Filtering by Tag: music

Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo Feels As Strong As Ever On 'Last Kiss' World Tour

Credit: Johann Sauty

Credit: Johann Sauty

By: Mandalit Del Barco

In 1996, Omara Portuondo was working on an album at Havana's famous recording studio, Egrem. Upstairs, American musician Ry Cooder was laying down tracks for Buena Vista Social Club, a project with veteran Cuban musicians like Compay Segundo. Portuondo was invited to come up and sing a duet with him. They sang "Veinte Anos," a song Portuondo learned as a child. 

"Without rehearsal, this was a live recording. One take. It's unbelievable," says Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. He had scouted and rediscovered the older musicians for Buena Vista Social Club. But he says Portuondo was still a star on the island, and bringing her into the project was a dream.

"I remember that once, Mr. Ry Cooder told me, 'Omara is the Cuban Sarah Vaughan.' And I said to him, 'No, Sarah Vaughan was the American Omara Portuondo,'" Gonzalez says.

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Meet the Brazilian Musicians Leading Bahia’s Afrofuturism Movement



By: Felipe Maia

“In Salvador, we see the future in the representations of the past, so you are the future because you can keep the present renewed: the ancestrality is the future,” says Russo Passapusso, the lead singer and creative mind behind BaianaSystem. The band was born in 2009 and has become one of the main exponents of Brazilian music in the past few years. Layering Jamaican music into patterns and textures sourced from the black diaspora, Russo Passapusso and his bandmates have carved their place in the Brazilian music scene between the deliberately pop and the strictly alternative. The crowds at their gigs engage in death metal circle pits and West-African stomping, while chanting singing fervently to the band’s tunes.

I first met Russo when he was toasting as an MC for the local sound system MiniStereo Público. It was lemanja Day, a century-old celebration that takes place every February 2nd at Rio Vermelho beach, in Salvador.

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DJ Carnage says mental health has been stigmatized in music industry

Credit: Source Magazine

Credit: Source Magazine

DJ Carnage in a recent interview stated that mental health has been stigmatized in the music industry, saying many artists are afraid to talk about the issue.

“Do you think that people are afraid to talk about these issues mental issues — mental health, depression, drug abuse in the music industry?” asked correspondent Alexandra Oliveira.

“100 percent,” said Carnage, whose real name is Diamanté Anthony Blackmon.

“All of this stuff has been in the industry for decades and decades,” he continued.

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Meet Young M.A: The Afro-Latina She-Rapper Blowing Minds Nationwide

Credit: BE Latina

Credit: BE Latina

Brooklyn native Katorah Kasanova Marrero, better known by her stage name Young M.A, has made her own way as an openly-gay, half-Boricua, half-Jamaican rapper by embracing everything about herself that she brings to the table as a force of creativity, identity, and fire. The M.A in her stage name stands for “Me Always,” affirming her commitment to realness in an era when it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz, glam, and pressures of the entertainment industry.

She was only 24 when her breakout hit “OOOUUU” became the only song by a solo female rapper to reach the Billboard top 10 R&B/Hip Hop chart in all of 2016

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How a DJ's Experiences With Immigration and Family Separation Inspired a Song for Change

Credit: Time

Credit: Time

As the refugee crisis widens across multiple continents, prominent musicians like Coldplay, the RZA and Amanda Palmer have released songs and music videos that grapple with issues of displacement and immigration. Carnage, a DJ and producer, has added one more to the growing canon: “Letting People Go,” a music video that traces the journey of a family from their Nicaraguan hometown to a U.S. detention center.

But Carnage’s aims are not just to comment on politics or empathize with the plight of others. His motivation is deeply personal. Carnage, born Diamanté Anthony Blackmon, grew up in Guatemala and came to the U.S. as a child who did not speak English after his family fled the violence in Nicaragua during the 1970’s revolution.

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NEW MUSIC: "No Te Calles" Rubén Blades ft. Making Movies

Ruben Blades ft. Making Movies off the forthcoming album by Ruben Blades “Paraiso Road Gang

“SAL A LA CALLE” equivale a “NO TE ESCONDAS MÁS”, exprésate contra el mal y marcha contra la corrupción. Los que apoyamos al bien somos más. Los que apoyan al mal son menos que nosotros, en cualquier sociedad. Tengan fe. – RUBÉN BLADES

How I Made It: Michael Brun’s Haitian Block Party


By: Antonio Cereijido

DJ and producer Michael Brun says that Haiti is often portrayed as a “taking country”—meaning always receiving, never giving. That’s why he produced a song called “Bayo” which means “to give” or “giving it to them” in Haitian Creole. Brun said that he wanted to show people that, “Haiti has a lot to offer because culturally and historically it’s very rich.”

His tour is also titled “Bayo.” Along with a crew of other Haitian musicians, Brun is bringing a slice of Haitian culture and daily life to cities across the United States.

Brun got his first break as a DJ in the electric dance music circuit opening for Avicii when the Swedish EDM sensation visited Haiti over a decade ago and Brun was only a teenager. Since then, Brun has traveled the world performing at major festivals like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival. He’s also produced music with notable artists including Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin.

Brun says he learned a lot about what goes into major EDM productions, but wanted to create a tour that felt more “organic and rootsy.” In this story, Brun tells Latino USA why knowing music history is crucial to create good music, how he envisioned his tour, and how Haitian music is deeply tied to music found across Latin America and Africa.

Read more @LatinoUSA