Saturday, May 1, 2010

Angel & Khriz: It’s Showtime

In the reggeaton world, you’re hot one day, and a has-been later that day. Few Latin Urban artists actually remain in the spotlight for longer than the duration of their three-minute song. But if you’ve been to a Latin club lately, most likely you’ve moved to “Dime” (“Tell Me,”) the new single from reggeaton duo Khriz Y Angel.

Two albums, going on three, into their career, Angel & Khriz still fill the clubs and radio waves with their hot reggeaton records that blend organic Latin percussion and brass with modernized dance beats. They’ve done this since they hit the scene with their top five Latin smash “Ven Bailalo,” (“Come Dance It”). And while they haven’t yet established the massive success that other duos like Wisin Y Yandel have, Angel & Khriz are well on their way.

Khriz, who is one half of the innovative reggeaton duo, says “we really like to do something new, and if someone does the music we like, we're going to work with them if they want to.” Not ones to simply follow the trends, Angel & Khriz have their standards when it comes to working with other artists. “We like good music. We don't just do music with an artist because they are hot, we do it because we appreciate the sound, and the music speaks for itself,” Khriz says.

While their debut Los MVP’s (“The MVP’S”) focused more on conventional reggeaton, the duo’s sophomore album, Showtime, went all over the place, in style. It covered reggeaton, salsa, meringue, hip-hop, pop, and even rock. Commenting on their various sounds, Khriz says “We wanted to use more instruments in that album, and we wanted to mix reggeaton with romantic rock. We wanted to make an album almost complete, by doing things very different, and a little more outside than what people are accustomed to.”

The result was Showtime, which spawned multiple hits, including “La Vencina” “(The Neighbor”), but Khriz selects another song as a stand out on that album. “’Na De Na’ just has something different from all the songs we have made, and we have three different styles in the remixes. We took the dancehall and house music and we made the song, and it was it hit!” Khriz says. “Na De Na” ultimately peaked at #8 on the Latin charts and became a club staple. When it comes to the inspiration for the hits, Khriz says he gets his from the clubs. Khriz says, “I try to hang out a little more in the club, and see what's going on. It's better if you live it! I tend to see the actions of the people, like my friends, they tell me stories of the club or something a friend did, and we do the songs to make it funny. We do songs to entertain people.” “La Vencina”, the albums first single, came from an idea Khriz had. “Everyone has a neighbor whom with they had a crush or fell in love. I didn't, but I had a lot of friends that did, so I got all the info and then start making the song. It's a cool process,” Khriz says.

Reggeaton began its crossover into English radio stations and American clubs in 2005 with Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” and Wisin Y Yandel’s “Rakkata.” Angel & Khriz rode the wave with their “Ven Bailalo” single, but since then have proven themselves as a lasting duo. While sales have been strong, Khriz admits “piracy and the internet makes it a little difficult now, but the reggeaton movement is still going strong and there is lots of opportunity.” Khriz see’s how the reggeaton revolution has taken over the business. “Daddy Yankee made his own movie! Our songs are in video games. I never expected that. Grand Theft Auto 4 has “Ven Bailalo.’”

Because reggeaton seems like it trend, it seems that anyone doing reggeaton is destined for fame, but in the end, Khriz feels it takes more to stay on top of their game. “We have to do good music to be on the top of the reggeaton genre,” Khriz says. Unsurprisingly, reggeaton acts do not fill the list of influential acts in the eyes of Khriz, who lists Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes as inspirations. Khriz also says that Daddy Yankee is an influence, but as their sound mixes the more Tropical and tradition Latin music with reggeaton, it’s not shocking that they enjoy the more traditional Latin beats as well as what’s in the clubs.

Looking back at other influential artists for the duo, just before they took off with their Los MVP’s album, they appeared on salsero Charlie Cruz’s Ven Conmigo album. Cruz, a name on the rise himself, remembers his experience with Angel & Khriz fondly. Khriz remembers their collaboration with Cruz in a similar manner.“He's a friend of ours, even before we had the chance of making music together professionally. He called us when he was doing the LP and we jumped to Miami without thinking,” Khriz says. The end result was a catchy little salsa/reggeaton fusion called “Dejala Que Baile” (“Let Her Dance”) which Khriz describes as “a song about telling the guy to let his girl dance, how he met her in the club and now he wont let her dance.”

Fans of the duo can expect a special edition of Showtime, entitled Showtime: After Party Edition. As for how it varies, Khriz says “we're doing to do four to five songs for it. We're gonna do a remix of “Na De Na” with lots of reggeaton artists, and we're working with Slow Rider on a remix of “Muévela” (“Move It”) and then we're going to begin work on the third album afterwards.” After years of success and collaborations with top artists and producers, Angel & Khriz see a reason for making music without the benefit of accolades.

Last years Latin Grammy nominations didn’t include Angel Y Khriz, but Khriz sees this in a positive fashion. “I think there's a reason for everything, maybe for the judges we didn't make it, and I don't know if we’ll get a chance for the next Grammys,” Khriz says. “But I don’t make music to win awards, I make music for people to dance to.” For more information, visit Angel Y Khriz’s official website:
Khriz Y AngelPopular reggeaton duo with hits "Cara de Angel" and "Ven Bailalo" and the successful album "Los MVP's." Interview right before release of sophmore album "Showtime," which spawned hits "La Vencina" and others.2008

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