Our first Pro Artist of the Week for 2013 is MaG, who hails from hip-hop’s ground zero, Bronx NY. MaG is a leading light in a unique wave of hip-hop that seems to synthesize all the best of soulful music from the 1970s to the present. The sound of his tracks is golden and timeless, embracing melodicism and creating a rolling vibe upon which his lyrical flow rides. There’s a subtle tension between the music and the voice that pushes and pulls the listener “ it’s not jarring, but it satisfies a basic need for drama in music. Not surprising then to learn that MaG himself comes from a background in theater. His mastery of that delicate balance between mellow and urgent is apparent on first listen.
Every month, Latin music fans nationwide converge on the OurStage “Tr3s Latin Music Channel” to discover a fresh face in Latin music. In May, Tr3s asked Pitbull protégé Sensato to weigh in and help choose the next El Headliner Grand Prize winner. Who took home the title? None other than Bronx native Kamaleon. His Caribbean-inspired blend of Latin pop on “Guiribuba (regresa)” is just what the judges needed. Check out more from Kamaleon on his OurStage profile or in the playlist below!
Bronx duo GirlzTalk is staking a claim for the ladies in the male-dominated bachata scene. They won the Grand Prize last month in the Tr3s Latin Music Channel on OurStage with their song Loraras, securing the coveted June El Headliner crown. Along with the crown, the ladies also scored a promotional package on Tr3s and Tr3s.com including features on Lo Que Te Pica, Music My Güey, Free Latin Music and Blogamole. Check out their interview from blogamole.tr3s.com and Lo Que Te Pica video feature below and head to Tr3s.com for their Music My Güey playlist and Free Latin Music download. If you’re a Latin artist who wants a shot at winning this awesome prize, enter the Tr3s Latin Music Channel in August!
It’s hard to argue with the fans who chose Tr3s’ “El Headliner” winners. After receiving a ton of digital love in the Tr3s Latin Music Channel on our OurStage, bachata queens GIRLZTALK clinched the top prize. Now the dynamic duo of Judy Santos and Marlyn Jimenez have opened up to Blogamole with an exclusive interview about their big win.
“It’s been amazing,” Judy said. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Marlyn heartily agreed with the sentiment, describing what it was like when they found out that they had nabbed first place.
“We were both at our day jobs,” she explained. “We got a conference call from our manager and that’s how we got the news that we won!”
But don’t think that GIRLZTALK just arrived out of nowhere. These hard-working Latinas have paid quite a bit of musical dues. Prior to joining forces in 2008, both Marlyn and Judy had pretty impressive solo careers. Jimenez fronted a band called Grupo NV (which did a killer Spanish cover of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”) and Santos sang on tracks with Aventura. But according to Marlyn, it was the GIRLZTALK formation that really got the ball rolling.
“Judy has her R & B style,” Jimenez explained. “I kind of have that pop and Broadway kind of feel. We mesh well.”
And one other thing the ladies have been able to capitalize on is the “girl power” vibe present in their songs. GIRLZTALK lyrics offer a very different perspective to the bachata sound and, as Marlyn and Judy can attest, it’s worked out quite well.
“When we perform live, lots of people sing along with our songs, especially the females,” Santos said. “‘Llorarás’ is basically a song for them because it’s telling the man he’s going to cry for hurting us.”
Jimenez expanded on GIRLZTALK’s female fan base, offering insight into their overall musical goals.
“The bachata genre is so male dominated. Us women don’t really have a voice. I think we have the opportunity to say exactly what we feel and that’s what makes GIRLZTALK so special. We are able to portray exactly how we feel and women are able to relate to that as well.”
And for all of you existing GIRLZTALK fanatics, we did get some interesting tidbits about their upcoming album.
“The record has a little bit of everything,” Marlyn explained. “There’s heartbreaks, there’s happiness, it’s like everything we’ve experienced in our careers.”
You can expect the full GIRLZTALK LP to arrive before the end of the year.
By Michael Lopez
Lo Que Te Pica
Let’s start by clearing up some confusion. Some of you OurStage faithful may have noticed resemblance between ubiquitous rapper Cause and lesser known Yonas. This is because they are the same person. According to Yonas, I’ll always be ˜CAUSE’ to the world but I felt it was time to make a personal transition as I’ve grown a lot in the past 2 years and feel as tho [sic] it’s time for me to be, well, me. Don’t worry fans, the Bronx Banga himself hasn’t disappeared, he’s just changed his name! So, without further ado, I introduce to you Yonas. (more…)
The game of hip hop is one that’s fraught with disses and beefs, rodomontade and schadenfreude. These aren’t friendly waters for a newcomer, and many don’t survive first impact. When a young MC steps up to the mic, the hip hop community pauses”poised to either erupt into hisses and jeers, or break into thunderous applause. Those few seconds are where careers are made and broken ¦ and only the strongest survive.
When it comes to New York rapper CAUSE, prepare to start clapping. The 22-year-old phenom explodes out of the gates, showcasing a bright young mind and an old soul. CAUSE is straight from the boogie down Bronx, a crucible for legendary hip hop acts during the early 80’s. On his searing single In Too Deep, he promises a renaissance for his community. Hip-hop started in my borough now I’m bringing it back to get it on. With a serpentine, lightning-quick flow and ceaseless wit he establishes his reign over his home turf: I’m a king, I could never be a pawn. It’s not an empty assertion”CAUSE already has a Billboard songwriting award under his belt and was cherry-picked by Bow Wow as the Hip Hop Channel winner on OurStage. In other words, this kid’s no joke. Don’t believe us? Check out the single Banga, where CAUSE name checks Tribe Called Quest over an irresistible vintage funk soul beat with a refrain that sums up his mission statement: We’re bringing back what was missing so long.
Welcome CAUSE. Now get to work.