Exclusive Q and A: Sohanny Talks Tr3s, 'Step Up,' Collaborations

Latin artist Sohanny knows what it’s like to be on the grind. While she puts in hours of songwriting, singing, dancing, rehearsing, and promoting, it all seems almost effortless to the talented Dominican songstress. This past summer, her collaboration with Vein, “Get Loose,” was featured on the Step Up Revolution soundtrack, and she is currently working on her first English album. Though Sohanny is poised on the threshold of huge crossover success, she doesn’t forget where she came from. This month, she’s teaming up with OurStage to be the celebrity judge for the Tr3s “El Headliner” competition and to give back to up-and-coming artists who are looking to hit it big.  We caught up with Sohanny to chat collaboration, inspiration, and hard work.

OS: Your music has a lot of different influences that work together.  How would you describe it for somebody who has never listened to you before?

Sohanny: I’d say Tropical.  Tropical fusion with a little bit of urban pop for sure.  I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and also the US so it’s a mix of my roots together with what I grew up listening to.

OS: You also embrace newer electronic sounds like Moombahton as well.  What do you like about newer styles like that?

S: To a lot of people who are listening to it now it’s a recent thing, but it’s so underground. In most of what I do there are a lot of original sounds that came from the streets, like my first single that had a bit of Perico Ripiao, which is more of an upbeat mambo. Moombahton has been happening as well in Puerto Rico for a while now, but now all these Latin sounds are starting to come back and it’s a lot of the underground stuff that people loved but that was never really commercialized in the US. I’m very proud to be one of the pioneers to bring out the fusion of sounds from my country. (more…)

Meet AJM, July's El Headliner!

Every month OurStage and Tr3s team up to bring one Latin music artist to the top and crown a new El Headliner. And after thousands of battles in the competition, we have a winner. AJM has been performing for years with a number of different projects, including a stint as a vocalist for Latin GRAMMY winning act Kumbia Kings. But he has truly struck Latin pop gold with his solo material. The fans on OurStage apparently agree, leading to AJM’s win in the Tr3s Latin Music Channel for July. And, of course, with the title of El Headliner comes great publicity. AJM will receive upcoming promotions in Music My Güey, Free Latin Music, Blogamole, and on Tr3s’ Top 20! Sigh, it must feel good to be El Headliner.


Check out AJM’s winning track “Enamorando” along with some of his other songs in the playlist below.

Latin Artists! The Opportunity Of A Lifetime Awaits In This Month's "El Headliner" Competition

Have you been working ’round the clock to perfect a song that will capture that attention of Latin music fans everywhere? If so, OurStage and Tr3s have the opportunity for you.

Submit your best material to the Tr3s Latin Music Channel by July 23 for your chance to become July’s El Headliner. Our community of music fans and judges at Tr3s will listen to the entries and decide who they feel deserves the title. If you win, you’ll gain instant traction with the 6.1 million households who watch Tr3s on TV and the masses of Latin music fans on Tr3s.com through features on Lo Que Te Pica, Music My Güey, Free Latin Music and Blogamole.




Tangled Up In Blue


Imagine Fiona Apple and Janis Joplin joined by Neko Case and Radiohead for a Saturday night out, reads the splash page of the blueVenus Web site. And although that suggests a supergroup fronted by three alpha women, blueVenus is in reality just one woman”singer-songwriter Andrea de Boer. That’s not to say the music isn’t larger than the sum of its parts. De Boer weaves a lot of ideas into each song, changing up time signatures and vocal parts like an actor trying on new characters. Killing Time introduces you to the warm brush of de Boer’s voice as she drifts through hypnotic, moody soundscapes. Grin, on the other hand, uses the wiry scrape of plucked strings and bleating horns to create a jazzy, Latin-infused number. Things may sound upbeat, but there’s distress lurking at the fringes. In Happy Tune”a creeper of a melody”de Boer tries to outrun her demons, telling herself Instead of dark I’ll be light. We hope she hangs on to a little of the darkness. Keeps things interesting.

“blueVenus” – Killing Time

Latin Artists, Enter To Win Big On MTV DEMO!

Attention Latin Artists: We have a new site especially made for you!

OurStage has partnered with MTV to launch a new Spanish language site full of amazing opportunities geared  towards Latin American artists! MTV DEMO is designed to illuminate emerging Latin American artists that the fans have taken notice of. The concept is simple. You upload your best original music into monthly competitions, the community of music fans ranks all the songs competing in the channels according to their favorites and these favorites are awarded cash or career advancing prizes.

To start things off, MTV DEMO is awarding  $1,000 USD to the Number 1 ranked artist in our music Finals. Additionly, all Number 1 ranked artists from the music channels from the February competition will receive a prize of $100 USD. So what are you waiting for? Go to MTV DEMO and enter your best original song into one of the five available channels. For more information read the FAQs.

GuacaMusic: Victor Maldo

When does music turn into poetry?

OurStage Latin artist Victor Maldo is an excellent candidate to answer this question. The singer, songwriter and poet from the Dominican Republic started his career in music many years ago, with the simple goals of expressing his feelings and changing the world.

On his Web site, Maldo states that, beyond transcending and becoming famous, he intends to express his feelings and everything that he has inside. Play Victor’s song Dulce Cruz on OurStage and you will immediately understand what he means by this. With passionate lyrics and phrases like vienes con la sonrisa de las flores (you come here with the smile of the flowers) you can immediately tell that Victor is a true romantic who needs to write in order to survive.

Maldo started his musical carrer as a member of the band Café Latino where he was the main vocalist. He then traveled to the United States to study music and went back to the Dominican Republic to begin his adventure as a solo artist. Since then, he has established himself as a bewildered pedestrian who sings about what he feels and, by doing so, sings about what others are feeling too. On his Web site, Victor writes: I am that pedestrian and will sing my love for you, a love that is yours. My pain is your pain.

If you are into poetry but cannot understand a word of Spanish, do not worry. Maldo’s romantic voice is a beautiful poem by itself. If you do know some español, however, you’ll be delighted to hear that Maldo’s inspiration comes from legends such as Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges and Mario Benedetti, as well as from contemporary singer-songwriters like Joaquin Sabina and Joan Manuel Serrat. So really, what could be more poetic than that?

Victor’s pieces are resonating well with OurStage fans. Dulce Cruz made it into the Top 10 OurStage Latin charts in both November and December of last year and is getting very positive comments. Will he continue to rise to the top in 2011? We certainly think so. Enjoy this playlist. ¡Provecho!

GuacaMusic: Latin Preview 2011

It is always sad to say goodbye to a year that brought so many good things to Latin music. And it is even more sentimental to let go off a decade that saw so many Latin artists (both new and old) gaining international recognition and becoming world famous stars. So what now? What lies ahead in the future of la música latina? Will the world keep digging it? Do we have many more years to sing en español?

I certainly think so. What better way to start a new decade than with plans for so many new albums and comebacks from stars we love? Here is a preview of what 2011 will bring to la musica latina:

  • There is a lot of buzz about Alejandra Guzman releasing a new album in 2011. All we know is that this album will celebrate her 2oth anniversary as an artist.
  • Spanish pop singer David Bisbal will also be celebrating his trajectory as an artist (10 years) with an album in 2011.  In a press release, Bisbal said the new album is going to be simpler and more elegant that his previous work.
  • Avid fans of Maná will be delighted to hear that Drama y Luz (which means drama and light) will be the name of the new album that the group is releasing in February of next year.
  • Favorite Latin duo Wisin y Yandel are also preparing a new production for the upcoming year. Bring it on!
  • In case you were wondering, J Lo is also working on a new production titled Love? for the beginning of  2011.
  • Another favorite Latino who will release a new album next year is Ricky Martin. The Puerto Rican star’s new album will have songs in both English and Spanish.
  • Word on the street is that alternative rock band Molotov will be making a comeback in 2011. After years of being away from the scene, we certainly can’t wait.

These are only a few examples of how bright the future is for la música latina, in 2011 and beyond. We are convinced that the world will keep digging reggeaton, merengue, bachata, cumbia and everything en español for many years to come. Don’t forget to visit our Latin Channel and get to know tomorrow’s Latin stars. ¡Provecho!

GuacaMuisc: A Bailar

If you love Latin music, you know there is nothing that complements it better than a good, sweaty Latin dance. Salsa, merengue, cumbia and bachata are only a few of the staple rhythms that get even the I-don’t-know-how-to-dance types moving.

As an avid fan of la música Latina, I am convinced that Latin dancing is good for the body as well as for the soul. I really don’t think there is nothing more rejuvenating than Salsa or more fun that a good merengue.  Unfortunately, many people are afraid to dance to Latin beats for fear of being ridiculed.  Others believe that, in order to be able to do it, they have to enroll themselves in expensive dance classes.

The truth is, Latin music was meant for dancing and everyone with a pair of shoes can do it, as long as the songs are good. Here on OurStage we have a number of very exciting Latin pieces that not only will get you moving, but will also make you the king or queen of any dance floor.

Let’s start with Bailando! by Kephas, an awesome piece that won the Latin Channel prize back in March and has been in the Top 10 charts for several months. Kephas is a songwriter, producer, guitarist and vocalist who was born in Miami. His parents emigrated from Cuba and raised him on the sounds of their homeland: urbane big bands easing effortlessly into the rhythms of Africa; the hushed sanctity of a Catholic mass contrasting with the rituals of Santerí­a.

One song that will get even a rock dancing is Me encantan todas by Many Cepeda (also known as El Salsero Clásico), a song about a guy who is in love with every woman he sees. Check out Many’s OurStage profile for other great salsa pieces.

Samba anyone? For a more Brazilian type of dancing, play “Carnival” by Quinta Toka, a band that plays a crossover of different styles including samba, bossa nova and jazz. This song will lift your spirits anytime.

If you aren’t in the mood for salsa and prefer to dance club style, then play Chica Elegante by David Rolas and Crooked Stilo, or any song by DJ Prieto Black.

Are you dancing already? Here is a playlist that will make you never want to stop.


GuacaMusic: Pop en Español

Is it Pop en español or Pop Latino?

You can call it whatever you want, but the fact is Latin pop will always be a crowd-pleaser.  Even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish or haven’t been to any Latin American country, you have probably danced to the beat of major artistas del pop such as Shakira, Ricky Martin or Enrique Iglesias.

Don’t get me wrong. I love these artists and I know the lyrics to most of their songs. In fact, they make my commute worth the while (there is nothing better than singing Waka Waka on the highway). But, I also think that listening to the next pop stars on OurStage is even more enjoyable.

One of my favorite pop artists on OurStage is Jessi Leon, a young singer songwriter who was born in New York City and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jessi describes herself as a typical byproduct of a bicultural and bilingual generation. Her first album Mudanza (which means move) was released in Argentina at the end of 2009, and contains eleven songs in Spanish and one in English.

Most of Jessi’s lyrics portray a sense of mudanza, and invite listeners to be accomplices in her life, to move with her from one place to another.  Her songs are a compilation of her life experiences, bilingual upbringing and the typical issues faced by someone her age. I especially like her song Ya No Te Quiero. It’s catchy, exciting and talks abut the ending of a relationship and the challenges of both remembering and letting go.

Listen to any of Jessi’s songs on OurStage  and you will see why this hot Latin artist is rapidly rising to the top. She’s already been in the Top Ten Charts in March and April of this year. Along with is playing in several venues in Florida, and has been a guest in a few radio and TV shows in Miami. She also recently performed in Telemundo‘s League Against Cancer Telethon.

Jessi wanted to be an artist since she was little, and started singing and dancing lessons at the age of 7. We are glad she did. She is definitely on her way towards enormous success.

Does it matter if it’s Latin Pop or Pop in Spanish? Not whith a voice like this.


GuacaMusic: Flamenco

Is flamenco Latin?

Think about it. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words Latin music? Is it salsa? Reggeaton? Cumbia?

Whatever it is, it probably isn’t flamenco. Well, you should know that, just like many great things Latin, this magical music has its roots in Spain, the “Madre Patria” (Homeland) of most Latin American countries.

If you’ve been to Spain, or know any españoles, you probably know that the main elements of flamenco”the poetical cante (song), the guitar, the baile (dance)”are true staples of España. The truth is, flamenco is also a huge element of today’s Latin American music.

Here at OurStage, you can find an array of talented artists that incorporate flamenco into their music creations. Take for example the remarkable Paralamera by Six Strings and a Piece of Wood, a combination of flamenco and rumba that will transport you to Madrid or Sevilla in no time.

Now, if you are feeling in Spain already, spice it up by playing any song by Jeffrey Briggs, a classical and flamenco guitarist who also plays Latin American music. Briggs has studied with Spanish flamenco guitarist Juan Serrano, Nubian Oud player Hamza el Din and Argentinian charango virtuoso Jaime Torres. Pay extra attention to the piece Rumba Flamenca and try to trace the origins of rumba, as it traveled from Africa to Cuba and then back to Spain.

Did you know that flamenco has a deep gypsy influence?

Por favor, do not miss exploring the music of Inner Gypsy, a guitar player and a flute player who found each other in New York City and became music soulmates. Play Gypsychology on OurStage right now and see how flamenco rhumba meets acoustic jazz fusion with exquisite results.

For other flamenco flavored pieces with a gypsy touch, follow some of the songs by The Carmen Milagro Band on OurStage. Carmen writes songs inspired by the Romanian Gypsy vibe, and combines elements of Latin rock and hip hop. Listen to Milagro and you will shake shake like a maraca!

No matter if it’s rumba or Latin rock, Spanish influences are all over la musica latina.  Now that you’ve try it please let us know: isn’t anything better with a touch of flamenco?