Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Look Inside: Is Carmen a Virgin?

“I am a woman of the town..and for the town.”- Carmen Quinonez

She’s naturally blonde, she’s pure, chaste, and men can’t resist asking for her hand in marriage. It’s only natural that the haters come around. In early 2010, a few tabloids papers, along the lines of OK! and Mundo Hispanico, began alledging that Carmen was not a virgin. Since her debut on the Atlanta scene, Carmen has always maintained that she is a virgin and insists on her purity and chasity. “I’m a virgin,” Carmen says in reponse to the rumors. “There is nothing more. I know only a few truths in this life: that my name is Carmen, that I cut hair, and that I am a virgin!”

According to Mundo Hispanico, the unpopular transsexual Jessika Aguiere told the publication that Carmen was indeed “not a virgin” and in fact, was a “whore, a prostitute and a tramp.” Reporter Niece Sanchez says that Jesika called her in the middle of the night, sounding as if “she had just drank 40 beers” and yelling at the top of her lungs that she knew a secret about Carmen that would destroy her reputation forever.

“I remember Jesika [wasn’t too] nice about it all. She claimed Carmen had lost her virginity long ago, and was sleeping with mayates left and right and even that Carmen was using her business to meet men!” says Sanchez. Jesika also claimed to own several photos which allegedly included Carmen performing oral sex on eight African American males. The photos were later proven to have been doctored, and the woman in question was proven to be Jesika herself.

When she heard the news, Carmen was taken aback. “I couldn’t believe that Jesika had said those things to me. But there it was, on the front page of Mundo Hispanico and OK! magazine. It said that I wasn’t a virgin. That I slept around. My name is very important to me, and those lies hurt me a lot. Deep. Very deep.”

On why Jesika would create such stories in her head, Carmen only had one explanation. “Well, I think Jesika is jealous. I’m blonde, naturally. I’m a virgin, and all the men want me. They want to marry me. It’s so true. I remember there was this boy, all of the age of 20, just won Mr. Mexico, and he met me. My gosh, he wanted to marry me so fast. He said just smelling me made him want my hand in marriage.”

Carmen never married Mr. Mexico, aka Oscar De La Hoya, but Carmen did go on to break many hearts. There was the time with Mr. Cary Grant (“He was a love sick puppy. I had to tell him no, because of my chasity”), the members of Reik (“After they couldn’t have me, they all turned gay!”) and Enrique Iglesias (“’Bailamos’ was written about me. He just loved me. After I turned him down, he settled for that tennis player. He actually met me on a tennis court. In 1998, I was a model for this tennis tournament. He saw me, and it was instant love.” ) But to this day, Carmen remains her own woman.

Carmen recalls times before when Jesika has shown her dark side. “She obsessed with this show about female assassins. She always talked about killing men after mating with them, like a praying mantis! One time one of her lovers did die, but it turned out they overdosed. But Jesika always wanted to kill a man she had sex with, and boy, did she sleep with a lot! She’d sleep with anything and then claimed they just kissed. They would be having sex in the next room and I’d be reading my Bible. It started earlier in the night, I would be sipping my water and she would be downing a box of wine, then claiming I was too loud or too ghetto for her in public. It was sad. But I believe in forgiveness, so that's what I did.”

While Jesika attempts to be a woman of Atlanta, Carmen’s popularity overshadows Jesika right away. According to a poll, Carmen outranks Jesika 100 to .05 in Atlanta as favorite female. “She isn’t even a woman,” Carmen says on Jesika. “She’s a transsexual. I was born a woman. I have my vagina, my cherry, my breasts. Jesika just has padding and high heels. But it is ME who is woman.”

Carmen Quinonez was born in Mexico on June 17, 1971. She made her way to the Atlanta scene (legally) in the mid-2000’s she landed herself a job as a hairdresser for the elite in the center of Atlanta. “Those were the good times. I was young, around 29, and the big city of the US seemed so new and fresh. I wanted to spread the word of my hair salon and such, so I went to bars and clubs. People thought it was so I could pick up men, or drink alcohol, but no. I always drank water and ONLY talked about my hair salon. That’s it.”

While Jesika’s claims have made headlines, several around Carmen have come to her rescue publicly. Her aunt Cholita Hernandez speaks of Carmen as a young child. “Ever since she was born, with her long, blonde hair, all the men wanted to be with her. All of them. But she never even kissed boys. We thought she was a lesbiana until we found out she was just pure. Such a good child. And her hair was gorgeous!” Hernandez says.

Many patrons of Carmen's hair salon have spoken out on her behalf. “There is something about Carmen,” says Jorge Ines. “She’s so pure that there is no way in hell that I would believe she isn’t a virgin.” Other patrons of both Carmen’s hair salon, including Santos Lopez and Sheila Ophila both agree that Carmen is pure as the sun. “Why, she’s never even seen a penis! Never even looked at her own vagina! She’s shy. Pure. And very, very chaste,” says Lopez.

Carmen enjoys the bar scene, especially La Dona and Bj’s, but patrons of these discothèques also support that Carmen’s intentions and behavior is as pure as a Christian soul. “I’ve tried to ask Carmen to marry me, or for a kiss, but she won’t!” says Oliver Guitierrez, a dancer at the BJ’s establishment. “I swear I have seen thousands of men going to Carmen, and even a few women, wanting to touch her, or her number, or something even to make love to her, but Carmen only hands out her business card and reads from her Bible,” adds Nancy Ortega, a waitress at La Dona.

“They really should bottle Carmen’s bodily fluids and call it ‘Carmen’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ because that’s what she is,” says Paulina Rubio, a self-proclaimed fan of Carmen. “Her virginity is something to look up to. It really is. As famous and rich as I am, I’d give anything for Carmen’s purity. That and her hair! Haha!”

Last month the popular hair dresser took a public DNA test from her vaginal walls to prove she has never been had. Before she went in front of the world on camera, Carmen clipped her hair with a tortoise clip, and said “I’m ready.” She made her way to the podium and allowed the doctors to take their samples. The results: negative. Proof that Carmen has never had a penis even close to her vagina. “I have never seen such virginity. Not even in young children. Carmen is as pure as it gets. And the DNA results were conclusive that Carmen’s vagina was as virginal as the day she was born, “says Dr. Oz.

After all has been said and done, Carmen’s virginity remains intact. Vicious lies from jealous spectators have not changed the minds of American voters, who gave Carmen the award for the Most Beautiful Virgin Alive at the Virgin Awards 2010. Gossip comes and gossip goes, but Carmen’s purity is forever. At the closing ceremony at the Virgin Awards 2010, Carmen had this to say. “I’ve been through a lot lately, with all the rumors of my virginity. My fans know, my friends know that I am a virgin. “And with a playful move, she flashed her perky breasts from under her yellow cashmere sweater, showing the world what it will never touch. “Soy virgin” Carmen laughed. With that innocent look on her face, you just know that Carmen’s virginity will live forever.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Daddy Yankee: The King of Clubs

The king is back! But is his reign still going strong? Or has his crown been overthrown?

Stepping back in time, one cannot help but realize the significance of Daddy Yankee’s masterpiece, Barrio Fino. Every song, even the fillers, were part of reggeaton history. Tracks like “Gasolina” and “Lo Que Paso Paso” helped Daddy Yankee tear up the latin, urban, and pop charts. He began a revolution that made reggeaton as mainstream as salsa, and opened the castle doors for others like Wisin & Yandel and Tito “El Bambino” to follow. The year 2005 saw Daddy Yankee take the crown of the genre and with his rhymes and rhythms he made a statement: no one does it better.

Since then, albums El Cartel: The Big Boss and Talento de Barrio have been a bit unbalanced. Working with pop stars like Fergie, Nicole Scherzinger and Akon have not helped the king with his reign at all. These collaborations simply provoke the question “why would a king work with the peasants?”

Seemingly back on track, Daddy Yankee’s Mundial shows that he is still the king, only not every song is worthy of its crowning, in fact, the LP suffers from pawns and peasants having too much power.

The royalty: “Vida En La Noche” was made for the dancefloor with its hook-heavy rhythm and off-the-wall beats. The song allows Yankee to glide and slide all over to the deep dance track. “Me Entere” featuring Tito “El Bambino” is the duet of the year, putting the king next to the prince of reggeaton ends in pure perfection. Bonus track “El Ritmo no Perdona” has a little of everything: hip-shaking meringue and hip-thrusting reggeaton. And "Mejor De Todos Los Tiempos,” the album’s opener, sets things on fire and gives a taste for things to come. The king has taken the electronica of "Pose," but still remains in tact with his roots.

The pawns: "Grito Mundial,” has the power, thing is, it has too much of it. From the trumpets, the background chants, the’s just too much of a good thing. Think of it like the reggeaton “Spice Up Your Life.” “Mientiendo Con La Verdad” has the rumba rhythm we all know and love of Daddy Yankee, only it’s missing any actual spice. “La Despedida” steps too lightly, sounding more like a demo tape than a potential single. Lastly, "Daria" would be a strong track, only thing, “Llamado De Emergencia” called and it wants its sound back.

The peasants: A few tracks are so so forgettable, the only sound you’d associate with them is the skip button.“La Senal” and “El Mas Duro” find Daddy Yankee in the dark, dry reggeatonland. ”Que Es La Que Hay” see’s the king of reggeaton venture into the world of hip-hop, only thing is, they never quite make it back. And finally, a track that doesn’t even touch Daddy Yankee’s classic material, “Descontrol,” has to be Yankee’s worst single since the remix of “Impacto” featuring Fergie, probably one of the worst attempts at a crossover in music history. As for “Descontrol,” it’s simple: No hook, no variety, no nothing. Even so, the pawns and peasants of the bunch still make for some of the best club material of the year.

Ironically, Mundial doesn’t have much of a worldwide sound. Its mix, heavy in hip-hop, feels a bit bland at points. Even though Daddy Yankee’s rhyming skills cannot be denied, his crown as king is becoming a bit tarnished. But at the end of the day, Daddy Yankee has still got the “it” that made him a worldwide superstar, and it doesn’t look like that is going anywhere. After everything, from the dancefloor killers to the LP fillers, Mundial still makes Daddy Yankee’s reign one heard around the world.

The Sexy Secrets of Sade

Sensuality flows through the music of Sade like water follows the moon. Since her first hit-single, the smooth operator has given us the sweetest taboos and aural paradise with her records. Considered by many to be the musical equivalent of erotica, no matter what the song is about, her luscious lyrics and sultry delivery make every composition a song for lovers.

Ten years after the epic Lovers Rock, Sade has finally returned to break the tension left by her absence. No ordinary record, Soldier of Love gives us everything we love about Sade and more. Soldier of Love may be short, at only about 42 minutes, but is just as satisfying as Love Deluxe or Promise. In each of the ten songs, the woman gives us more than thrills, she gives us sexual healing.

Soldier of Love is molded quite differently than any album out there and Sade works this to her advantage in every second of the soulful-jazz album. The album’s premiere single, “Soldier of Love,” puts Sade back in control. Not short of thrusting rhythms, “Soldier of Love” pumps deep into your ears. Because the song was released first, it was just a taste - a tease. But now after all the anticipation has built up, the rest of the masterpiece can finally be touched on.

Album opener, “The Moon and the Sky,” caresses the listener softly with its dimly lit production and seductive vocals. Sade embodies the erotic energies around her, making the music drip through your senses, slowly. On the other side of the disc, the closing track, “The Safest Place,” creates an atmospheric paradise.
As most know, it’s not the beginning or the end that’s the best part, but what goes on in between. Sade peels to the core in “Skin,” titillating the ear with its pulsating bass line. “Babyfather,” a feel-good cut that shows the artist at her most laid-back, has the singer going into the acoustic groove. And “Bring Me Home” shows the endurance the singer possesses from within to a hypnotic beat.

Sade travels along her musical journey with, “Long Hard Road,” a track with a rough, dusty feel to it and a lyrical theme to match. “In Another Time,” with its almost lullaby-esque feel, it’s one of the singer’s more gentle moments. “Morning Bird” shows the sensitivity of the songwriter. Perhaps the darkest of the disc, the haunting ballad tingles along a piano-driven melody.

At the end of Soldier of Love, there isn’t a drop of love lost. Sade has given us another record to last us another decade, though, of course, you cannot help but crave more. It’s been 25 years since Sade’s debut album Diamond Life, and since then the diva and her band have given the world not only the best lovemaking soundtrack, but some of the most thought-provoking lyrics. For those wondering if the soldier Sade could come back strong, be assured, she still seduces like no one can. Soldier of Love is a stimulating production that not only arouses the senses and pleases the ears, but touches the heart.

Sect Symbols: Are Lady Gaga and Rihanna Puppets to the Illuminati?

There was a time when certain church groups would play every album, from The Beatle’s Revolver to Madonna’s Like a Prayer, backwards, in search of satanic messages. What they found were hours of unintelligible gibberish, and a few words that resembled the words “Satan” and “666,” of course the proximity of these words weren’t found anywhere near one another in the song.

Now with the accessibility of the internet, websites like are going even further, looking for freeze framed clues that the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna are a part of an underground cult, either the Illuminati or Masons. This website, along with many more recently spawned ones, claim these pop stars are “puppets” of these cults, used in order to breathe life into a “New World Order” or NWO, which would allow for a totalitarian world government. Now this is just a conspiracy, nothing proven yet, but of course, every alleged sign of these groups can be found in the music of many pop culture icons.

Claims of the website state that everything from Lady Gaga’s stage name, her lightning bolt icon, to her covering her eye, and having ram’s heads (which are supposed satanic symbols) in her videos makes her a member of Satanic cults, the Masons, and the Illuminati. Since the word “gaga” is usually the first word said by children, there tends to be an association of her name with “mindlessness,” thus making the singer the perfect contender for being a puppet for the Illuminati. That would be reasonable, but the star claims her stage name was inspired by the Queen track “Radio Gaga.” Furthermore, the lightning bolt is connected to Illuminati cults and how they use electro-shock to brainwash their victims, but followers of David Bowie will see that Lady Gaga was not the first one to use lightening bolts on the face as an image.

The website goes on to dissect every time she makes an “okay” sign with her hand in her “Telephone” video (which he interprets as “6” or “666”), and likens her behavior in “Paparazzi” to a mind-controlled specimen of the Illluminati. What it misses is the fact that these videos are fiction, and just like movies, the people in these videos are characters, not human beings, and that allow the writers/actors to let their imagination control every aspect.

It is true that Lady Gaga does cover one eye a lot, which the writer likens to the Eye of Horus, or the All-Seeing Eye according to Egyptian mythology. But the “covering one eye-effect” has been endlessly used in photography and film, with either a hand or some object; one eye is usually covered, usually for fashion/beauty effect. Lady Gaga did not invent this, but she does use it effectively for her image.

As for Rihanna, the website does go a bit lighter on her. Claiming she joined a cult right before her Good Girl Gone Bad LP. The evidence for this lies in her being “reborn” in her “Umbrella” video. That event does occur in the middle of the video where the “good” girl is douched with waves of water, and out of nowhere, another, sexier Rihanna struts on screen. Of course that’s never been done before! Never mind Madonna symbolically died and was re-born all the way back in 1983 in her “Burning Up” video. Surprisingly, the website pretty much leaves Madonna alone, but goes on further to say that videos such as “Disturbia” show how Rihanna is being controlled by her cults and how the “Umbrella” video, with its scene of a silver-coated Rihanna entrapped in a triangle, is an ode to the Illuminati. Did they ever think that perhaps these artists might have wanted to explore creative directions in their promotional videos?

Lady Gaga seems like she knows her stuff, so isn’t it possible she knows all about symbolism and is using it to her advantage? Maybe she enjoys playing around with this type of iconography and perhaps the same can be said for Rihanna. It’s difficult to blame the diva for trying something new in her art. Expressions that are remembered are those that are different from what is en vogue.

It’s doubtful that a cult has made these women famous, and if this were true, why aren’t people who are openly in cults famous at all? You might see these cult members in a History Channel documentary, but nothing more. Think about this: Rihanna and Lady Gaga all have these things in common: one hell of a work ethic, the best producers, managers and publicists on this earth, and songs that have captivated the world. Their songs may be simple, trite at times, but nonetheless people see them as infectious. And if we are talking trite, why doesn’t the author pick on the Black Eyed Peas, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson?

Playing the devil’s advocate for a minute, Lady Gaga did come from (seemingly) nowhere and blew up on the charts, and Rihanna did go from relative obscurity to superstardom with the song “Umbrella.” It does make you wonder. As shown in Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video, there is a price for fame. At the same time, let’s say Lady Gaga and Rihanna are a part of the Illuminati. Now what? Lady Gaga has promoted for gay rights and individualism since her debut, and Rihanna has broken down racial doors and promotes the image of an independent, yet bootylicious woman who has publicly left an abusive relationship, showing that it can be done. If there is a hidden agenda, it’s either deep, deep, deep down in there, or it’s a positive one.

Either way, the website is fascinating, though a bit creepy at times, because you cannot help but wonder if perhaps all this could be true.

In the end, we need not to worry if our pop stars belong to any cult, as long as their message is positive and their songs are well crafted and infectious. When it comes to real life music and its potential effects, we need to worry about those singers and lyricists who promote hate, misogyny, homophobia, and violence, then turn around justify these things as “art.” That music, subliminal or not, is the most dangerous of all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dannii's Discovered Delights

There are many things in this world that have yet to be uncovered. There are the treasures of the pirates lost at sea, there is the lost city of Atlantis, there are the rarely heard Rain Tapes by Madonna, and of course, the tracks from Dannii Minogue’s aborted third album. Now that one of those has finally seen the light of day, perhaps it’s time to stop looking for the rest.

The 1995 Sessions isn’t quite an LP, more of a compilation of unreleased material from Dannii Minogue’s, you guessed it, sessions in 1995. What was planned to be her third album ended up in the vaults. But with a sigh of relief heard around the world, the vault has been opened.

Not quite as successful as her sister Kylie in the UK and Austrialia, Dannii’s still maintained a successful musical career with her 1991 debut smash Love and Kisses, the 1993 chef d'oeuvre Get Into You and the 1997 underground classic Girl. Though, she has had only one album make a mark on the U.S. side, the 2003 epic Neon Nights. Neon Nights darted to the top twenty of Billboards Top Electronic Albums chart. It’s no wonder Dannii is called the “Queen of Clubs!"

While The 1995 Sessions is not an album of new material, it is what it is, and what it is cannot be described easily. Dannii not only moves your hips, but provokes thoughts. You don’t just hear her, you feel her.

In terms of the songs, DanceDannii jumps to the beat on songs “Skin Deep,” “Love and Affection,” and “Take My Time Loving You.” All three could easily top both the pop and dance charts even today. Packed with relentless hooks and marvelous dance grooves, the tracks prove why The 1995 Sessions finally came out: it was because the producers could not deny the dancefloor anymore.

LoveDannii is unleashed on “Free Your Love,” “Let Love Into Your Love” and “Crazy For Your Love.” These tracks are pure dance/pop, but show Dannii’s diversity as a songwriter and as an artist. For Dannii has, and always will be about the most mysterious element of life: love.

SexxyDannii comes out on the tracks “Love Will Find A Way,” a track that takes some musical advice from Janet’s “That’s the Way Love Goes,” but Dannii takes the sound a step further to the erotic unkown. She goes on to hit the spot with the lounge track “Love in Me.” And “Don’t Wanna Leave You Now” is an emotional tapestry that flows to the sensual beat. It’s the type of track that will become the soundtrack for your candle-lit late-night lovin’. Dannii isn’t just the queen of clubs, but the queen of the boudoir.

We also get a peak at RoughDraftDannii by getting the special treat of seeing two Dannii staples in their early stages. Similar to reading the original version of Gone with the Wind, you are experiencing history by listening to the 1995 versions of “Everlasting Night” and Coconut.” Both songs were eventually re-done and released to varying success.

As of now, The 1995 Sessions can only be bought by import or online, but when it comes to rarities, there is no cost too high too much work that can be done in order to own such magic. If men are willing to burrow to the middle of the earth or the bottom of the sea for their treasures, buying this gem through import is nothing.

In the end, it’s no surprise that this music, which is over a decade old, sounds just as fresh and relevant today as it did as when it was recorded. That’s the magic of Dannii, or perhaps it shows that music hasn’t evolved much in the past 20 years. Either way.

Taborah Brings Body and Soul to to the Dance Floor

The day of the big-voiced diva appears to be a thing of the past. While dance music is as big as ever, the job of the actual dance diva has gone from the likes of larger-than-life voices such as Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to the likes of Ke$ha and Britney Spears, girls who rely more on autotune and the production skills of their music team than anything else.

This is not the case with Taborah, a dance, pop and R&B artists, who, with her years of experience as lead singer of 90s girl group Blackwood, is now coming back and leading some soul to the dance floor along the way. Both of her recent singles “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and “Say I Love You,” show promise that the big-voiced dance diva theme can make a comeback and one day end its current disintegration. Now working on a new album, the diva-to-be is about to break it down at the disco.

Eric Chavez: Congratulations on the new single, “Say I Love You,” but are you currently writing for a new album?

Taborah: Most of my writing comes from what’s going on in my life. For me it’s very therapeutic. It’s a healing process. There’s stuff I have written when I was going through something that I want to put on the album. I always write. There’s not a time period where I say, “Okay, let’s get this album out.” When I write, I write the melody and the lyrics, and the producers do the music.

EC: When can fans expect this new album?

T: I would say, it’s supposed to be the beginning of fall.

EC: In terms of sound and theme, which direction are you going for in the production of this LP?

T: You know what; I will not be Captain Kirk! I do all kinds of things, I wrote a country song. I don’t want to be pigeon hold. When I say I don’t want to be Captain Kirk, because when you see Captain Kirk, you think, “Captain Kirk.”

EC: Definitely! Looking at your career, and your songwriting, who would you say have been the biggest influences for you, artistically?

T: Barbra Streisand is of my favorites I think, because I have a big voice and she has a big voice. She’s good at what she does. She’s a perfectionist. I also like Luther Vandross. Phyllis Hyman and I sound very much alike. People say, “Oh you sound just like Phyllis Hyman.” I finally bought one of her albums and I heard a song on there, “Somewhere of my Lifetime” and I always thought I was singing the Dionne Warrick version, but somewhere in my lifetime I must have heard the Phyllis Hyman version, and that’s the version I was always singing.

EC: For the people out there who don’t know much about Taborah, how would you introduce yourself?

T: I’m a mother first beyond an artist. My daughter asked “mommy, are you famous?” and I tell her “to you, I’m just a mommy and that’s all you know.” I was in Blackwood, in the 90s and we were based in Italy. I wrote all of my songs and rhythms. We started off, and nothing took off. It’s pretty much like my voice and style of writing were ahead of its time.

Most of my fan base is in Europe because they know Blackwood, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sing one of my songs [“Say I Love You”] in Spanish because I have such a big fan base in Italy. One thing I tell my kids, “If you want to become something, I want you to own it. “

EC: You said you love Barbara Streisand, as we all do! But if you could duet with any artist, who would it be?

T: I would love to sing a song with Phil Collins. I love him! I love his style.

EC: I know there are tons of remixes out there for your songs, but who have been some of your favorite remixers?

T: Well I love John Rizzo and Scott from Solar City. I’m not that creative, when I sing a song one way, I will always sing a song that way. And I don’t hear it. When I heard “Say I Love You” and I thought, “how do they turn it into a dance track? I can’t imagine!” I think the first mix that came back was the Arena mix. I was blown away! I loved it! I would’ve never imagined doing that! How do they even hear that?

EC: When the album does come out, where will your main focus be, promotion wise?

T: I would like to focus more in Europe because that’s where I’ve established myself. It’s always the labels decision on where they want to focus. I think the label does not want to put their focus in one place, but try to spread out. That may sound foolish because you can’t conquer everything and all places at one time. But you can with music if you do it properly, and that’s the business part of me talking. I want to have a double-CD because I want to have all of the songs remixed because I am known as a dance artist. So for me to go do a love song, people love it, and it sounds good, but they want it to play in a disco.

Los Yetzons: A Journey To The Stars

Many artists come from talented families. La Toya Jackson, Dannii Minogue, Ray-J, and Miley Cryus to name a few. Usually the family connection gets you in the door, but makes it that much harder to prove yourself as your own artist. Los Yetzons members Anthony and Small are related to Alexis of the popular reggeaton duo Alexis Y Fido, with Anthnoy being Alexis’s cousin and Small being Anthony’s cousin. It was Alexis Y Fido who hit it big first with their album The Pitbulls in 2005, along-side long time friends Wisin & Yandel., but they never forgot their family, Small and Anthnoy, who were included on various tracks included on their albums. Now with their debut single “Nadie Como Tu” (Nobody Like You) out tearing up the air waves and getting major play on MTV3, it looks like the boys of Los Yetzons may zoon light years beyond the competition.

Not only are there the connections and opportunities to be made from having famous family, but also Los Yetzons picked up a lot of value lessons from Alexis Y Fido. “We learned a lot, especially from the studio, they are really strict when it comes to making a song. There’s a magic in the studio that not a lot of people know to make in the studio, and we learned a lot for our shows, their shows are the most explosive shows” The group finally got their chance to shine on record. “We wrote a song with Alexis Y Fido, and it was “Desacontrol” which was on their Los Reyes Del Perreo and that was our first single with them,” according to Small.

Los Yetzons, pronounced “Los Jetsons,” is a different kind of name for a reggeaton duo, who usually label themselves as a “singer & rapper” type name. When it came to think of a name for their group, “That was Alexis y Fido's {idea}, when they heard our first song, they came up with our name and at first I laughed but we went with it,” says member Small.

Also learned from Alexis Y Fido, is not to flood various reggeaton compilation albums with lesser tracks, as many artists do. “ I don’t wanna sound tacky, but we haven’t come out with a song that we aren’t comfortable with, we learned that from Fido, that’s why we don’t have a bunch of songs out.”
Their upcoming album, which is currently untitled, has already spawned the hit single “Nadie Como Tu,” with its hot accompanying video. When it came to writing their first single without Alexis Y Fido, they looked into their own life. “Nadie Como Tu” was Anthony’s idea. Almost every song he writes is based on something that happened to him or me, or somebody else and that happened to him and he just wrote that.”

Their sound mixes Reggeton, Hip-Hop, Bachata, and R&B. Something of a rare fusion in today’s music. “I get inspired by the hip-hop music, American music, I get inspired by that. Anthony is more R&B…but we wanna have a sound that’s not similar to anybody,” Small says.

Many reggeaton artists began their career humbly. Daddy Yankee, Wisin Y Yandel, and Tito “El Bambino” all made several albums before hitting it big. Inspired by their contemporaries, yet still full of high hopes for this record, Los Yetzons are a bit more optimistic for their debut. “My goal is to travel the world, and no limits you know? I wanna see myself walking on the red carpet, win a Grammy, you know? says Small.”

When it comes to the various reggeaton, various compilations and one-hit wonders have spread like wild-fire over the years, something Small is not to happy with. “I’m not gonna diss anybody, but I personally don’t like when people do reggeaton, or 'get on the bus' just because, you know? There are people that have it, and they don’t and I don’t like that because they don’t have style, but they have the money. They are a bad representation of our genre you know?”

No matter how successful their album gets or any awards they win, Los Yetzons, like all artists, had to make their way from humble, yet inspirational beginnings. Small remembers it well. “I was 14 years old, when Wu-Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes and Tribe Called Quest, and then there started to be the Spanish rap in Puerto Rico and I just started writing my own songs. Alexis is my brother, and we both get inspired by all of them and started writing songs together.”

Remembering the mid-1990’s, reggeaton was not were it is today, according to Small. “The only thing, is back then reggeaton was not like now, it was more like a hobby. Then we realized we had to make money, do we started taking it seriously.” Then reggeaton began to make it’s mark on the music world with hit albums by Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel. “Wisin & Yandel helped {Alexis Y Fido} out. I never stopped writing songs or making music, and I presented all my stuff to Alexis and he loved it. “ With their single “Nadie Como Tu” set to zoom up the charts, and their second-planned single, the Bachata-flavored “Cuando se acaba el amor” (“When the Love is Over”), set to be released early 2009. For Los Yetzons, the future holds no limits. With dreams as distant as space, but the talent and skills to back it up, the duo Anthony and Small’s journey can only go up.

Optimo: A World Domination..For the Ladies.

Like Aventura before them, they blend bachata, r&b, and pop for their sound. Unlike Aventura, they are still on their way to making their name a household one. Yet, with hits such as “Falta Amor” (“Missing Love”) and their biggest single “Conectate,” (“Connect with You”) making a mark on Billboards Latin Charts, and with a little help from Henry and Lenny Santos from Aventura, they seem to be well on their way to worldwide fame. Optimo’s sophomore effort A World Tour continues where their debut left off; with clean, fresh sounding Bachata for the masses. Members Romantico (vocals), E.MJ (bass), and Neit (guitar) have definitely returned full force.

For Optimo, it all started with their single “Falta Amor.” “That was our first song, and the first song that made us know that we were accepted by the world,” says Romantico. Then came their successful self-titled debut album, and after years of touring came their second album, A World Tour, with its first single “Ya Te Perdi” (I’ve Already Lost You) which combindes cool-bachata guitar by Neit, rhythmic bass by E. MJ, and Romantico's strong, creamy voice.

The album’s title A World Tour, may sound like a live album, but is actually an album of new material. “We named it the world tour because there are so many places we haven’t been, and with this album we plan to start promoting all over, from Columbia, Honduras, Europe. Actually with this album we focus more on Spanish, all the songs are in Spanish,” says singer Romantico.

The group is beginning to take more creative control of their material, writing or co-writing most of the album. “I actually wrote a lot on this album,” says Romantico. “I have about 6 songs. We worked with Lenny from Aventura, he wrote and produced {some of the material}, and for him to look back and recognize our talent and work with us was a privilege to us.”

Aventura, a worldwide known Bachata group known for hits “Un Beso,” “Obsession,” and the recent “El Perdedor” gave Optimo a helping hand with this disc. For Optimo, this isn’t a first time collaboration. “They are cool people, we knew each other from before, to me it’s like ‘Hey what’s up!’ with them, but at the same time, they are very picky on who they work with, and for them to work with us was like ‘wow!’”

Working with Aventura is one way to make a good album, but making a magical cover of Ana Gabriel’s “Besos Prohibidos” (“Forbidden Kisses”) is another way. The track, not only is a stand-out on the disc, but gave the group an opportunity to learn from the star while trying to get her blessing for the track. “We met her in Miami, and went to her house, and she was a fantastic person, very down to earth person, and I was a very big fan as well. We went through all the paper work, she gave us permission, she’s a very humble person and it was cool she gave us permission,” says Romantico.

In terms of the material the group actually wrote, there came many inspirations for the six-month production. Many of A World Tour’s stronger tracks, such as “La Cuchillo,” were written by Romantico. On creating these tracks, Romantico says “something comes to my head, like a hook and I’ll make a story about it. Or the song “La Cuchilla” (The Knife) that really happened a friend of my brothers went to his wife with a gun thinking he took out all the bullets but he didn’t and he killed her. And he went to jail, and he kept calling me. I wrote it when I was 16, and it’s a very powerful song, it’s not a matter of ‘she left me’, but more about God’s will.” Another track, “Mya” was inspired by the group’s singer Romantico’s daughter of the same name.

Bachata, while a beautiful genre of Latin music, hasn’t proven too popular until lately in the U.S. where the members grown up, but many artists have paved the way and given inspiration to the members. “Juan Luis Guerra for one. He changed everything when he came out, and Anthony Santos and of course Aventura,” says Romantico.

With the inspirations, their talent, and years of hard work, they have achieved stateside success. “Financially and in terms of popularity, things have changed,” Romantico says. “ We walk down the street and it’s come to the point that when I walk down the street and a guy is looking at me, and I’m thinking he’s looking at me wrong, and I forget that I’m an artist and he’ll be like ‘aren’t you from Optimo?’”

Success and the glory of fame aside, there is a lack of privacy for Romantico. “There are those days where you have those bad days and you have to learn with every moment, because sometimes you might have somebody coming to ask you for your autograph and you can’t, and they say ‘aw he’s hateful.’ Even if I’m in a bad mood, you can’t take your private life to work, you know?”

With a full promotional schedule, the members of Optimo are optimistic of their sophomore album’s efforts. “Everybody’s talking about this album in New York, I go anywhere and I’m recognized, for the first album I had those sunglasses on the cover and for the second album I don’t and everyone recognizes me. It’s good, but everybody wants to take a break. Every artist hides a little bit, it’s good because I know that things are really happening, it would be bad if they didn’t recognize me.”

Saturday, May 1, 2010

jLo Gets Brave

The artwork depicts two Jennifer Lopez's staring into each other's eyes, confronting each other as the hot pink rain falls from the skies. Brave isn't as confessional or personal as the album cover and title would like you to believe, yet with it's sleek production, soulful melodies, and candy sweet harmonies, Jennifer Lopez's first album since the hit 2007 Spanish-language disc Como Ama Una Mujer, succeeds on the same levels as J.Lo's previous efforts.

With every album debuting in the top ten, including her Spanish-language CD, Lopez's musical career has proven successful over the years, as well as diverse. Her sounds have ranged from pop (Love Don't Cost a Thing), flamenco (Ain't It Funny), hip-hop (I'm Real), tropical (Si Ya Acabo) and quiet storm (Still), but on Brave, Lopez ventures out into the sounds of disco, smooth jazz, middle-eastern, and electronica on a majority of the material.

At first listen, the music, aside from the album's first single, the radio-friendly "Do it Well," surprisingly, does not remind the listener of the current acts on the radio when listening to the disc, but legendary acts such as Sade and revolutionary dance acts like Jamariquoi. "I Need Love" pays homage to Sade's 1992 classic "Feel No Pain" with its afro-jazz bass line, while "Stay Together" is neo-disco at it's best.

The European first single for the album "Hold It Don't Drop It" serves as the album's dance floor killer in the same vein as previous hits "Waiting for Tonight" and "Play" with it's blasting horn section and pumping bass line. 80's-soul tingled tracks including "Be Mine" and "Gotta Be There" fill the listener's ears with the sugary sounds of jazz flutes and funky bass lines. On the other side, the weakest tracks are the pop-ballads and electronica tunes. "Wrong When Your Gone" is a slow-jam gone wrong. "Never Gonna Give Up," is a string based ballad that just doesn't cut it.

The fluffy "Brave," is nice, but isn't exactly the next empowerment anthem. Lastly, there is "Mile in These Shoes" which has everything going wrong for it, from cringe-worthy lyrics, a lackluster melody, and an electro-pop beat that's hard to dance to.

Another disappointment is the album cover.

While fierce, it is a bit deceiving; as it would have you believe this is the dance album of the century, when only a portion of the tracks are in the dance mode.

Lopez makes up for the musical slumps with the sexy, almost eerie "Frozen Moments," a track with a haunting cello hook, quiet vocals, and minimal music. The track is reminiscent of the 1983 Diana Ross single "Pieces of Ice," and it succeeds the same way Ross's track did; combining odd music with an interesting melody. Unfortunately, the track was only available with the pre-order version on I-tunes, but it's definitely worth looking for.

Jennifer Lopez is a fine example of a singer taking their given talent and strengthening it and using it for everything its worth. While she will never be the next Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, Lopez makes up for her limited vocal range with character, infectious songs, and diverse sound. Brave isn't as ambitious as J. LO, or even as commercial in its sound, but for it's efforts, Brave proves Lopez still can do it well.

Braxton's Beat is Back

Her voice oozes sex, and her music, no matter the theme or the lyrics, makes one quiver. With all that, it’s no wonder that her new album is entitled Pulse. The contemporary R&B album is all set to make your heart beat faster with its slick and sexy grooves.

The album’s first single, the sparklingly good “Yesterday,” breathes new life into the R&B ballad genre. It has been compared to Beyonce’s “Halo,” production wise but let it be known that Beyonce doesn’t have anything on Toni. The LP version is pure perfection, making the remix featuring Trey Songz sub par. The song certainly did not need a man’s touch.

A singer known for songs like “Another Sad Love Song” and “Un-Break My Heart,” Braxton doesn’t have a good number of “girl power” tracks, but with Pulse, she is beginning to empower women through song. Aside from the powerful “Yesterday,” Braxton emasculates men with “Wardrobe,” a track in which she compares men to clothes. It’s a bit trite, but still effective. “Woman,” the album’s fiercest moment, goes much deeper into the theme, telling a story of a neglected woman who demands to be treated like a woman with a heart. You go girl!

Aside from the 2000 smash “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” club-bangers have never been the diva’s strongest suit. “Make My Heart,” the LP’s second single, blends funk with electronica to make a unique dancefloor gem. On the other hand, “Looking at Me” isn’t as cringeworthy, as say, a Ke$ha track, the only thing saving the songs is Toni’s seductive voice. Think of the songs as the musical equivalent of when the pulse monitor becomes a straight line. With lyrics like “You got me looking at you, and now you’re looking at me” is about as cliché as it gets. Toni Braxton vocals and Pussycat Doll lyrics don’t exactly set your pulse on fire.

Cooling things down a little bit, Braxton travels down the ballad route on “Heart Never Had a Hero,” which shows off Toni’s super voice and “Pulse,” a track that pours perfection into the LP.Stepping back in time, “Hands Tied” sounds pure 90’s, with its tinkling piano keys and big chorus, but Braxton does it much better on “Why Won’t You Love Me,” a song that practically melts your heart away with it’s sweet and sexy sounds.

Speaking of sexy sounds, from “Spanish Guitar” to “Suddently,” Braxton and Latin ballads blend beautifully, and “No Way, No How” adds to the list of the diva’s ventures into the Latin vibes. On the other side of the field, Braxton almost goes country on the track “If I Have to Wait.”

Fans are aware of the several tracks leaked online in the past few months, but while there were many songs recorded for this project, many will remain unreleased. Songs like “It’s You,” a charming modern day Diana Ross & The Supremes-sounding track, the sexed up “Clockwork,” and the laid-back “I Hate Love” are much stronger contenders for single material than many that did make the LP.

Toni Braxton’s past efforts are hard to surpass. Secrets is a classic, and her debut sounds just as fresh today as it did then. She had a few missteps after that with the lukewarm The Heat and the try-too-hard More than a Woman, but since Libra, Braxton has bounced back.

Pulse sees the iconic diva at her peak once again. Even though she got lost a bit with the club-bangers, she more than found her way back home musically with this record. One of the biggest sellers in the 90’s, the 2000’s saw her career on life support at times. With Pulse, though, her success and music is certain to fly to the top off the charts once again. Braxton is the true definition of a diva.

Fanny Lu Puts Two and Two Together to Make Dos

Showing men how it’s done right, Fanny Lu has taken over the Latin world of music with her talent, intelligence, and sex appeal. While she may be beautiful and blonde, the singer/songwriter is no Columbian Britney Spears. Fanny Lu takes part in the creation of her hits and she comes up with quite a recipe for success.

Combining traditional Columbian sounds of vallenato with the contemporary sounds of electronica successfully isn’t an easy thing to do, but Fanny Lu has done just that her sophomore effort’s first single “Tu No Eres Para Mi” (“You Are Not For Me”). The album, Dos, came out just a few years after her debut success, Lagrimas Calidas. Nixing the sophomore slump, Dos’s first two singles “Tu No Eres Para M” and “Celos” (“Jealousy”) are already hits in the United States and Columbia.

For its first single, Fanny Lu chose, “Tu No Eres Para Mi.” “It’s a very fun song, you look back and you wish you could have dedicated it. It’s about those relationships when you are with someone that is not for you, it has happened to be in the past a few times,” Fanny Lu admits.

In preparation for the music video, “Tu No Eres Para Mi”, Fanny Lu chose Wilmer Valderrama as her male object of affection; unfortunately he also plays the object of her voodoo powers. But when it comes to real life, Fanny Lu doesn’t see herself as a user of the voodoo. “Never!” she says. “I only believe in God, I don’t think your future can altered by anyone. It was showing what woman may want to do, when someone makes you cry, especially your lover, it’s to represent when you imagine when you’re crying to someone who tries to play with you,” Fanny says.

Dos may seem like a very simple title, and perhaps very obvious for a singer’s sophomore album, but for Fanny Lu, “dos” means much more than the number. “It’s called Dos because it is the second album, but also because the album is about the two sides of things, the happiness and sadness, a woman that is sensitive and strong, cries and cleans up the tears and walks again with strength, the two sides of women and men, very different,” Fanny Lu explains.

Her sophomore effort varies greatly from her debut; Dos and Fanny Lu made sure that it did. “One of my ideas was to go as far as I could, to look for new stuff to really explore and look for new things, I wanted to involve in the fusion, we experimented, it’s like cooking, whenever you write the song, you decide which elements to use and which ones to use, we enjoyed it a lot, a lot of new sounds a lot of new ways of doing our fusion, this album has a lot of surprises, even for us!” says Fanny.

When it comes to the most exceptional song on the album, Fanny Lu has trouble choosing just one. “Like children, you can never say you like one more than the other, I like something very much about each song on the album,” says Fanny Lu. If there were one song that stuck out for the singer, Fanny Lu can pick one. “I got to write this song for my dad, “Un Minuto Mas,” (“One More Minute”) and how that one minute could mean eternity, you can use that minute to think about all the things you didn’t think and do things you never got do when they were alive. It’s a sad story in my life and I always wanted to write this song, and I had the beautiful opportunity to do it with Noel Schajris from the group Sin Bandera, and it’s included in the album, and it’s one of the most special songs I’ve written and produced. It was great experience and I love that song, it’s not the song I love the most, but it’s very special to me,” according to Fanny Lu.

A prolific songwriter, Fanny Lu admits there are many songs that were written and recorded, but remain unreleased. “Many songs I wrote are not on this album, we wrote a lot and worked a lot, and we had a lot of songs, I have a great team, we decide which songs we want to include and not to include. We did all the demos and I have them there are my computers, it’s a possibility it’s going to happen with all the albums, Lu says.

While her self-written songs stand out on their own, her beautiful looks and voice have been compared to another Columbian phenomenon; Shakira. When it comes to the comparisons that were made during her debut promo, “I heard it a lot, but I don’t hear it anymore, but it’s an honor, I really admire her, so it’s really great to be compared with such a great artist,” Fanny Lu admits.

Shakira is one inspiration for Fanny Lu, but the singer/songwriter cites many artists from today and yesterday, as the ones responsible for her love of music and eclectic sound. “Elton John, Sting, Bon Jovi, Juanes, Juan Gabiel, Madonna, who’s 50 years old and is still young as she was when she was 20,” says Fanny Lu. Looking back at her early days of listening to others music, Fanny Lu says, “I learned their songs, and I sang them, memorized them, it wasn’t just one artist it was a lot of artists, I grew up with a lot of artists. I believe growing up with so many artists makes you want to use the different elements in your music.” With a hit album behind her and a possible bigger seller in front of her, Fanny Lu only looks at today.

Despite all the success she has enjoyed, Fanny Lu understands what is really important in life, always listing her happiness before her high sales when speaking of her success. It seems as if her happiness leads her direction in terms of music. Listening to Dos, one can expect only rich music full of flavor and heart from the singer/songwriter who gives her fans a taste of the best of both worlds.

Kristine W. is still flying strong despite the hardships

Kristine W. has a lot to be happy about these days: she has just released her latest successful LP, a DVD music video collection, and a holiday disc. She is also currently making her rounds on a world tour, and one of her latest singles, “Walk Away,” a collaboration with DJ Tony Moran, broke a record set by Madonna on the Billboard Dance charts.With everything going on, Kristine W. has not forgotten why she loves her work.

Ever since her debut in 1996 with “Land of the Living,” Kristine W. has put out dance records for the clubs to gush up, all the while expressing her voice, which would impress Aretha Franklin. Even after tragedy struck in 2000, when Kristine W. was diagnosed with Leukemia, she still remained strong.

Strength seems to come easy for the diva, who, no matter what, is her own “Boss.” Kristine is currently in promotion mode for her newly released studio album The Power of Music, which Kristine W. says on the record, “this time it’s going to have a much more world flavor [than my previous records]. There’s, you know, maybe five different producers on the fourteen tracks from all over the world. London, LA, Frankfort,” says the artist. “We covered a lot of sounds, and there’s a chilled-out song on there, like Sade on steroids. On this album, there are so many different sounds. There’s funky-house on “The Boss,” then I have this really epic drama ballad, there’s this Mary J. Blige kinda vibe track I did with Brenda Russell, then there’s this straight up 133 BPM track, almost like a trance track. I think that is why it’s called The Power of Music.”W. is also working on a compilation album entitled Straight Up With a Twist, which she describes as “a CD of acoustic versions of jazz arrangements of my #1 hits.”

Surprisingly, Kristine W. has broken the record set by Madonna for most consecutive #1 Billboard Dance/Club Play tracks. Kristine says, “It’s pretty amazing. You know it’s exciting! I’m just blessed that people like what I do. I always say that music is medicine for the soul, so I’m mixing it up as best as I can.”

Remixes are usually the tracks that get Kristine W. to the top, and unlike many other dance-oriented artists, she takes great care to choose different types for different audiences. “Oh yeah, yes I do! I pick ‘em! Now, especially “The Boss.” I picked them, that is why there are so many different styles. I think people like to hear different things. A lot of times, the record companies want New York remixers to mix it so it will get radio play in New York. But now since nothing gets played on the radio except what’s paid for, it’s like satellite is the only creative radio with people adding new music,” says the diva.

Before the last couple of years, U.S. radio didn’t have much of a warm spot for dance music, aside from Cher’s “Believe,” Madonna’s “Hung Up” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” Kristine W., an American-based artist, has seen the recent worldwide trends in dance music. “It’s only in America though [that dance music isn’t popular], and you know why? Because dance music is too happy,” the artist says.“Everybody [in the U.S.] is so into being depressed. Code Red and fear. But I’ve been to places where people don’t have two nickels to rub together and are freakin’ happier than hell....Yes, 9/11 happened, but you gotta keep going. I’ve done a show fifteen miles down the road from where there was a bombing, and I don’t know how many hundreds of people got blown sky high, right on the border of Israel, and they were saying I had to quit the show. I was like ‘I ain’t going no where!’” remembers the singer.

As much music as she’s putting out, Kristine W. admits it’s not as easy as it sounds. “It takes about three months. Plus there’s the artwork and production. The record companies aren’t taking care of the smaller stuff like artwork and credits anymore. It’s a lot of work. It’s not as glamorous as the fans think…the only time it’s really glamorous is the time you’re on stage. And meeting with the fans,” says Kristine.

It is her fans that she credits as inspirations, both emotionally and even material wise. “I’m really blessed. I have great fans”, she says. “They’ve really inspired this new album. I’m just the messenger. I basically wrote songs that talk about all the topics they have shared with me,” she continues. To her fans, Kristine W. offers the advice to stay positive and not worry about what the media portrays. “When you’re positive you can make anything happen, it’s when you get negative everything goes to shit. It’s the media, they prey on the sensationalism, and people are afraid to do anything,” says Kristine.

No doubt Kristine W. will continue to support her fans and bring them happiness in this world. “In music we just have to do what we do. And you have to think of the world and what it needs, what do my fans want to hear. What can I do to make things better with my music, since it’s the only thing I do to make a difference.”

Everything has changed for Latin rock group Camila

Scoring success with a debut album, filling the radio with your songs like “Todo Cambio”, sticking out of the crowd of similar groups, then taking four years off…doesn’t sound like the recipe to longevity, does it? True, many artists take time between albums. Sade was gone a decade, but come on, she’s Sade. Gone, but not forgotten, members Mario, Samo, and Pablo are back with Dejarte De Amar. Camila came out around the time of fellow Mexican rock/pop phenomenon Reik, and since then, Reik has released three strong records, now Camila is barely on their second, but do they catch up?

Always compared to Reik, Camila, now leaning towards more the lite-hard rock/pop sound, have shown to be completely different with their sophomore effort. The band captures their sound perfectly with the album cover: a sepia tone photograph of the band on ladders in the lake. The album is beautiful, shows growth, but at the same time gives room for progression of the band’s sound and songwriting.

“Mientes,” the first single, shoots to the sky right off with its radio-friendly riffs making for one of the best rock songs in the past ten years.

Perhaps the most stand-out track on the album, “Entre Tus Alas” sets the feeling of floating on water. It’s gentle, yet strong and perhaps has one of the strongest hooks ever used in rock music history. Acoustic guitars tinkle through the song like drops of water in the calm lake, and Mario’s vocals soak the soak in richness and feeling.

The title track allows the boys to pour a little theatrics into the mix. You could only imagine then with shiny capes and pyro to accompany the performance on stage. By far the biggest risk the band takes as composers. “De Mi,” the final track, takes the listener on an emotional journey through the musical wilderness, complete with tribal flutes. On the other side, “Nada” takes the listener back to the sweet sounds of vintage Camila.

Slower songs, like “Restos de Abril,” “Alejate De Mi” and “De Que Me Sirve La Vida” border on the sappy side, but are perfect for the times when you’re just laying there in the dark with that sexy someone.

If there were any real problems with the album, aside from a few filler tracks, it would be when usually background-vocalist Samo takes the lead. While Mario’s voice is beautiful and diverse, Samo gives the same breathy, whispery vocals throughout the entire album. Artistically, the vocalist tries too hard to be different, changing chords and melodies up when they need not change.

At the end of the day, it would’ve been so easy to have made a sappy-yet-try-too-hard-to-look-tough album like, say, Daughtry, but Camila not only took on the rock genre, they took it to the next level. With Dejarte de Amar, Camila go from “where are they now?” to the savior’s the Latin rock.

Nyee Moses: Between the Music Sheets

Listening to her disc is like enjoying a hot cup of café mocha. The rich flavors blend to create an intense heightening of your senses and leave you only craving more and more. The album’s first single “Between Us,” has peaked at number ten on Billboards Smooth Jazz charts and with the success of her sophomore single, “Love Is a Lion,” she is set to tear up the charts even more.Sexy. Smooth. Soulful.

Up and coming singer/songwriter Nyee Moses exudes this and more. With her debut self-titled album, she has conquered late night smooth jazz radio. Her songs have garnered rave reviews from both Entertainment Weekly and Billboard Magazine. Her sound blends a mix of jazz, soul, R&B, funk, pop, Latin, African, and hip-hop to utter perfection.

With more success on its way, Moses is grateful for the response she’s getting. “We’re so loving the response we’re getting…it’s flattering, incredible, and I’m happy. You never know what is going to happen to you, and we’re getting this beautiful response from so many people, “Moses says.

Her debut self-titled album’s sounds range from neo-soul to funk, but when it comes to the album’s eclectic sound, Nyee attributes it to her inspirations growing up. “I love Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, the Psychedelic sound, I love the traditional jazz like Miles Davis, I listen to classical. I think the album reflects a lot of different genres: Latin, African, pop,” Moses says. And Nyee pays dues to a singer many have compared her to, Sade. “Sade is an icon, incredible. Something about her writing, quality, it’s just honest and beautiful.”

Nyee’s musical inspirations and writing roots go back to her childhood. “Growing up I was adopted, and I always felt like I was the odd-one out, not because I was adopted, but because I was the odd-one out. I turned to writing and poetry to express myself. I wrote a lot of poetry, and I probably wrote a father’s day song for my dad when I was 10 years old. And I played violin, so I was always musical,” says the singer.

Nyee’s sound is one for candle-lit nights between lovers and she attributes many of her more sensual songs to her dealings with love. “It just comes from a very honest point. My first two singles were straight love songs, [like] when you’re really immersed in a relationship and how that makes you feel. That’s how I wrote it into the music,” says Nyee. “And I had amazing musicians. They are naturally sexy players with sexy instruments,” the singer concludes. “Between Us,” the album’s first single, has made its splash on the U.S Billboard charts, yet many of the album’s tracks are single-worthy.

Nyee chose “Between Us” along with her record company because, “I think the guitar at the front just hits you, and grabs you…it is one of the more poppy songs. It was between ‘Love is a Lion’, the next single...there are quite a few single [-worthy tracks] on that album, “says Moses.

An album’s artwork is almost as important as the music itself in selling the product, and Nyee thought of the simple, yet beautiful concept of her looking into a rear view mirror while she was at a friends. “I love old car, and that’s a 57 Chevy truck, a friend of mine had it, and it was parked in the back, and we did a photo shoot around the truck,” Nyee says.

“Between Us” is one of the few singles by a new artist to be released to radio this year, with fewer and fewer debut albums being promoted by record companies, Nyee feels flattered, yet still concerned about her success. “It’s so unfair [that many artists don’t get promoted] , and it’s so miraculous [that] radio promoters have loved [my music] and have pushed it. It must be that guitar up front. It makes people think ‘oh I like that’ and makes them want to listen. I was so honored to be one of those artists picked to get so much radio play,” says the songwriter.

Already breaking into the impossible business of music and making her mark, Nyee has even more plans to write for a second album and isn’t closed minded about any other forms of entertainment to go into. “There’s always more,” she says, “you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Hey, there’s a movie, or there’s another thing. Music opens up the doors to opportunities to other things,” says Moses. If her debut album is any sign of what is to come, Nyee is by no means a one-hit wonder, and with her own brand of unique soul/jazz/R&B fusion and she’s not the next Sade or the next Jill Scott, but the first Nyee Moses.

Smooth Operator Spice

Good music is like good sex, when it’s good, it lasts, and when it’s bad, you want it over, yesterday. On that thought, Sade’s new album Soldier of Love delivers the best lovemaking music since, well, her last record, Lover’s Rock. It’s been nearly a decade since then, leading many fans to rely on other Sade classics such as Love Deluxe and Diamond Life for fulfill their desires for sensual sounds.

Soldier of Love outshines all records out there from the past five years, easily. Sade has come back as a strong soldier, both lyrically and musically. There’s a common theme of love and war in the album, yet the songs on the disc give nothing but feelings of peace. As a songwriter, Sade Adu flows freely in a poetic path. No matter what Sade sings about, though, her vocals arouse all senses.With all its erotic heat, Soldier of Love has plenty of tracks to add to the list of late-night love affair classics. Every Sade record has its songs for the seduction (“Love is Stronger Than Pride”), the afterglow (“Kiss of Life”) and the in-between (“No Ordinary Love”), and Soldier of Love satisfies any need.

For the Seduction: Like the anticipation music fans have felt waiting for this new Sade record, a handful of the tracks on Soldier of Love help build up the momentum. The singer seduces sweetly with “Babyfather” and “Bring Me Home.” “Morning Bird,” though a bit dark for Sade, still exudes the feelings of a first kiss in the dark.
For the In-Between: Candles dripping, all that’s missing is the music. ”Soldier of Love” with it’s thrusting beats, commands attention.” The Moon and the Sky” and “Long Hard Road” heat things up in their passionate rhythms and the climax of the record, “Skin” goes deep into the lustful groove.

For the Afterglow: After all is said and done, and you lie there in the stillness, songs such as “Be That Easy” and “In Another Time” comfort the soul and ease the mind. The album’s closer, “The Safest Place” breathes new life into the love song and creates the feeling of a lover’s embrace in the moon glow.

For all its worth, Soldier of Love makes for a strong album laced with eroticism. The record should actually come with satin sheets. Even the morning after the first time listening to the album, just the thought of the beats sends tingles through you. The words inspire and the music hypnotizes. An album that feels like it will last; Soldier of Love hits all the right spots.

Eye Candy: Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour Comes Out on DVD

Still justifying our love on stage and off for nearly 30 years, Madonna's latest tour, The Sticky and Sweet Tour, broke records around the world. Now the material girl is giving her fans some more material to taste. Finally out on DVD, The Sticky and Sweet Tour DVD sweetens up any day.

In the concerts four themes: Pimp, Old School, Gypsy, and Rave, Madonna once again adds her own special brand of flavor to the concept of a conventional tour. Though some classics, such as “Erotica,” “Express Yourself,” and “Deeper and Deeper,” were omitted, the show remains a sweet sensation. When it comes to her raw vocals, never well-praised for her voice, Madonna’s concert performances are getting better. Of course, anything would be better, considering the hoarse and off-keyness of the 1987’s Who’s That Girl Tour vocals.

In the beginning, Madonna, the candy pimp, comes out on her throne, surrounded by swirly sweets as she gives the first flavor of the show, Hard Candy’s “Candy Shop.” The song is fitting, as it invites the audience to come into her store and try some of her sugar, and yes, it is sticky and sweet. She pushes cars in “Beat Goes On” and out-dances her dancers that are half her age, and this is only the beginning of the show.

The “Britney Spears-going-crazy-while-trapped-in-an-enclosed-elevator” bit during “Human Nature” serves the song’s message appropriately, but you cannot help but wonder if Ms. Spears even knew she was being recorded.
As always, Madonna’s performance of “Vogue” is memorizing. The rendition meshes art with dance, at the same time the song is moshed with “4 Minutes” effectively, but the best moment is house-piano breakdown, making you miss the Madonna-Pettitone days.

Madonna goes deep into the groove with her Old School section. Heavy on the aerobics, Madonna double-dutches along to a disco version of “Into the Groove,” and seeing Madonna singing “She’s Not Me” aside drag queens dressed up like the icon from her “Material Girl,” “Vogue,” “Open Your Heart” and “Like a Virgin” videos is divalicious highlight of the show.

With all the dazzle and pizzazz, the show isn’t just eye candy. “Get Stupid,” a mix of Hard Candy tracks, makes Madonna’s political commentary abundantly clear in a video montage. The montage, which compares the likes of Hitler with John McCain, as well as putting Gahandi and Obama in the same series of those who make a positive difference in this world, received its share of controversy.

The most laid-back section of the show, the Gypsy-themed portion, lets Madonna calm things down and get back to earth. The rendition of her classic “La Isla Bonita,” along with “Miles Away” and “You Must Love Me” show Madonna at her most sincere and honest as a performer. Perhaps the most beautiful portion of the show, “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You” has Madonna surrounded by digitalizing gushes of pouring water as the singer performs the emotional tapestry.

The queen of re-invention, Madonna updates most her classics for the show. “Like a Prayer” gets the 2008 techno makeover as it’s part of the Rave section, and while the mix is a success in turning the pop classic into a club anthem, the truth is Madonna hasn’t done the song justice in a live performance since Blond Ambition. This is one of the best songs of all time, by Madonna or not, and deserves a more conceptual treatment.

Both “Ray of Light” and “Borderline” get the “rock” makeover, something she has been doing since her Drowned World Tour days, and if anything, it just shows Madonna may have wanted to follow the rock route she started during her pre-fame Emmy and the Emmys days. When it comes to “Ray of Light,” it’s a shame Madonna picked this track over “Frozen” to perform at all stops . Having been part of her line up since 2001, “Ray of Light” has done worn out its welcome.

By request of the Argentinean audience, the queen sings one of her signature tracks “Like a Virgin,” and while Madonna openly hates the songs, she still sells the song like it’s 1984. Like “ Holiday ,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Vogue,” Like a Prayer,” and many others, Madonna’s classics never age. If there was a sour piece of the show, it would be “4 Minutes.” There is just too much going on in the song production-wise to translate to a stage show convincingly. Putting back the dulce flavor, the tour’s closer, “Give It 2 Me” takes Madonna back to the clubs, the rave rendition heats things up as only Madonna can.

A bit too heavy on the reliance of projection screens, the show loses just a bit of the personal feel you had with The Girlie Show and The Drowned World Tour And the “cameos” via pre-recorded video of Kayne West and Justin Timberlake are nothing, if useless. This is a Madonna show, and including them, even on screen, is like having the peasants on the side of the queen. And on the topic of downers, it’s time for Madonna to bring Donna De Lory and Nikki Harris back on stage. While her dancers have talent, the connection between the diva and them is virtually non-existent.

The actual DVD captures every second of the deliciousness, even enhancing some scenes at times, making the show look more like a music video than a concert, but that’s no complaint. The behind-the-scenes documentary has the same feel as her legendary film Truth or Dare, but other than that, there are no noteworthy bonus features. The bonus audio disc makes you miss the show, as even Madonna fans will admit her vocals are not the main draw. Kudos to her though, for including the live version of “Like a Prayer,” a fan-favorite, to the disc.

When the curtain closes, this tour may be sweet, but it’s not as satisfying as past shows Blond Ambition and The Girlie Show. Even with that said, Madonna puts on a show like no other. With her mix of unstoppable energy, classic songs with updated arrangements, musical theatrics, and designer duds, Madonna remains queen of the concert. Now if only M would released Blond Ambition and The Re-Invention Tour on DVD.

Q&A with Dyland Y Lenny

Reggaeton duos are sprouting up like weeds lately. With only so many making their mark, it’s rare to find a duo that has the freshness of Angel & Khriz and the commercial appeal of Wisin & Yandel, but with their debut album, My World, Puerto Rican-natives Dyland Y Lenny are already on their way. Their collaboration with Spanish-pop princess Ana Barbara, “Rompieno Candenas” still burns as one of the hottest Latin tracks of the past year. Now with their own hit, “Nadie Te Amara Como Yo” the boys are on their way to making the Latin music world their own.

Eric Chavez: The album, My World, is incredible. Such fresh sounds, especially for reggeaton. Tell me a little about the production and influence.

Dyland & Lenny: We come with a musical proposal; fresh, new, and elegant. It has producers like Luny Tunes and Red Music, and we are really excited about it. Right now, our album appears as the third most sold album. It seems like our album is right below Tito “El Bambino” and Wisin & Yandel; artists who we admire so much. I am very appreciative of the general public’s support, especially towards our first single. There’s a positive attitude in the atmosphere.

EC: I know you worked with Ana Barbara on her last album. What was it like to work with such a legend?

D&L: Well what can I tell you about the Texan princess, Ana Barbara? For us, it was an honor to work side by side with her. It was such an honor that our leading single is with her.

EC: Reggeaton right now is very electronic-based. Where do you see the genre going in the future?

D&L: The genre will move according to whoever is at the top. We precisely want to make music that people will be able to follow, just like Tito “El Bambino,” Daddy Yankee, and Wisin & Yandel. Music that people can relate to. We want to apply our essence into all our music which people know us by. Reggeaton continues to fuse with other genres, and I do believe that Urban Reggeaton will never die.

EC: My personal favorite on the album is the track “Panico,” but I’m curious what your selections would be.

D&L: My favorite would be “Panico.” We share the same opinion. We believe that “Panico” and “La Gente” are songs that identify us.

EC: Having already worked with a handful of legends, who are some artists for the future that you would love to collaborate with?

D&L: We want to work with everyone who is able and willing. We are big fanatics of music. Anyone who makes music, we admire them. The artist doesn’t have to be in the reggeaton genre; the artist can be from whatever genre. Whoever is willing to take it to the next level, we are willing to work with them.

EC: This being your debut album, what was the process, start to finish, for creating the record?

D&L: We are a new talent, so if we wanted a fresh sound, we needed a fresh team. A couple of our members are from Puerto Rico and USA , combining the tropical and salsa sounds along with the American culture. They have a technique of recording sounds and vocals different from everyone else. And they are people who haven’t worked with other artists; this is their first album.

EC: In terms of promotional tours, where do you plan to go to get the word out that the album is out?

D&L: We are going to Puerto Rico , LA , New York , wherever there is music and money, we will go to promote our album.

Ricky Martin Opens Up

>“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” These were the words on Ricky Martin’s website, written by the Latin singer/songwriter, in his own way of coming out of the closet to the world as a gay male. While the media and general public have been speculating about Ricky Martin’s sexuality long before he crossed over to the English market, the success of his English debut album Ricky Martin in 1999 spawned even more rumors throughout the world.

The fact is, Ricky Martin simply wasn’t ready to reveal his sexuality to the world then. “This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment,” he said in his statement. Because of the hate and ignorance, even for celebrities, coming out can be an ordeal that requires much time and soul searching.

Ricky Martin openly saying he is gay is important because it gives another face to the gay community, one that shows to the general public that gay men and women are not just queer, but actual talented human beings who contribute to the world. Young people who may have felt different because of their sexuality may now be able to identify with someone they have looked up to for years. And those who fear homosexuality will see that is it not so rare, nor is it something to fear.

Many celebrities have come out, so how is Ricky Martin coming out any different from other celebrities coming out? Well, it is not as groundbreaking as when Ellen DeGeneres did so in 1997, but it helps that Ricky Martin is a well-known figure, popular for his successful music career, but also famous for his charitable contributions. Some, like Adam Lambert, choose to come out from the beginning of their careers, but Ricky Martin coming out now, as opposed to during his early years, shows that there is still progress to be make in terms of equal rights and that it isn’t as easy to come out as popular culture would have you believe.

Should more gay celebrities come out? Of course, but only when it’s on their terms, and is not done simply for publicity. As we all remember, those such as Lance Bass and Clay Aiken did come out. Though, mysteriously, they did so years after they were relevant. Ricky Martin is a different story, he may not be selling as well as during his “Livin’ La Vida Loca” days, but his albums are still a success, especially in the Latin music market, and his tours are worldwide sellouts. Coming out to the public is about freeing one’s self and being honest, not about attention.

“Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.” When Ricky Martin says this on his website, it provokes the question: why would someone, in these days, still be afraid of being honest about their sexuality? The answer is simple, the culture is not only largely homophobic, but heterosexist. Rarely has coming out ruined a career, but there is a social stigma that is deeply rooted in our culture that demonizes homosexuality and sexuality in general.

There are more important things in life to fear, as Ricky Martin said on his website. “The blood that runs through the streets of countries at war…child slavery, terrorism…the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith," he wrote. This, for everyone, should put the message out there that hate and fear of those how are different is wasted energy and has only contributes negative results to our world. The real issues in life have nothing to do with someone’s sexuality, but with the events occurring around us that are destroying the world around us.

I for one give much support to Ricky Martin for coming out as a gay man, and hope he continues his journey as an entertainer and philanthropist to bring change and positive energy to our world. Suerte Ricky Martin!

Erykah Badu: The Beat Goes On and On

Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) One thing is for sure, Erykah Badu feels the funk. From within her, from without, the music of the innovative woman not only flows, it grows. With 1997’s Baduism, Badu not only helped make neo-soul mainstream, she began a movement along with Maxwell and Jill Scott.

Songs like “On and On” and “Call Tyrone” made the turban-wearing Badu the queen of neo-soul. Although subsequent albums such as Mama’s Gun and Worldwide Underground had their moments, they left much to be desired. Now, with her LP, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh,) Erykah Badu mixes her old flavor with the new.

The first striking thing about the disc: the album cover, designed by Badu, would take days to analyze, but the sleeve does fit the music: that of a woman bound by industrial conventions that has a whole new world inside her mind, perfectly. In these times of music, when everything is either auto-tuned, overproduced or calculated, this message cannot be more true.

“Window Seat,” the album’s first single, deals with a woman’s conflict with her fame and her need for privacy. Badu sings, “concentrating on my music, lover, and my babies, makes me wanna ask the lady for a ticket outta town” but later sings “but I need u to want me, need you to miss me, need your attention.” This concept doesn’t really fit the one of the accompanying controversial video, which features Badu undressing as she walks through Dallas. Regardless of concepts, the song touches on soul, jazz, hip-hop and r&b in all the right places, mirroring that of Badu’s earlier hits.

“Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)," “Fall in Love (Your Funeral)” and “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long” groove to the honey-sweet funk beats. “Umm Hmm”is an 80’s-inspired r&b treat. And opener “20 Feet Tall” lies in a puddle of syrupy neo-soul, if sugarfree. The tracks may be heavy on the funk, but all three are a bit light on the lyrics, mostly focusing on simplistic patterns. That said, this album isn’t meant to be New Amerykah Part One (4th World War).

Badu saturates the record with beats instead of words, but even in doing that her music comes out as more real and organic than many albums out there today. Badu, at times, does tend to slide off course a bit in the LP. Sometimes directionless, songs like “Love” turn out to be the most hated, melody-less track of the bunch, and “Out of My Mind, Just in Time” starts off as a Billie Holiday-esque jazz number, but ends in a druggy mess that puts a bit of a damper on the record since it serves as the closer.

Lighting things up again, “Incense,” with the sound of harps tingling through, sets the mood for soulful bliss. A simple track, perhaps the most trivial in terms of lyrics, the smokey music lights up the spirit and puts it at ease.

In the end, the album may be like incense, at a preview, it can either turn you off or on, but when its beats are filling your room, there is no escaping it. Fans of old-school Badu’s classics such as “Other Side of the Game” and “Next Lifetime” won’t find many references to the past in New Amerykah Part Two, but Badu is just doing what she promotes in her music video for “Window Seat,” and that is: to evolve.

Christian Chavez Bares His Soul: Exclusive interview with one of the most successful Spanish pop singer ever

As part of RBD, he sold 20 million albums worldwide in a span of a few years. The group churned out hit after hit and they managed to cross over to the English market. He was all over television screens as a cast member of the hit telenovela Rebelde. His career was on fire, and in the middle of it all, he crossed the border of the unknown and came out of the closet .That was not only brave of him, but rare for male pop stars. For those who do come out, it's usually long after their peak and more about publicity than a political statement. Not for Chavez, though, who became one of the first pop stars to marry someone of the same sex. All seriousness aside, Chavez makes music for the world to enjoy, and his debut LP, Almas Transparentes is Spanish pop at its best. Finally on his own, he's ready to let the world see the real Christian Chavez.

Eric Chavez: You’re new song, “En Donde Estas,” is incredible, congratulations.

Christian Chavez: Yeah I’m really excited. I think it was a year recording this album and recording songs that sometimes [are] not on the album in the end, but you have the opportunity to work with other artists. It’s great to do that.

EC: What do you plan to do with the unreleased songs?

CC: Well, you know, they’re preparing a special edition. I guess some songs will be there and some they might put up on iTunes. We have to do like 10 songs and we had like 350 songs so it was a hard decision to take the ten.

EC: How many songs did you participate in writing and producing?

CC: I participated in three songs with Samo [from Camila]. I think the most important thing is I was trying to make autobiographical album. It totally speaks about what’s on my mind. But it’s not just for me or a certain amount of people. It’s worldwide; I think everybody could feel connected to the music.

EC: Camila is great. Their last album was amazing. But what are some artists or albums that inspire you?

CC: Well, I have a lot of..I love Queen, I love Mika, I love Blondie, ABBA, I love The Beatles, George Michael, and I think you could hear those influences on the album and it’s great. It’s great for me to have those kinds of influences and to print them on the album. I think it’s wonderful.

EC: Now you were part of RBD for so many years, what was it like to go solo?

CC: Honestly, it’s kind of scary! You know it’s part of life. You know when you grow up and you have a great season, and you spend moments that you thought you would never have the opportunity [to do]. But now it’s about growing up and going to the next level. I don’t want people to forget I was part of RBD because obviously that’s a magical and wonderful part [of my life].I want the people to listen to my music. I don’t wanna erase what they were for me. [But I do] want to add this new part of me.

EC: In terms of creative freedom, does it feel better to have more as a solo artist?

CC: Totally. When you’re doing a solo career you can have the opportunity to understand to have a career because when you’re in a group, you don’t know a lot. When you become a solo artist you begin to understand that you have to struggle with somethings. It’s a new experience that I’m enjoying a lot.

EC: Looking back at RBD, is there a particular song you are proud of?

CC: “Tu Amor” and “I Wanna Be the Rain”, those songs are very special for me because they were written by Diane Warren for our first English album. It was really special for me because they decided to put me as a lead singer.

EC: In terms of your own album, what would be your choice for the next single?

CC: That’s hard. Right now there are previews online and now we’re waiting for the people to hear them and tell us what they want for the next single, I think it’s time to hear the people.

EC: It’s a good thing “En Donde Estas” is such a strong first single. It’s very hard to make the transition from group to solo.

CC: For me it was important to come out with a song to reflect what I have done. Giving more attention to my voice and technique and trying to do different stuff. The album is done with love.

EC: How did you come up with the title for the album Almas Transparentes?

CC: It’s one of the songs that I love. I’m really pleased because at the end I put “Almas Transparentes”, it’s the way of life I like to live. I think that everybody could be almas transparentes. Just take off the mask and try to be you.

EC: You’ve gotten a lot of support over the year for coming out, especially from Ricky Martin, what was you’re response to that?

CC: Obviously I totally admire Ricky Martin and I think he’s always fighting and helping people. That’s really special. What can I say? It’s wonderful.

EC: Definitely. Let me just say, I think you are a groundbreaker for coming out of the closet as a public figure.

CC: In the fight, sometimes we’re gonna be struggling, but I’m gonna be fighting but not only for me but also for a social cause. We have to start breaking those fears and live as they are.

EC: Do you feel that you’re so public in the media, that sometimes the media is inappropriate with question?

CC: The thing is that sometimes make me go sad or mad. The stories about “Oh Christian Chavez now is a cougar, trying to pick up all the boys.” That’s really sad. One I accept my sexual life and now I’m part of the field of scandalous and they make these stories about me going out with other people, and I think that’s not the main important thing about my life and what I want to do with my music.

EC: With all the press you’ve done, was there a question you’ve never been asked that you’ve always wanted to talk about?

CC: Well, I think they never asked me about what I feel when I hear my single on the radio. And that’s something really great because every time I hear the song “En Donde Estas” on the radio I start screaming. I get really, really, really excited. It’s like a dream come true!