Entertainment

AB Soto Creates Music Celebrating His Mexican Heritage And Sexuality After Not Seeing Representation In Hollywood

AB Soto took the music scene by storm when he released the wildly successful “Cha Cha Bitch” in 2015. The pink debazzled quebradita outfit instantly made AB Soto a fashion icon and a musical phenomenon. His goal was always to blend his Latino culture with his gay identity and turn it all into art. Disappointed with the lack of representation of his community in Hollywood, he made it happen himself and the results speak for themselves. Here’s what AB Soto had to say about his career so far.

Mitú (M): How did you get started in music? When did you break into the scene?

Credit: absoto / Instagram

AB Soto (AB): Many people may not know but I studied Fashion Design first and after graduating I worked as a designer for many years. I remember also having a passion for dance, so I started taking professional dance classes in the evenings and weekends. A few months later I signed to a dance agency and booked my first job dancing in a Coca Cola commercial. My agency would send me out for any auditions that were dance related from film to live tours. I remember audition for every major recording artist you could think of, but I never really fit in. I never saw myself represented in Hollywood or in the media. After being frustrated and bored with the industry, I wrote my first song during the Christmas break of 2008. I had so much to say, and I couldn’t wait around for Hollywood to understand my story. I had to tell my own story myself and bring my ideas to life. I immediately went into the studio and recorded my first song, and then filmed my first viral music video shortly after. I started performing in nightclubs that year and started independently touring in 2010. I was able to combine everything I learned as a designer, dancer, choreographer, and performer to tell my own story. I still write, style, direct and produce all my work. 

M: You are very active and fun on Instagram. What is it about that social media platform that appealed to you when it comes to sharing your music and sharing things with fans?

AB: Instagram is a fun platform to interact with my audience. It’s a quick way to post and share your work with fans. Although I really wish Instagram would stop censoring artists. With Instagram culture being so “fake” at times, my page is more raw and honest. 

M: Who did you look up to and who influenced you when you first started to create your music? 

Credit: absoto / Instagram

AB: I’ve always been inspired by ’90s music and gay history. Dance music is definitely my favorite genre, especially House music. When I was a kid, my mind would visualize huge dance productions and elaborate costumes/set designs. I grew up listening to Gangsta Rap and Banda music around the house and in my neighborhood. All of these sounds have had a major influence on my upbringing and music style. I’ve always wanted to see more openly gay and Latino artists in all of these genres. 

M: What was the hardest social medial lesson you have learned and what did it teach you?

AB: Social media can be fun but I’ve learned not to take things personally. Negative comments say more about the ignorant people posting them than anything else. I like to inspire dialogue with my work but my art is not up for negotiation. I also like to turn the comments section off sometimes, because I’m not really interested in what narrow minds have to say. I create because this is my passion, not for the praise. I also believe that artists and influencers should be a lot more honest as possible. You never know who your truth may inspire. 

M: What purpose do you think social media plays in the LGBTQ+ community in terms of building online communities? What do you want your music to do for the listeners and the Latinx LGBTQ+ community?

AB: Visibility is important online but it’s also important to protect our queerness and our community. Being authentic and visible online can inspire others to live their truth. Censorship can make it hard to preserve positive spaces for queerness and those wanting to explore. It’s up to us to maintain and create communities that inspire us to thrive and promote diversity. I hope my music and presence can inspire others to create their own path, to break all the rules, and to follow the road less traveled. Create something new. 

M: What is something you wish you could have told your younger self about being gay and coming out?

AB: Be patient. Everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen. Embrace your uniqueness and what makes you different. Remember that we are all looking for acceptance and to be heard. Be kind to yourself, allow yourself time and space to grow. 

M: Where do you get inspiration for your music?

AB: I get inspiration from art, personal life experiences, and pop culture. I’ve noticed that I still approach everything like I’m designing a clothing collection. It all just depends on the mood and the overall story. Often times it starts with a lyric and a melody inspired by what is going on around me. Sometimes an item of clothing can inspire a song, or a scene in a movie can also inspire a mood. I’m a visual artist so sometimes the music is just created as a soundtrack for the music video treatment. Each album is a concept and is inspired by a specific mood. I love to dance so the beats are extremely important.

M: How have you grown as a person since coming out and starting your musical career?

AB: I’ve always been an openly gay artist from day one. It was important for me to be unapologetically me since I never saw myself represented in the music industry. As an independent artist, I have learned a lot about the industry and have also developed a thick skin. Being signed to a major record label is not always the best decision for every artist. The music industry only puts us in a box, or a spreadsheet template designed to make dollars. I won’t compromise my vision for the sake of someone else’s profit. How many artists are even happy with their contracts these days? Not many. 

M: What has been the most rewarding moment in your musical career? 

AB: Touring overseas as an independent artist and meeting so many fans has been the most rewarding. Accomplishing 4 albums and over 27 music videos without the support of a label is something to be proud of. Now can you imagine what I could do with proper funding though? Lol 

M: What is something you want your fans to know about how their support has impacted you and your career? 

AB: Supporting queer artists is important for our stories to be heard. The appropriation of queerness by record labels sends the wrong message to our queer youth. Supporting authentic queerness creates more opportunities for visibility for our community and future generations. What we choose to support today can leave a huge impact on queer culture. 

M: Some people might think that you are being too much or doing the most in celebrating your sexuality through your music. What do you say to people who just don’t understand or approve your unapologetic persona? 

AB: My only responsibility as an artist is to be 1000 percent honest. How people view my work is not my problem, I’m only presenting my experiences as raw as possible. Some will be entertained, some will relate, and some will feel uncomfortable, but isn’t that what art is supposed to do? 

M: Is there anything you wanted to add about social media or your music that we haven’t discussed?

AB: Each album is a new window into my evolution as a person and artist. I want to invite others to evolve and grow with me, individually and as a community. Let go, expand your mind, feel something new, and just get up and dance sis!

READ: AB Soto Is The Queer God With Absolutely No Time For You Machismo On His Schedule

Here’s What My White Husband Has Learned About The Latino Culture One Day At A Time

relationships

Here’s What My White Husband Has Learned About The Latino Culture One Day At A Time

My husband and I have been married for a little over three years now and he is still learning so much about myself and what it means to be Latino. I’m not talking about me having a big Cuban family all stationed in Miami (3-0-5 🙌🏽) or the fact that the best jokes in Netflix’s “One Day At A Time” are in Spanish. I’m talking about the little things that to me have always been a normal part of life. This is what has continuously caught him off guard…

If you ask him, I’m already turning into my abuela because of the things he is finding out, which to me is a compliment. Here are just a few of the things that he is starting to understand about our future together.

1. Seasoning your beans is hard AF but abuela makes it look easy.

CREDIT: gifnik.com

No matter how many times I try or how many techniques I use, my bean always turn out bland AF. This wouldn’t have been a problem if he didn’t have my abuela’s frijoles negro because now he has a reference point as to what beans are supposed to taste like. Though, he doesn’t cook so my bland beans will have to do.

2. That whole personal space thing is a white construct.

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I missed my hot mess buddy!

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One of the first things he realized about being married to a Latino is that all that personal space he once had is gone. I even go into the bathroom to talk to him when he’s in the shower because that’s 👏🏾 how 👏🏾 I 👏🏾 was 👏🏾 raised. 👏🏾

3. Family obligations cannot and will not be avoided.

Even if it means that you have to spend $800 to travel 3,000 miles back home for a weekend for your nephew’s first birthday, there is no getting out of family events. #BasedOnTrueEvents

4. My family raised me to be super eco-friendly (and very frugal).

The first time my husband saw me washing a Ziploc bag he asked if we had run out and that he could get some from the store. My response: “But, like, why do you want to waste money like that?”

5. Selena was and will always be La Reina.

CREDIT: anything-for-selenaaas / Tumblr

I know. I know. How did he not know this before is what you’re thinking, right? But you can’t hold it against him. I don’t think Selena had a very big following in West Virginia. There was no way he could have known that she is more relevant now than ever. Not to mention that she still wins Latin Billboard awards and I play her music nonstop.

6. My abuela’s obsession with reusing containers has been passed down.

After he came down from the initial shock of thinking that I left the sour cream in the Tupperware cabinet overnight, he made a joke about me becoming my abuela. I’ve never been so proud.

7. Calling a loved one “gordo” is not offensive.

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@f_uanteik #migordo #iloveyou #happiness #happynights

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Because, you know, someone calling you “my little fatty” is not okay. Imagine his shock when he heard a family member call me “gordito” in front of him. He was shook.

8. Every chore I do is just an excuse to put on Celia Cruz and dance.

CREDIT: mitú

Sure, I can cook in silence but nothing makes my time in the kitchen more enjoyable than some “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” or “La Vida Es Un Carnaval” blaring in the background. Plus, he is starting to learn some of her greatest hits.

9. Seventy-five percent of Latino cooking is just making that sabor.

To quote my husband: “Oh. So ropa vieja is like making pot roast then you make the flavor (sofrito). Yeah. White people are too lazy to make all that flavor.”

10. Being extra and loud is just in our blood.

I still have that trophy on our desk in the living room and he has mentioned moving it a couple times. Then I stubbed my toe, fall to the floor in tears, and he remembers why it is so prominently displayed.

11. Hot Cheetos are life.

He didn’t know they were so versatile but he’s not upset that we get to eat them all the time.

READ: 14 Things That Happen When A Gringo Marries Into A Latino Family

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Lil Nas Is Performing His Super Hit “Old Town Road” At The Grammys Alongside BTS—The First Ever K-Pop Band To Be Invited On Stage

Entertainment

Lil Nas Is Performing His Super Hit “Old Town Road” At The Grammys Alongside BTS—The First Ever K-Pop Band To Be Invited On Stage

lilnasx / Instagram

BTS and Lil Nas definitely dominated the music scene in 2019. Radio stations couldn’t stop playing their music — and we couldn’t stop listening. And because we can’t decide who we love the most, The Recording Academy and CBS confirmed that the rapper and K-pop group will be performing together at this year’s Grammys.

BTS is going to perform at the Grammys!

The news was shared by the Recording Academy itself just a short time ago, and it’s even more exciting than an initial report that said only RM would be performing. 

Initially, fans thought that only one BTS member would be performing.

An initial report that said only RM would be performing. In a lengthy profile on Lil Nas X published yesterday by Variety, sources suggested that the BTS singer, producer and rapper would take part in an “Old Town Road” showing, but that hadn’t been confirmed by the Recording Academy. Now, the entire band has been included, which is much, much more thrilling for all involved, especially for BTS’s Army.

BTS will make history as the first K-pop group to perform at the Grammys.

While fans were hoping they’d attend the 2020 ceremony as nominees, this is still an incredible leap forward when it comes to Korean acts being considered by the American music industry.

Get ready for a K-country-hip-pop crossover.

This won’t be the first time all these genres mash up though. In July 2019, a remix of Nas’ “Old Town Road” was released that featured the Korean group’s rapper, RM, retitled “Seoul Town Road,” a mashup that’s likely to fit into their Grammys collaboration.

BTS and Lil Nas won’t be the only ones at the “Old Town” party.

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😉

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The Grammys have other eclectic guests slated to join in for the number as well. Country star Billy Ray Cyruswill, of course, reprise the duet part that took the tune into overdrive early in its chart life. Diplo’s also going to be on stage.

The EDM star did his own “Old Town Road” remix.

Diplo invited Lil Nas X onto his stage last May at the Stagecoach Festival for the young rapper’s first live appearance, so it’s only natural that Lil Nas would make the DJ and producer a part of his show. And lastly, to really mix it up back in the direction of country, young yodeler Mason Ramsey is also joining the chart-topping artists on stage.

With six nominations in total, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year, Lil Nas X is one of the artists with the most nominations.

Lil Nas is tied with the most nominations with Billie Eilish. The two are surpassed only by Lizzo, so it makes sense that he’d want to make his performance extra special by including all of the musicians that helped make his hit even more popular. 

The star-studded performance was planned to honor the song’s many remixes

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2020 🧞‍♂️🧞‍♂️🧞‍♂️

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The segment has been called “Old Town Road All-Stars,” and in it, we’ll see the six-time nominee deliver a thrilling show of his 19-week No. 1.

According to Forbes, inIncluding BTS in its telecast is sure to help the Grammys improve ratings.

The award show’s ratings have been slipping for years. An issue that many award ceremonies have faced over the past decade. Which is why adding the most popular and beloved band in the world is sure to get plenty of people to turn on their TVs who otherwise probably would not have.

BTS and Lil Nas will be joining an incredible lineup of previously-announced performers, such as Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers, Camila Cabello, and many, many more. The Grammys will air live on CBS this Sunday, January 26 at 8 PM EST.