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Claudia Mercado


CAMPO to Perform Grammy-Nominated Album at FIMPRO 2017 in Guadalajara

The Uruguyan musical collective, curated by Juan Campodónico known as CAMPO is set to perform their latest album Tambor del Cosmos (2017) in Mexico this month. Celebrating the success of their album, which garnered the group nominations at the Grammys, Latin Grammys, and the MTV European Music Awards, CAMPO has been mixing genres for a global musical vision.

In their latest album, CAMPO gives us a “connection to the cosmos that we can have through music as a sensory experience,” explains Campodónico. With the help of invited vocalists, including Gustavo Santaolalla (Academy award winner for Best Original Score for Brokeback Mountain, 2005 and Babel, 2006), the album is a culmination of indie pop, folklore, and global sounds. The fusion offers an eclectic collection of sounds that make us want to dance.

CAMPO will be presenting their full-length album at Foro Indie Rocks in CDMX on May 24, 2017 and at FIMPRO music conference and festival in Guadalajara on May 25, 2017.

See the video for “Bailar Quieto” here.

Instagram: @campomusic
Twitter: @Campomusic
Facebook: Campo

Ricky Martin Closes First Run Of His Las Vegas Residency With a Literal Bang

Latino superstar, and all-around Latino-America’s sweetheart Ricky Martin ended the first run of his Las Vegas residency at the Park Theatre at Monte Carlo on April 15, and the affair was not disappointing, to say the least.

Ricky Martin first announced his desire to headline a Las Vegas residency on The Ellen Show late last year and confirmed the news shortly after during a press conference. Those who remember Ricky from his Menudo days have been waiting for a show like this. Although his musical career spans over 20 years, Ricky had been absent from the charts for a few years, coaching on The Voice Mexico and The Voice Australia prior to releasing his latest album A Quien Quiera Escuchar (2015). His chart-topping hits “La Mordidita” and “Vente Pa’ Ca” featuring Maluma quickly reminded fans why Ricky Martin is a cross-cultural superstar.

All In begins with a pre-show video projected onto giant screens, complete with an “on the run” motif, Ricky Martin arrested (for being sexy?) and then holed up in a cheap Vegas motel. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” then blasts as Ricky is lowered onto his Vegas stage on a square lift clad in a golden tuxedo jacket.

Ricky brings it, performing his greatest hits “La Bomba,” “Maria,” “Vuelve,” “Drop It on Me” and “She Bangs.” Christina Aguilera joins Ricky via big screen for their duet “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely,” as does Maluma for the crowd-pleasing “Vente Pa’ Ca.” Surrounded by dancers paying homage to glitzy old school Las Vegas, reminiscent of The Rat Pack, and Spanish matador’s, a couple of outfit changes and sweat-inducing choreography, Ricky goes All In to close out the show with “The Cup of Life,” teasing the crowd for more as confetti drops from the ceiling. The Park Theatre was full of fervent Latinos excited to be witness to an icon. It is a show to see. And no Las Vegas residency is complete without a celebrity citing (Christian Castro was spotted at the April 15th show).

Ricky Martin returns to Las Vegas for more All In come June, get tickets here. Until then, check out a preview of the show here.

Justin Bieber Shows Off His Spanish Skills On Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” Remix

When a collaboration between Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee isn’t enough, add Justin Bieber to the mix and one of this year’s biggest hits gets even hotter. The official remix to Fonsi’s “Despacito” features a Spanish-singing Bieber, and just like that it has become the biggest music debut of 2017 on YouTube.

“Despacito” has dominated the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart since its release back in January, and the remix may well replace its seat at the top. Bieber’s Spanish verse on the single is a refreshing take on the mainstream-Latin music cross-over that doesn’t feel forced. Rather than simply lending a verse with a Spanish word or two, the Biebs serenades in español, “Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito/Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto.” Bieber’s vocals seamlessly join forces with Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, the former of whom rightfully gloats, “This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico” to close out the song. Over a Spanish guitar, the trifecta that is Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber on one track, is a bilingual juggernaut that’ll probably continue to dominate the airwaves well into summer.

Apparently Fonsi’s return (after a nearly three year musical hiatus) is perfectly timed and Daddy Yankee has shown no signs of slowing down, owning one of the hottest Latin music hits of 2016 (“Shaky Shaky”), following up with his most recent single “Hula Hoop.” And Justin Bieber, a pop music vanguard is no stranger to Latin music collabs (the Latino version of “Sorry” features J Balvin).

Lust Era: Creative Directors Making Music for Our Modern Times

Lust Era sound like a modern-day Joy Division, if only it were for occasional similarities. But categorizing their sound, and music, is not something they care about. Before grouping Lust Era into a genre, and writing them off with banal comparisons, it’s best to hear it from them. The group describes what they’re about as “raw, wiry, and dark romanticism.” Ideas first, that they translate through sound engineering. And it’s this approach to their craft that has allowed David A. Arraya and Luis Sepulveda, the two multi-talented artists from Puerto Rico, to retain complete control over their sound, and create musical ideology.

Lust Era spoke to Musica Roots about how our obsession with instant gratification inspired their namesake, their impressive instrumental resume, and their upcoming West Coast tour kicking off in Los Angeles this week.

Musica Roots: Where does the name Lust Era come from?

Lust Era: The name mirrors our modern times…even though abundance is our present and future, people usually gravitate toward whatever brings them ephemeral gratification.

MR: That sounds about right. Tell us about your sound.

LE: The sound of Lust Era is difficult to pin down. It’s something we barely talk about while writing music and trying to classify it is not something we really care about. There’s definitely certain stylistic leanings we gravitate towards when working on stuff, however, they seem to get blurred once we are in the studio.

MR: And you both are multi-instrumentalists?

LE: Yes, we both play different instruments. I (David) personally think that once you become proficient in any area you become too comfortable and the process could become a bit stale. This is the reason we like to switch instruments while recording and do whatever feels right (or wrong). We both play guitar, bass, keyboards, drum machines, percussion…and make music more as creative directors. Technology is a wonderful thing!

MR: It really is, especially in the music industry. Tell us about your creative process.

LE: Our creative process usually starts with an idea…It often ends totally different from when we started. As far as composing, we usually read, research, or listen to something that catches our attention, let it sit for a while, and if it still resonates after a few days we get busy. We usually work pretty fast, sort of like keeping a diary. Lyrics and vocals are usually done by me (David) but we’ve had guest vocalists in the past.

MR: Sounds like you guys really do it all.

LE: We have never worked with a producer, but if we ever meet the right person we would definitely do it. We know how to record and engineer our music, so it’s something we’ve never thought about to be honest.

MR: Any musical influences?

LE: Bands like The Fall, Suicide, Fad Gadget, Cabaret Voltaire, Metal Urbain, Wu Tang Clan, 39 Clocks, Xiu Xiu, New Order, La Lupe, Iggy Pop, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave are some on the top of our list.

MR: We’ll have to look up some of those…What’s your earliest musical memory?

LE: I’m (David) a child of the 80’s so my earliest musical memories come from hanging out with my single mother listening to Depeche Mode at a hair salon waiting for her to get her hair done. Go figure!

MR: What’s the latest single and what else can we expect from Lust Era?

LE: The latest single is “Ghost Rider,” it’s a cover from the band Suicide. Before that we digitally released: “Hombre Imaginario,” “Cuerpo y Veneno,” and “Noche Fenomenal.” Available on our Bandcamp page! Right now we’re planning to start working on our third album. It’s still in the pre-production stage at the moment. We might start recording once we get back from our upcoming tour. Stay tuned!

MR: You guys are starting your tour in LA this week, then what?

LE: Yes, the tour starts on March 31st in LA and ends in Vancouver on April 15. We fly back home after that, play a date or two in Puerto Rico and might go to South America for a few dates, but that’s still being discussed.

MR: That’s awesome, good luck! What do you guys envision for Lust Era in the next year?

LE: We hope that in the next year we can finish an album we are comfortable with, keep on experimenting with sounds, visuals, and art, and tour Europe, since we have never been there.

MR: Any last words for Musica Roots?

LE: We want to thank you for taking your time and having a chat with us. It is our pleasure! And thanks to everyone that has supported our music in one way or another.

Check out Lust Era on social media and see the video for their single “Noche Fenomenal” here.

Facebook: Lust Era
Instagram: @lust_era
Bandcamp: Lust Era
Soundcloud: Lust Era

Jessie Reyez Makes Us Forget About Our Heartbreaks, and Fully Feel Hers

“I like to sing about shit I don’t like to talk about.” That’s what Jessie Reyez tells her Twitter followers. She may not like to talk about it, but the Colombia-descended songstress from Toronto makes our breakups seem like a thing of tween novels. This girl knows how to love, and belt out the frustrations, anxieties, and butterflies that come with the good, the bad, and the ugly of relationships.

Her lyrics are telling, and with her guitar, Jessie Reyez may well be the next best thing out of Toronto. She’s already been enlisted on features for some hip-hop heavy-hitters like King Louie and just wrapped up a set at SXSW 2017. In her latest single “Shutter Island,” Jessie hits all our exes, rightfully so, perfectly giving name to the madness of ending a battered romance. Jessie is a force to be reckoned with, and she’s got the pipes to prove it. “My straight jacket’s custom-made though (With fucking diamonds),” she sings. Whoa. As if her vocals weren’t enough to drive the memo home. Needless to say, the music of Jessie Reyez is a visceral experience. (Check out her set at #SXSW and see for yourself.)

The Amy Winehouse-influenced singer is working on her debut EP and is booked to play the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York City this summer. She’s been eyed with some top-notch producers, including Jay-Z, so we know things are just warming up for Jessie Reyez.

Check out the video for “Shutter Island” here and be sure to follow Jessie on social media for new music and more.

Twitter: @Jessiereyez
Instagram: @jessiereyez
Facebook: Jessie Reyez
Soundcloud: Jessie Reyez

If There’s One Thing LA Gets Right, It’s An Exemplary Music Scene

Summer is around the corner and that means hundreds of concerts, shows, and impromptu jam sessions are upon us. LA residents, Latinos, and music-philes rejoice for some upcoming Latin shows merely prepping us for the sounds of 2017.

We rounded up some, only some, because there are literally dozens of shows happening in LA almost nightly, to check out. Angeleno’s really have it made (except for traffic), being steps away from world-renowned and historic venues always throwing down some epic shows, it’s been home, and the inspiration for many LA bands and responsible for producing sounds, artists, and genres that have changed the music industry. Books upon books have been, and can still be, written about the music industry in LA. But we’ll leave that for another time. Los Angeles may structurally annoy residents and out-of-towners, but it’s home, and a mecca of artists, musicians, singers, songwriters, and the list goes on.

Check out these upcoming shows from some of our favorite Latino music artists.

La Vida Bohème came from our 80’s alt high school dreams, by way of Venezuela, and they’ll be playing at The Parish at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on March 25, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @lavidaboheme
Instagram: @lavidaboheme

Ramon Ayala does not quit, or disappoint, he will be playing at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on April 14, 2017 and April 15, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @Accordion_King
Instagram: @ramonayalaoficial

Legendary Miguel Bosé will romance the Greek Theatre in LA on April 21, 2017 as part of his Estare Tour. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @BoseOfficial
Instagram: @miguelbose

The LA leg of Tommy Torres’ Tú Y Yo: Tour 2017 will take place at the El Rey Theatre on April 22, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @Tommy_Torres
Instagram: @tommy_torres

Get ready to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Ozomatli at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @ozomatli
Instagram: @ozomatli

Bomba Estéreo are bringing their addicting electro-tropical sound to The Mayan in Los Angeles on May 24, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @bombaestereo
Instagram: @bombaestereo

If you can’t cop tickets to Bomba Estéreo, spend an evening with former Menudero Draco Rosa on May 24, 2017 at Club Bahia in LA. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @dracorosa
Instagram: @mrblake

Argentino rockeros Los Enanitos Verdes are going to rock the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on May 11, 2017 and May 12, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @EnanitosVerdes1
Instagram: @enanitosverdes

And sometimes, you just have to choose…La Oreja de Van Gogh will also play on May 11, 2017 at UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @laorejadevgogh
Instagram: @laorejadevangogh

Julieta Venegas is back on June 2, 2017 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @julietav
Instagram: @julietavenegasp

Intocable have two shows at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on June 16, 2017 and June 17, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @grupointocable
Instagram: @grupointocable

Our favorite bachatero (well, one of our favorites) Prince Royce is bringing his FIVE tour to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on July 15, 2017. Get tickets here.
Twitter: @PrinceRoyce
Instagram: @princeroyce

When Cumbia Meets Punk, We Get Thee Commons

Self-described as “psychedelic cumbia punk,” the union of these polar genres is actually the ingenious baby of the Pacheco brothers (Daniel and René) from East Los Angeles who make up half of Thee Commons. Formed in 2012, Thee Commons have been a staple of the LA indie music scene, and have gained a cult following, performing alongside fellow Angeleno’s Chicano Batman and Bomba Estéreo, and headlining classic LA venues The Echoplex and The Teragram Ballroom.

The cumbia-punk los hermanos Pacheco have crafted, is the perfect example of Chicano experience in Los Angeles, through music at least. Think about growing up in a household full of cumbia, salsa, and even banda, while friends at school banged their heads to heavy metal, rock, and punk. Going to backyard and warehouse shows to mosh one weekend, then dancing away to “Mi Cucu” at whatever quinceñera was taking place the next. The hypnotizing psych-cumbia of Thee Commons takes us back. The fusion of, not just two genres, but two almost contradictory genres, and two cultures, is at least, an entrancing auditory experience, and at most, an homage to the bicultural upbringing of Latinos in LA. Think, post-modern greaser go-go beach party with insane cumbia-ska breakdowns and interludes. That’s the best way we can describe the sound of Thee Commons.

Thee Commons have been releasing EP’s since ’13, available via their bandcamp and their album, Loteria Tribal, was just released on Burger Records (also available on bandcamp). Thee Commons will be performing at Coachella 2017, and have a few other gigs lined up in Fresno, CA and Mexicali. Check them out on social media for tour dates, new music, and more.


Twitter: @TheeCommons
Instagram: @theecommons
Facebook: Thee Commons

Luis Fonsi and Afrojack’s Latest Collab is Proof Latinos Want More EDM

We can thank the rave culture of the late 80’s and 90’s for electronic dance music, or EDM, for those in the know. EDM has its roots in the European club scene, where DJ’s began producing mixes by seamlessly blending tracks of recordings. And while it’s been spinning in nightclubs ever since, and most of us remember it as “house music,” or simply “house,” EDM didn’t become a mainstream genre until the 2000’s popularized by producers and DJ’s like Daft Punk, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, and Tiësto. EDM has become a household staple in the music industry, where DJ’s can sell out arenas to play tracks non-stop and are featured on nearly every song.

Of course, EDM has made its way to the Latino music industry with Latino music artists joining in on the marriage between popular music and EDM. Deorro, the Mexican-American DJ who’s been producing tracks since he was 17, became instantly recognized with “Bailar” featuring Elvis Crespo, a track that became the anthem of quinceñeras everywhere. Juanes and French DJ and producer Cedric Gervais surprised fans with their collaborative single, “Este Amor,” when Juanes took the stage, joining Gervais at Sunset Music Festival in 2015 and their fusion of Latino pop and EDM was debuted live. And now, Luis Fonsi has linked up with Afrojack for their latest take on Latino-EDM with the single “Wave Your Flag.”

EDM has never been absent from Latino music though, and there have been Latino producers and DJ’s killing it in electronic music ever since, re-mixing our favorite Latino pop songs for the clubs. Not to mention the popularity of electronic music festivals in Latin America and around the world, EDM is a genre that knows no barriers, with little to no lyrics at times, it transcends borders to entertain the masses. With the success of “Bailar” and more and more Latino music artists hooking up with EDM DJ’s and producers, it’s a fusion that’s here to stay.

LOS 5 Fall in Love and Serenade Acapulco in Video for Single “ACAPULCO”

Back in the day, Juan Pablo Casillas and Matt Rey grew up in Aurora, Colorado, occasionally running into each other here and there. A few years later, the two, by chance reunite in the streets of Hollywood, California and LOS 5 is basically born. Casillas (lead vocals), Rey (rap vocals), Ismael Cano Jr. (guitar & backing vocals), Hector Rodriguez (bass) and Tomas Slemenson (drums) make up the multi-cultural, and multi-talented indie band that’s about to generate serious mania over their heartthrobing good looks and acoustically-pleasing music.

LOS 5 dropped their EP, MEET LOS FIVE last year and performed alongside Drake, Sia, Pitbull, J. Balvin, and Daddy Yankee, among others, at arenas across the nation. The boys of LOS 5 are based in Los Angeles and an EP entitled SOMOS LOS 5 is due for release any minute now. Their first single off their latest project, “ACAPULCO,” is a love letter. The guys frolic on the beautiful sands of Acapulco, where their video was shot on location, chasing a love interest, but really falling in love with the beach, the sunrise, and romance of Acapulco.

See the video here and follow LOS 5 on social media for more!

Twitter: @Los5Music
Instagram: @los5music
Facebook: LOS 5

Academy Awards Re-Cap: Few Latino Nominees, Historical Wins, and Political Statements

The excitement over Latino-directed films dominating the Academy Awards in recent years has died. Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman took home the statue for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay at the 2015 awards and his masterpiece The Revanant won Iñarritu the award for Best Director (which also got Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar for Best Actor) at the 2016 awards.

There were a few nominations for Latinos at this year’s show, including Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana for Best Original Song, Rodrigo Prieto for cinematography, and although Chilean director Pablo Larraín didn’t get nominated, his film Jackie got nods for Best Actress, Best Original Score, and Best Costume Design.

While this year’s Academy Awards lacked Latino nominees in major categories, and in general, there were many political statements made. Gael García Bernal, before presenting the award for Best Animated Feature Film, made his position on President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico wall clear: “As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.” Followed by applause, and an audience donning blue ribbons in support of the ACLU, Gael made a protest statement at an otherwise conservative event. Go Gael!

Given that Moonlight took home the award for Best Picture (after La La Land is mistakenly awarded), Viola Davis became the first African American actress to win an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony for acting, after her win for Best Supporting Actress in Fences, and Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, strides have been made for women, immigrants, Muslims, and African Americans, who continue to be underrepresented, and unrecognized in film and awards shows. Hopefully the excitement of wins from this year’s Academy Awards carries over to next year, and so on.