television and movie projects. In 2014 her friend Gabriel offered her a role in the indie project “The City Inside the City” and she jumped at the opportunity. Currently Christina is making a name for herself as an extra on the hit TV show; “Orange is the new Black”. She is still very involved with her music career, teaming up her Hard Body Music Group partners to release mixtapes whenever possible, and will continue to work tirelessly, sharpening her skills in both the music and acting arenas. It’s only a matter of time before Christina “UNiqe” Castellanos is able to showcase her talents as a leading character in your favorite TV show or blockbuster movie.