Mexican singer and songwriter Sofía Reyes has dropped her new single “Louder,” featuring Canadian artist Francesco Yates, and trumpeter Spencer Ludwig.
We had the opportunity to talk with new Latin urban sensation Messiah in the studio. If you haven’t heard of him yet, we are sure you will very soon. For the past 3 years Messiah has been causing lots of noise in the streets of New York, although his musical career started much before that with his duo Tali & Messiah.
Los Rakas are duo from Oakland, California who have developed a style that is all their own, and they encourage people to do the same. This duo of Panamanian decent is composed of two cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun.
Maxx Gallo is a pioneer. A man who is not afraid to experiment to satisfy his musical expressions and where it should go. Maxx is at his first Latin Alternative Music Conference and it’s been mutually beneficial for himself and the east coast fans as well as the man who helped usher in the 3ball era.
Nicole is a queen in the Chilean Rock-Pop music scene and she is now heading to the states to showcase her talents on the global stage. She will be performing at SOB’s on July 7 and will also be part of the LAMC music conference happening in NYC next week.
Ulises Lozano of the Mexican band Kinky is currently on tour but still had time to talk with Danny Luna in this phone Interview. He goes into details about current tour, unplugged album, song with Carla Morrison and advice for aspiring musicians.
Check out the audio from the interview below.
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEFeG2L5M3c” width=”560″ height=”315″]
Check out Kinky’s site for next tour dates:
Diana Vargas – Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY)
Q: It´s been a while from the I Edition of your festival, how has it changed through the years?
A: The first year, the festival was a showcase of Cuban films but since its second year HFFNY has been a window for Latin American cinema with a program of classics. Maybe it sounds cliche, but to understand the present you need to look into the past and Latin American cinema has a rich, fruitful history. The program includes also 20 features in competition, awards winning films and many free events in different cultural institutions around the city.
Q: Tell us about some great moments lived at the festival.
A: Each year the festival brings something that we’ll make us smile or roll our eyes for the years to come. However, the most important part is that we always receive emails from the audience telling us how deeply a film touched them or how good was to know of something unknown to them. Directors are also great. They support us, they always want to come back and usually they become friends.
Q: How is the welcoming in NYC?
A: New Yorkers are sophisticated in their taste and always looking for new things. They come to the festival with their eyes open. The response is always amazing. Directors love Q&As because the questions are smart and profound. NY is a place where people are well informed so you can’t present just anything. It has to be of high quality but the last 15 years HFFNY has brought that and our audience trust us.
Q: What are you more excited about this year?
A: We’re paying tribute to Cuban CInema past and present but also we offer a selection of films from Latin America that are very compelling. Stories of immigration form a youth point of view such as La Jaula de Oro from Mexico; stories of feminine redemption such as No Robaras, from Ecuador; stories that constitute the “under worlds” of a place diverse and innescrutable called Latin America, such as Angels & Dust (Panama) or Conducta (Cuba); hilarious films such as Tercera Llamada (Mexico), La Pelicula de Ana (Cuba) or Thrillers like A Wolf at the Door (Brazil). HFFNY has a delegation of 20 directors, actors, producers, parties and many free events.
It is a sign of sophistication in the Urban Latin music world when one thinks out of the box. When two friends do this, it becomes a plan and the idea grows to its natural fruition. Such was the case with two producers, Alcover and Xtassy (A&X), who have made a name for themselves producing for large names like Don Omar, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, and Romeo Santos, among others.
The occasion was the grand opening of “We are Loud” studios in the Bronx. This studio serves multiple purposes and was created as a way to give back to the community that supports the music they help create. For the Latin Billboard producers of the year in 2013, it is all about the plan. “It’s not only about the music. You have to have a team and a marketing plan.” Xtassy explained.
Both are from humble beginnings so they used their work ethic and ideas to gain the trust of local artists as they built a reputation in the Dominican Republic and by extension New York City. It was from their limited means earlier in the game that allows them to emphasize with the needs others have in the business. “If our friends wanted to hear us, they had to come to our house to hear it.”
A chance meeting with Don Omar took two tries to secure but once they did magic was created with two of Don Omar’s most successful efforts. The signature moment was probably the most played song in 2013, “Dutty Love” with Don Omar and protégé Natti Natasha, who appeared this evening. “It’s the people’s song.” Alcover refers to the lack of promotion of that particular song. The names that came to support this opening are examples of style over substance. You had director Jessy Terrero, Henry Santos, as well as “Orange is the New Black” actress, Jackie Cruz.
But the space that A&X created was as diverse as their music. Starting from the main space at the end of a long foyer as you entered, we had a large open space with white concrete floors running from wall to wall and intersecting it. This will be used for live performances, photo shoots, and parties.
In the adjoining rooms we viewed a DJ classroom with equipment laid out on separate desks. The DJ Booth contained a handmade set with several Latin Mixx Awards decorating the walls. But the centerpiece was A&X Studio space. The walls decked out in red, white, and blue, with clouds depicted as well. The studio was well equipped and if you close your eyes, you can almost hear Don Omar at work on his new project.
This is what can be done when two young men with a dream, ideas, and a plan work hard and think out of the box. As they move into 2014 they have the secret to their success imbedded mentally. Alcover shared why, “We’re not the only producers around but we work hard and those that do stay relevant.”.
Check out A&X at their studio in an interview with BoncheVIP:
[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-AUjhQz8BA” width=”560″ height=”315″]
[quote]We were very surprised to be nominated! We were in San Francisco doing a show and our manager Gil was on standby checking nominations online. Then right before we went on stage we heard the news, we couldn’t believe it. So we celebrated the best way we could, by putting on the best show we could! We had a great energy that night, it was great![/quote]
How did it feel to be nominated among Latin Rock icons?
[quote]It was a big honor for us because they inspired our music so much. These icons were genre benders and pioneers for our generation. So to be nominated among them was so rewarding and special.[/quote]
How did you celebrate your Grammy win?
[quote]We’re still waiting to celebrate! We’ve just been so busy with press and interviews so eventually we’ll set aside some time to properly celebrate our win![/quote]
Who were you most excited to see at the Grammys?
[quote]We were most excited to see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and also Daft Punk’s performance.[/quote]
Anything we don’t know that happened at the Grammy?
[quote]What happens at the Grammys stays at the Grammys. Haha![/quote]
What’s next after the Grammy?
[quote]We’re excited to release a new album here in the U.S. in March called “Someday New” and we are also releasing “Treinta Dias” in Mexico. Our video for “Ice El Hielo” was nominated for Video Del Año on Premios Lo Nuestro so we are looking forward to that. We will also be performing at Vive Latino in Mexico at the end of March. And more opportunities are still rolling in so we are looking forward to what this year has to offer.[/quote]
Has your life changed after the Grammy?
[quote]No, not too much. It’s just inspired us to keep working harder and create more music, meet more people, see more places and not forget why it is we that we make music[/quote]
Watch “El Hielo” –
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