The Threads That Bind Bachata to the Blues

Excerpt by Juan Guillen

Untitled9

Originally published in 2014

The rising popularity of (modern) Bachata in the US, and the globe for that matter, is understandable when you look at the history and similarities of Bachata and the Blues. They were both born out of pain…from the disenfranchised (slaves in the US and the poor and uneducated in the Dominican Republic). The lyrics are very similar and at times identical…both sang of a depressed mood. US Blues and Dominican Bachata were both rejected by society in their respective countries…yet Blues music is the grandfather and grandmother of what makes up most American music today.

LatinTRENDS brings you an in-depth look at the history and transition of both of these two genres and how this is influencing the growth and popularity of Bachata music in America and the world. Get the Blues – the Blues with a Latin twist – with this article.

Untitled8

By Ray Monell

Bachata and Blues, musical genres wrought by two prongs of the African diaspora in the Western Hemisphere, have outlived the powerful forces fixated on their suppression as soon as they came into existence. Through them was expressed the proverbial plight of the poor, those who would endure ineffable racial and economic discrimination long before reaching comparatively finer pastures.

Untitled7

Origins of Blues and Bachata

The term Blues and Bachata’s original name, amargue (which means “bitter” in Spanish), denote melancholy. Tales of unrequited love, randy encounters and the inhumane conditions beneath which the underprivileged lived and worked were common in both genres. Not coincidentally, Bachata is often referred to as Dominican Blues.

 

It is widely believed that Bachata first surfaced in the brothels and shantytowns of the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, in the early 20th century. It was virtually banned by dictator Rafael Trujillo, who instead made Merengue the country’s official musical form during the 1930s, according to the National Geographic Society. Trujillo’s three-decade reign (1930-61) was marked by torture, arbitrary imprisonments, the oppression and mass murder of Afro-Dominicans and Haitian immigrants, respectively, and economic policies that favored wealthy landowners over their workers.

Video 1,2 & 3 below shows 3 different kinds of Bachata rhythms

1.Video below shows a more traditional & faster paced Bachata, heavy on the acoustic guitars and drums

 

2. In the club- classic Bachata

 

3.Modern Day Bachata

The atmosphere was no kinder to African-Americans in the Deep South, where the institution of slavery was swiftly replaced by a sharecropping/tenant farming-dominated economy, Jim Crow laws (segregation) and the relentless terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan. During the first 3 1/2 decades of post-bellum America (1865-1900), wrote author Debra Devi for the Huffington Post this past January, “Plantation work songs were primarily sung a cappella, but after Emancipation traveling country-blues singers used the guitar and harmonica to earn money playing picnics and dances. Over time, the blues became music that expressed the singer’s struggles and passions, both carnal and spiritual.”

Harsh realities of the time required early Bachateros in the Dominican Republic, like African-American Blues musicians (known long ago as songsters) in the southern United States, to be as subversive as they were gifted in music.

Untitled5

Culturally, the role of Bachata musicians in society was similar to the role Blues musicians played,” iASO Records President Benjamin de Menil, 38, told LatinTRENDS in late March. “Bachateros viewed themselves, similar to how Bluesmen viewed themselves, a little bit like outcasts. And sometimes defiant outcasts, like, ‘I’m a crazy drunk and I’m proud of it.‘ There was a flamboyant style to Bachateros and Blues players. There was also the association of Blues with brothels and prostitution back in the old days, and Bachata also had that association.

Both styles were the popular music of the underclass. These were people that lived in rural areas and worked in farms, people who were manual laborers, and this was their outlet.”

Untitled4

History of Musica Bachata

What came to be known as Bachata—a term that previously denoted Bolero parties in poor, rural or urban communities—blossomed artistically following Trujillo’s assassination in 1961. Bachata’s commercial viability, on the other hand, was stunted by how poorly it was still perceived by the establishment in the 1970s, a decade in which it received little exposure on Dominican radio and television.

By the early 1980s, however, popular demand (specifically among U.S.-based Dominicans) ended Bachata’s censorship, paving the way for the genre’s growth and modernization.

Untitled3

Many of the Dominicans that emigrated to the U.S. came from a working class background, and they brought with them their taste in music,” de Menil, who has worked with Leonardo Paniagua and Joan Soriano, said. “They came to the U.S., they were able to rise up and get better lives for themselves, and have supported Bachata. That community helped bring the Bachateros that started to perform in the U.S. They also helped to spread Bachata to other [Latinos], and then those people brought it back to the country of their origin. That recognition has helped Bachata’s case in the Dominican Republic. People actually feel more pride for the music when they see foreigners respecting it.”

You can separate the Bachata that we know about,” he continued, “which is the Bachata that’s been recorded, into two categories: The old fashion style, what was going on from the 1960s through the end of the 1980s, and the modern style, when the electric guitar replaced the acoustic guitar. The 1980s was the transitional period. Anthony Santos and Luis Vargas was the beginning of the 1990s, and they were the first generation of truly modern Bachateros. Blas Duran was a little bit before them, and many people say he was the first one to develop the modern Bachata sound.”

Untitled2

Originating in the Mississippi River Delta area prior to spreading to other parts of the Deep South, Blues was a secular derivation of African-American religious music (i.e., the Negro spirituals). Back then, it was considered sinful to play, often referred to as “the devil’s music.” But much like the nationwide condemnation of gangster rap by politicians and concerned parents in the early 1990s, the indignation targeting Blues music made it a forbidden fruit too tempting to resist.

Thus, the Blues sound transcended racial lines, but initially under race-specific designations introduced by the recording industry in the 1920s: race music (performed by/marketed toward blacks) and hillbilly music (performed by/marketed toward whites).

An estimated 1.6 million southern blacks relocated to northern states between the 1910s and ’30s, greatly expanding the sphere of Afro-American music’s influence. This particular wave of the Great Migration—i.e., the migration of 6 million African-Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest and West from 1910-70—coincided with the Harlem Renaissance, a time that saw the rise of composer Duke Elington and poet Langston Hughes, among other prominent artists. Blues would serve as a template for rock and roll and experience a resurgence in the late 1960s and early ’70s courtesy of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, both of whom are members of the (dead at) 27 Club.

Untitled1

Any similarity Blues, or any of its myriad relatives, has with Bachata, de Menil believes, can actually be traced as far back as the ’60s, long predating Aventura’s imbuing of the genre with hip hop and contemporary Rhythm and Blues (R&B) elements.

I think that infusion has been going on for a very long time,” de Menil said. “When you hear the first [Bachata music] that was being recorded in the 1960s, some of them had this sort of doo-wop sound to them. It’s hard to go back now and speak to those artists and ask them what their influences were, but it sounds like they were getting some influence from the music that coming out of the U.S.”

Indeed, by sheer happenstance or design, the chorus of Bachata pioneer José Manuel Calderón’s “Llanto a La Luna” does have, in part, a doo-wop feel to it. That said, the line between both genres was permanently blurred by Aventura’s groundbreaking work, and it is due to that musical innovation—which began in the latter half of the ’90s—that we especially cannot ignore what the “B” in R&B actually stands for.

With Aventura, we’re talking about a whole other thing, where [bachata] is really fused with R&B,” de Menil said. “It doesn’t have that traditional sound anymore. It’s a whole different animal.”

Untitled

The Rise of New Bachata Songs

As Dominican-Americans from The Bronx, Lenny Santos and Anthony “Romeo” Santos (who is also half Puerto Rican) were raised on a steady musical diet of Rap, R&B, Merengue, Bachata and Salsa. Heck, Lenny, looking back on his childhood when I interviewed him and his brother, Max, in the summer of 2009, even mentioned regularly listening to grunge rock’s Pearl Jam on a walkman while rollerblading around his neighborhood.

Via Lenny’s guitar-playing, production and arrangements and Anthony’s songwriting and singing, Bachata has been unmistakably impacted by Blues-derived American popular music. Aventura’s last album—appropriately titled “The Last” (2009)—unequivocally validates said notion.

For instance, one of the album’s singles, “Dile al Amor,” ends with the repeated, reverberated and mellifluously delivered double-negative line, “I don’t need no love … in my life.” That portion of the song, I’m compelled to say, is eerily similar in sound and mood to The Flamingos’ version of “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959).

Bachata Aventura Breaks Up

The group disbanded in 2011. Lenny and Max (bass) went on to form Bachata supergroup VENA with fellow Bronx native Steve Styles (formerly of Xtreme), leading to their 2012 hit, “Ya No”; singer and supporting vocalist Henry Santos embarked on a solo career and exhibited his famous dancing skills last year on “Mira Quien Baila,” Univision’s answer to ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”; and Anthony, in 2011, featured R&B singer Usher on “Promise,” a single from his solo debut album, “Formula, Vol. 1.” “Promise” has peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Songs charts, and its video has (as of April 10, 2013) nearly 40.2 million views on YouTube.

Aventura’s distinct sound was met with disdain by Bachata’s traditionalists early on, but the group ultimately authored an important chapter of the Dominican narrative in the U.S. Their oeuvre, influenced and enriched as it was by hip hop and R&B music, linked Bachata to Blues through its two aforementioned descendants. Once separated by the vastness of the Atlantic ocean, bachata and Blues—each of which was born out of struggle—now proudly occupy common land.

BRUNO MARS SENSITIVE ABOUT HIS NAME

ecdd4eef26cf816ac9315da663ca6e95

He came out like an F-16 flying over your backyard. The artist known as Bruno Mars is taking it personal when it is suggested by anyone that he changed his last name because he doesn’t want to be associated with the Puerto Rican aspect of his shared heritage.

Though it is understood that most celebrities revert to stage names to better promote themselves and yes at times to Americanize themselves if their original name is considered too ethnic. For example Martin Sheen over Estevez or Rita Hayworth over Cansino. But Bruno was quick to defend his name change from his original one of Peter Hernandez.

“I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican,” Bruno said, “My dad nicknamed me Bruno since I was two years old. Mars just kind of came joking around because that sounds bigger than life.”

Mars credited his father Pedrito, a musician himself, with teaching Mars the bongos as a youth. He patterned his old-school style after the fashion of that era with the pompadour and patent-leather shoes.

But Mars seems to be more concerned with being categorized in the music business as writing for one group as opposed to the general public who recognizes him as one of the finest artists today. Bruno will come to learn it’s best to let his music do the talking.

AMARA LA NEGRA

amara110816-1

Famous for her hips movements, her huge afro and an imposing presence that quickly grab the attention anywhere she goes, Dana Danelys De los Santos, better known in the music world as Amara La Negra, is an urban artist who has earned the respect of millions of fans since she began singing professionally in 2013.

This artist, with her light-colored eyes and impressive beauty began her career in entertainment at the age at 4 years-old when she won a beauty pageant for girls in Univision’s “Sabado Gigante” TV show.

“I later was part of a segment where children would talk with Don Francisco. That taught me to be self-confident. Thanks to that opportunity, I became a dancer at the Latin Grammys, Premios Lo Nuestro and for many important performers,”

said Amara.

Born and raised in Miami by Dominican parents, from an early age she felt she had art and music in her blood.

“I live for the stage. The adrenaline I feel when I grab the microphone and see the audience can’t compare to anything else. I live for that moment. I live for music,”

said the exuberant singer of Dominican descent.

Despite her years of preparation in dance, acting and singing schools, the performer has closely encountered the ugly face of racism and the rejection of some media – Latino media in particular-for her skin color.

“They never consider that a woman like me can represent Latinas. They are always looking for someone like Shakira, Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez. I am fighting to break this stereotype because I am proud of who I am, of my roots, of my “bad hair” and I know that many Latinas identify with me. “

amara110816-2

 

One of the most important moments in this 25-year-old artist’s career was having the chance to play Celia Cruz in a documentary about the life of the legendary salsa singer.

“To me, Celia Cruz was an inspiration for her charisma and things she was able to achieve. I grew up listening to Tina Turner, La India and Olga Tañon. These women gave me strength and inspired me to want to be like them.”

She said

On several occasions, Amara has been harshly criticized and deemed immoral due to her song lyrics and her sexy movements. This does not worry her, as she knows that the same people who attack her are the same people who later support and applaud North American stars such as Rihanna or Miley Cyrus who has a similar style.

The singer said to be grateful for her success, and told us that her mother has been her rock, her support in this challenging career.

“My mom is my other half, my heart; and you cannot live without your heart.”

She describes herself as fresh, daring and very bold.

She is certain that her career is on the rise and says that she can feel and taste success already. When the time comes to say thank you, she includes her “haters” for being a part of her success and for giving her the drive to do everything they say cannot be done.

“I’m not afraid of anything, I take a chance and jump and, what I don’t know something, I learn. And as my mother says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”

amara110816-3

J. Lo and Marc Anthony back at it again

Photo by San Diego Info News

Photo by San Diego Info News

The divorced parents of the adorable twins Max and Emme, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, couldn’t quite get enough of each other and have made the decision to move forward and put aside their differences to make sweet, sweet music together of course.

The multitalented Lopez has plans on making a new Spanish album, and who better to executive produce it than Anthony, the King of tropical salsa who has five Latin Grammys to his name.

This will be her second Spanish album and her ninth overall. Her last album, A.K.A. was in 2014.

Currently, she is filming the second season of the drama Shades of Blue, which she stars and executive produce. Shades second season will most likely debut in early 2017.

Marc Anthony will be on his Vivir Mi Vida world tour from Nov. 7-Dec. 4 for his 13th album 3.0, which came out in 2013.

 

 

 

TOBBY LOVE PRESENTA SU NUEVO ALBUM “BACHATA NATION” EN NUEVA YORK

img_1126-2

En medio de prensa, luces, cámaras y decenas de seguidores el famoso exponente de Bachata Pop TOBY LOVE presento formalmente al publico de Nueva York su nuevo sencillo titulado ”Entra en mi Vida”.

Tobby Love es famoso por sus fusiones y mezclas de la tradicional bachata dominicana con ritmos urbanos como el R&B y Hip Hop. Una fusión que el artista a denominado “Crunkchata” – música romántica , corta venas con influencia de soul y jazz norteamericano.

El artista de origen puertorriqueño promociona el quinto sencillo de este álbum.“Entra en mi Vida” es un tema originalmente grabado por el grupo mexicano SIN BANDERA llega con nuevos arreglos vestido de bachata y trópico e interpretado por Toby junto al cantante Karlos Rose.

entra-en-mi-vida

Los inicios del este popular cantante se remontan al año 2000 cuando comenzó como vocalista del popular grupo AVENTURA , donde permaneció hasta comenzar su Carrera como solista en el 2006 y lograr posicionarse como uno de los artistas mas exitosos del genero.

Tobby Love ya ha obtenido dos codiciados premios Billboards y varias nominaciones a importantes premios internacionales.

“Entra En MI Vida”es uno de los temas incluidos en el popular álbum BACHATA NATION” lanzado conjuntamente con Elegante Records y que ya ha ocupado los primeros lugares de popularidad.

Sin lugar a dudas, TOBY LOVE con su estilo romántico y su voz melodiosa se perfila indiscutiblemente como el nuevo rostro internacional de la bachata

Mariah Carey’s here Darlings!

Jussie Smollett and Mariah Carey as Jamal Lyon and Kitty

Jussie Smollett and Mariah Carey as Jamal Lyon and Kitty

 

Diva extraordinaire Mariah Carey will be making her debut on the musical drama Empire next week Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m E.T on Fox.

There are no official details as to how many episodes she will feature in, but she will be playing the sassy superstar Kitty.

Kitty will be a mentor to Jamal, the up-and-coming R&B singer of the musical Lyon clan, and help him get past his post-traumatic disorder and into the studio.

During Kitty and Jamal’s collaboration, the duo will produce the song “Infamous.” Listen to the audio below.

Carey’s unscripted docuseries Mariah’s World will be on E! Dec. 4 at 9/8c.

Isa Shares Emotive New Single ‘Good For Me’

isa-new-single

Following the release of her heartfelt ballad “Take It Slow” earlier this year, the sultry Bronx-born Afro-Latin singer, songwriter, and model, Isa, takes us into the complicated situations of love with her fiery new single “Good For Me.”

Classically trained, Isa flexes her silky fusion of pop/soul and contemporary r&b on the new track. “Good For Me” is the second single from Isa’s forthcoming sophomore EP Mirrors Volume 1, due out October 28.

“‘Good for Me’ details the candid internal struggle of having to choose between two lovers. Following through with the theme of ‘Mirrors Volume I’, I decided to be brutally honest with myself and face the situation in song as the story itself was unfolding in my life. It gives a perspective into the other side of relationships that is blatantly selfish and mischievous.” – Isa

 

Listen to “Good For Me” on SoundCloud:

Isa is set to perform at Uptown Soul Lounge in New York City on Friday, September 30. The show is free with an RSVP here.

La India Is still the Princess of Salsa

la-india-from-may-issue

Originally published in the May 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine

By Deyanira Martínez

When she was still a teenager, Linda Viera-Caballero took her first steps in the music industry with the Latino freestyle group TKA. That shy Puerto Rican girl eventually turned into La India, one of the most popular and successful women in the history of salsa music.

She arrived in The Bronx, New York, when she was just a few months old, and family problems forced her to stand on her own two feet from early on. However, loneliness and inexperience did not prevent her strong, impressive voice from being discovered by one of salsa’s greatest, pianist Eddie Palmieri. Their pairing kicked off the success story of “The Princess of Salsa,” a nickname Celia Cruz, her music godmother, gave her.

Thirty years have passed since then, and La India just returned from recording with one of the greatest singers of all time, Juan Gabriel.

La India is back and full of energy to present an album written especially for her by the Mexican crooner. She is also planning a large-scale concert in her native Puerto Rico, and her theme song for Colombian hit telenovela “Sin tetassi hay paraiso” is currently being played on the radio throughout Latin America.

A beautiful Caribbean woman of indigenous features, strong, decisive and radiating tropical flavor, La India spoke passionately about her life, her career and her plans.

 

30 YEARS IN MUSIC

“I find it amazing that I’m still here. I was the first one to cross over from Latin freestyle dance music to tropical music.”

 

CUBA’S GUARACHERA: CELIA CRUZ

“She baptized me along with her husband, and made me her godchild. Celia was like a mother to me. I was estranged from my own family. I was kicked out of my home when I was very young, and suffered a lot.

Celia was an important figure in my life. She never had children, so she saw me as her daughter. We had a very spiritual connection. She was a beautiful human being, and she gave me the advice and support I didn’t have from my mother at that time.”

 

MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE

“Music is sacred to me. It’s a way to vent, to feel the emotions many people have inside but are afraid to feel. I have a wonderful following who love me. It’s not just about making it, but about staying there, and I am here to stay. I love what I do. After Celia, I have been the only woman who has sold albums, who has had her own orchestra.”

 

WORKING WITH JUAN GABRIEL

“I am very proud of this album. Working with him was incredible. We have very similar chemistry; we’re both intense. His songs have been popular for decades, and he was the one who chose the songs for me for this album.

Juan Gabriel is such an incredibly intelligent, brilliant person… it was so cool of him to give me this opportunity.”

 

THE FUTURE OF SALSA

“It is important to preserve salsa now that we have this new urban music boom. In the 80s, Dominican meringue arrived in New York and salsa declined a lot but, for some reason, it returned. In the 90s, we had romantic salsa, and the rhythm was reinvented by people like Eddie Santiago and Frankie Ruiz, and revived. Later, the new generation came: La India, my hit Vivir lo nuestro” with ‘El Flaco’ (Marc Anthony), a song that took both our careers to the next level.”

 

GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN-TROPICAL MUSIC

“Financially, I am not at a man’s level in music, but I am still here, giving love to my audience. Unfortunately, men have more opportunities and make more money. Even Celia earned less than men, and she told me that this was the down side of the business. Still, she always pushed me to keep going.

Singers such as Celia and La Lupe are no win the world of truth, with God in heaven, but they have left their legacy behind. I am alive, and I will not stop until women are supported the way we deserve.”

POLITICS

“I am a Republican, but I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton because I am a feminist, because she is a woman and because she deserves it. Clinton can represent the United States honorably.

As a Republican, I am very disappointed in the Party, and I will support a woman to become president. On Election Day, I will fly in from Puerto Rico to vote for and support Hillary Clinton in New York.”

 

LOVE LIFE

“At the moment, I am single. Not because I want to, but because I feel that, ever since I became famous, many men approach me because I am La India, not because I am Linda Viera-Caballero. I decided not to fall in love again and to focus on my work, reach goals and get where I deserve to be.

All my love and passion are dedicated to my work and my career right now. My arms are open, and I have faith that, one day, my moment will come and a gentleman will show up who understands my work and is not intimidated by my successor by me making more money than him.”

 

PLAN AND PROJECTS

“I will not stop until awards recognize my trajectory and what I am doing with this album, and I will not accept excuses that salsa is not the way it used to be. We have released two number-one hits, and we’ll continue working because the world needs to know that SALSA IS ALIVE.”

LAFOURCADE Is Brave Enough to Bare Her Soul

Natalia 1_crop

Originally published in the May 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine

 

The New York Times described her as a “songwriter with a literary streak in her lyric sand a finely calibrated balance of vintage and new sounds in her music.” Natalia Lafourcade has been in the entertainment business since she was 14, but it is with her latest album that she has turned into a leading Latina singer-songwriter. The recording earned her 5 Latin Grammys in 2015 including Best Alternative Music Album, and sold 100,000 in her native Mexico alone.We had the chance to interview Lafourcade exclusively during her U.S. tour, and she talked to us about the freedom she found inside herself.

 

Your last album was a tribute to Agustín Lara. Tell us what makes “Hasta la raíz” different from your previous work.

This is the first album in which I gave myself an opportunity to look inward. I told myself:“That’s it—I’m not wearing any costumes or any masks.” I wanted to do something autobiographical, almost like my first album.The material came from a breakup, after which I went back to writing songs. It’s a vulnerable album, very real. I wasn’t trying to do anything, just connect with people’s hearts.I tried to find truth through my lyrics. I think that I have been able to include that energy in the album and that people will be able to perceive it.

 

Do you feel like you were wearing a mask in the past?

I have had weird moments in my career, and surely they won’t be the last ones. In life, you take risks and go through different periods. I had many uncertain moments and, after the Agustin Lara album, I wanted to make an album that spoke an everyday language, closer to people. For my first album, I was very confident but I didn’t know much about production, the arrangements, the sound…

 

You are quite active on social media. How do you think this has contributed to your growth as an artist?

Nowadays, it is very important to be really close to your fans. I think that, thanks to[social media] my career has been able to grow. In fact, there was a moment when my label didn’t know what to do with me ‒frankly, I didn’t either ‒ but my fans were there for me.

 

Tell us about your process while writing the album.

It took me 2 years. There are many songs that didn’t make the cut. The creative process, the structure…it’s all very artisanal. I am a bit slow at it—I take my time. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and come up with a song, but it’s not always like that. I write in my phone and in my little notebook and, when the songs are finished, I move them to a binder.

 

Who were your most important musical influences in this album?

I listened to several composers like Agustin Lara, Caetano [Veloso] and David Byrne. I also listen to Violeta Parra and Mercedes Sosa, and a lot of pop like Joni Mitchell, Justin Timberlake and even Simon Diaz. I am not limited by genre.

 

You are currently on tour through several U.S. and Latin America’s cities. Tell us about your experience creating these concerts.

Our concerts are an opportunity to go on a musical journey… a musical experience. They contain very expressive songs that shake you emotionally. The concert has very introspective parts and also moments to dance.

 

What do you think about Latina singers at commercial platforms such as the Grammys?

In Latin America, there is a lot of talent with strong projects, like Julieta Venegas, Gaby Moreno, Camila Moreno and Javiera Mena. From what I see in the industry, there are many of them, even if they are not in the mainstream much. Right now, there are women exploding through social media, like Carla Morrison, who can sell out the National Auditorium.There is more room now for independent projects.

 

 

CHRISTIAN DANIEL: THE SONG IS THE STORY

CD-Cover cristian daniel

Image: Christiandanielmusic.com

 

Originally published in the  December 2015 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Luis Vazquez

Life brings unexpected twists and turns, but listening to radio today you would think that life is one big party. This is what the music industry wants in its artists. But the public wants something more. Christian Daniel provides that.

His latest album, “Renacer,” which was released on October 23, is the diary of a man left open for all to read. When you finger the pages you see death, suffering, and faithlessness. It’s his story and he is not afraid to say what’s on his mind. “I am an honest singer,” Daniel says. “I bring honesty to my songs. I try to write the perfect words to bring that message. It works.”

The one man in Christian’s life who he proclaimed was his number one fan and foundation of his life, his father, passed away of cancer a few months ago. “It was something I wasn’t waiting for because he was perfectly fine,” Daniel shared. “He didn’t last a month. I wrote a song that wasn’t on the album.” That song, “Ahora que te vas,” which many felt was too sad to play on the radio, set off a fight between Daniel and radio people who felt that it was something the public didn’t want to hear. “We lose people we love every day.” Daniel said. “I needed to write something I could honor him for what he was in my life.” The song hit number one two weeks upon release in Puerto Rico and currently in the U.S.

Daniel had brought a more personal touch to this album. His debut as a songwriter differentiates this from all his previous projects. It also makes it the most heartfelt. “I was afraid to write before because I told myself: what if I write something that tells who I am and people reject it?” A self-professed “very spiritual person,” he went deep to bring out his soul. “It’s my essence. I can’t think of anything [in the album] I haven’t gone through.”

 He remained true to himself even when others bestowed titles on him such as Latin Pop‘s new leading voice.””Latin Pop is the way people relate to things in life,” Daniel exclaimed. “In my perspective, people are tired of hearing the same thing. Suddenly I come with this and people are, ‘Wow!’ Now they are going after what I’m doing because it’s something fresh.” Now an independent artist with a team that he feels is behind him, he left the world of labels. “There is great talent that is sitting and waiting. I was that guy. I’m not him anymore.”

 Christian Daniel attracts because he not only knows how to use his voice, but knows how to make people feel what he does. “A good song will always make a difference no matter who paints it.” His brushstrokes highlight who he is now as he completes his tenth year in the business. “I’m a humble guy that’s just trying to make it, to get a piece of the world. I’m a fighter.”

Sofia Reyes ready to dominate American music industry!

sofiareyes

Sofia Reyes is about to become a big name in the U.S. and could become the next pulling force to stir a new Latin explosion in the music industry.

Two years ago, bachata superstar Prince Royce signed the Monterey, Mexico native to his label called D’León Records, and since then Reyes has been garnering a reputation within the music scene.

Collaborating with reggeaton veteran Wisin, electronic dance music trio Cash Cash, singer Kendal Schmidt, and Prince Royce himself, Reyes could be the leading force that brings a second Latin craze similar to the one seen back in 1999 that introduced Americans to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira.

I’m really thankful for [Prince Royce’s] support,” said Reyes, 20, in a recent interview about her climbing success. “He’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. He works so hard, and that’s why I admire him so much, and I am just really thankful that artists like him and Wisin and Kendal Schmidt support my career.”

With only a few singles to her name, Reyes is nearing the release of her first studio album which some fans are expecting to drop in June.

I’ve been working on it for three years—which is a long time—and I’m actually working on my second album [as well], because I don’t want to waste any more time,” she said. “These singles are just a little bit of what my album is going to be.”

Reyes albums will feature some songs in English, some in Spanish, and some that are in both. Much like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira, Reyes album and would surely impact more audience members in the country.

I grew up listening to English music, to Spanish music – so singing in both languages for me is very natural,” she said. “It’s not forzado (forced). I feel like people all around the world keep listening to my music. Even people who don’t speak Spanish love my Spanish songs, which is really cool. I feel like music has no rules.”

Subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter for the latest news, trends & events: click here, its quick & easy!!

SHOBOY IN THE MORNING – The Latin touch that was missing in New York morning radio

Originally published in the May 2016 of Latin Trends Magazine

SHOBOY
Totally happy in his new city, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo wanders through the streets of New York as if he has lived here all his life. It is hard to imagine that, just a year ago, this popular radio personality was the host of one of the most popular radio shows in Dallas, TX, “Shoboy en la Mañana”.

He tells us about the afternoon he received the call that would change his destiny; a proposal to have his own radio show in English in one of the most important markets in the world.

“When I was asked to do the show, I almost fell backwards. It was amazing. It was something I wanted to do for some time, especially in the number #1 market in New York. At first, it was a difficult decision because my show in Spanish in Dallas was about to be syndicated nationally. My wife and I were happy in Texas, but we came to this city because we base our decisions on faith, not fear,” he says.

But Sotelo’s success is no surprise. This young man grew up at radio stations with his popular brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, one of most the renowned radio announcers in Spanish radio. He worked in promotions, pasting stickers and helping in everything that was needed at the station.

Despite being born in Jalisco, Mexico, and arriving to the United States when he was five years old, Shoboy speaks English and Spanish with such perfection and professionalism that he is able to brilliantly connect with his listeners in both languages.

“Shoboy In The Morning” is a new radio show that entertains and informs his English-speaking listeners, but of course, he always adds his Latin spark and throws and occasional word in Spanish. The audience that tunes into 92.3 AMP Radio from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. in New York City is already used to hearing phrases like “que rico” and other common words in “Spanglish”.
SHOBOY2

Sotelo is fun, casual and sometimes a little crazy, and his listeners adore him because he is able to make his guests play all his games, such as convincing Justin Bieber and Chris Brown to dance the famous merengue “Culiquitaca”. Laughing out loud, he tell us:

“I told Justin and Chris that they would increase their potential to get Latina girlfriends if they learned how to move their hips.”

Despite having received major awards for his radio career-raising over a million dollars to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being invited to the White House by President Obama, Shoboy is a young man that reflects great humility, passion and a genuine desire to proudly represent Latinos.

His greatest goal is to positively impact the community. When asked how he see himself in the future, he stares at us and answers with a big smile.

“I see myself with more wrinkles from laughing so hard and thanking God for all the beautiful blessings he brings to my life.”

Here’s the Links to some of Shoboy’s most popular youtube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_mS5mS7cDQhttp://

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dv9KNXyN70://