Entertainment

Abstrakto: How a Chicano from L.A. and a Hollywood Actor Learned to Make Beautiful Music Together

Meet Abstrakto.

ABSTRAKTO_revised

Their mission: to get your head nodding to their moody blend of cumbia, funk, reggae, dub and more.

#TBT Our first live performance at @PicnikPasadena on May 30, 2014. Who was there?

A video posted by Abstrakto (@abstraktomusic) on

Credit: @abstraktomusic / Instagram

Abstrakto is Asdru Sierra…

asdru-trumpet-abstrakto
Photo Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty

His voice (and trumpet playing) may sound familiar.

He’s a member of L.A. group Ozomatli…

Credit: KEXP / YouTube

Here he is getting down with OZO on the song “Cumbia de Los Muertos.”

And his partner, Balthazar Getty, probably looks familiar, too.

balt-getty-headshot
Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty

You’ve seen him in the movie Lord of the Flies and the shows Brothers & Sisters, Alias and Charmed. He’s also a member of the Getty family. They’re kind of a big deal.

So how did a Chicano from the Eastside of L.A. hook up with a wealthy Hollywood actor to start a band?

abstrakto-peace-high
Credit: Michael Bucker / Getty

Their kids grew up together.

Getty: “Our sons are the same age, just a few months apart, actually, and have been in school [together] since kindergarten. Now they’re both about to turn 15. I can remember very early on being on the younger side, in terms of parents, and then seeing Asdru, this kind of bad-ass rocker dude, and then figuring out very quickly who he was.”

Asdru: “It’s a trip because my early memories from first meeting him were, ‘Oh, you’re the guy from Lord of the Flies, man.’ Being one of the only two or three Mexican families in the school, he would see me and he would go ‘Ey, órale, que onda guey!'”

And Balthazar Getty isn’t just an actor. He’s been a beatmaker and producer for years.

Nada mas

A video posted by Balthazar Getty (@baltgetty) on

Getty’s band, Ringside, did the original version of this Enrique Iglesias hit:

Credit: Enrique Iglesias / YouTube

Whaaaaat?

wee-bey

After listening to one of Sierra’s solo tracks, Getty suggested they work together.

@asdrusierra & @baltgetty are ABSTRAKTO.

A photo posted by Abstrakto (@abstraktomusic) on

Asdru wasn’t sure if he was ready to step out on his own.

Look at the cool merch I got for my phone. Anyone want one? I'll hook you up, I got a bunch in my trunk #abstrakto

A photo posted by Abstrakto (@abstraktomusic) on

But Abstrakto found their groove.

Rehearsing….

A photo posted by Abstrakto (@abstraktomusic) on

Photo Credit: @abstraktomusic / Instagram

Asdru: “Balthazar has a passion. He’s one of those guys that really passionately believes in what I did. It’s like a music art gallery for what I do. He made it possible for me to do that, that’s really fucking awesome.”

Getty: “He knows that I’m a beast in the studio and he knows that it’s my medium, which is drum machines and keyboards and stuff. That’s what I do and he’s known that for a very long time. When we were ready to rock I was like, ‘Let’s do this.’ And he was like, ‘Hell yeah.'”

Asdru: “[Getty] did what a director does. He directed. He helped me focus. I would get stuck in a creative hole and he would dig me up.”

The result is a self-titled debut full of brooding, cinematic tracks.

Credit: purplehausmusic / YouTube

Abstrakto believe their self-titled debut is the soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been written yet. Getty says it feels like the music to a Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez film. Asdru says it could be an Alejnadro González Iñárritu movie.

Asdru: “The world will see the definition of anything through a really good film. You wanna have somebody really understand you? Create a movie and explain it really well. Have it as a testament to what really is, like real journalism … music is good journalism. It shows the way things are, with more feelings and more emotion.”

They’re not afraid to get dark…

Credit: purplehausmusic / YouTube

Asdru: I grew up in Glassell Park. It’s so weird to go back to Echo Park and there’s like white people taking pictures. I remember it was emptied out all the time, with drugs. My brother in particular, the one I write about in my music was caught up in that. I saw a lot of violence, a lot of friends murdered. A lot of guns, AK 47’s. I knew more about guns back then as kids do now. Now the reason my kid knows what it is because of video games. I knew because the kid next door had one and he didn’t know how to shoot it.

Whenever there was a drive-by, my dad would say, ‘Al suelo’ – ‘To the floor.’ I would hear the shots almost every single day. I would just put on my headphones and try and to drive it out. Not as a form of escape, but as a form of release. This record, Abstrakto, is the kind of music you listen with your headphones.

But they also want to make you move.

Now they’re ready to spread their word.

 abstrakto-performing-live

Photo Credit: Vivien Killilea / Getty

Getty: “I’m as excited about this as I’ve been about anything and I believe we can touch people all over the world, from Ibiza to Mexico City. It feels that it’s universal; it’s global. People that don’t speak a word of Spanish are thinking, ‘This shit’s crazy.’ From Armenian drivers to guys in Italy on the beach to beat heads in L.A. to, you name it. I have played this record all over the world and nobody needs to speak the language. You get it.”

What kind of movie would you direct to the music of Abstrakto? Let us know in the comments below. 

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

READ:

JuanGa Still Makes Us Cry With His Music And This Video Is Proof Of His Emotional Strength

Entertainment

JuanGa Still Makes Us Cry With His Music And This Video Is Proof Of His Emotional Strength

@miblogestublog / Twitter

When Juan Gabriel died in 2016, to say that we were devastated is an understatement. The Latino community, all of Mexico and Latin America, and fans from all over the world were in complete ruins when news broke that our beloved JuanGa had died. It felt unreal then and it feels unreal now, which is probably why people are still trying to revive him. There’s a definite void in our lives now that this icon is gone, but one thing that no one can take from us is his music. His words, his music, his melodies, are very much alive and well and they still bring up a ton of emotions, and sometimes it’s still a surprise that his music will hit us like a ton of bricks. Here’s proof. 

This video of a guy at a Mexican restaurant crying and singing along to Juan Gabriel’s “Hasta Que Te Conocí” is the cutest and saddest thing ever!

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

The video, which is probably old AF, made the rounds on Twitter recently and we couldn’t help but sympathize with this guy. 

The video starts off pretty chill because he looks so happy.

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

The guy, who is a mystery to us, looks to be eating at a Mexican restaurant (because who else would play Juan Gabriel in an establishment). He at first looks so happy to be hearing this one song, but he quickly changes once he starts singing the words. 

And then BAM, he is sucked into a sea of sadness by this love song, which is one of Juan Gabriel’s best, by the way. 

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

We can’t understand what is making him so sad at that point. It could be a former love? A beloved friend? Perhaps the song is reminding him of his parents or a family member! We just can’t tell but the lyrics themselves are heartbreaking. Here’s the portion that this dude is singing along too.

Hasta que te conocí
Vi la vida con dolor
No te miento fui feliz 
Aunque con muy poco amor
Y muy tarde comprendí
Que no te debía amar
Porque ahora pienso en ti 
Más que ayer, mucho más.

Touching words right??

His tears and emotional distress is so intoxicating because people around him can’t seem to stop recording him. 

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

He’s got like his own paparazzi following him around, recording every single movement, and tear. It’s nuts, but also thank you for this video

What makes this short video so amazing is that we are witnessing a snippet of emotions that go from utter happiness, to complete heartbreak, and back to high spirits in less than a minute. 

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

We love that homeboy is back to singing along and smiling by the end of the video because we don’t think we could handle any more tears. We would have started a GoFundme account or something to save him from his sadness. But we honestly give up, why do you think this song made him so sad? Maybe we’ll never find out but this video has got us thinking.

Which other Juan Gabriel love songs makes you emotional?

We have to pick “Amor Eterno” as the ultimate sad song. 

“Yo No Naci Para Amar”  

Boy, this hurts like a mofo. 

Y la soledad
Cada vez más triste
Y más oscura yo viví
Y a esa edad
Todos preguntaban los motivos
Yo solía siempre decir
Yo no nací para amar
Nadie nació para mí
Tan solo fui

Go ahead, go get some tissue. 

“Gracias Al Amor”

In this live version, JuanGa is crying too! So don’t feel so bad about letting it out. Now is the time. 

People on social media will have so many feelings about JuanGa now and forever.

Credit: @lonndraal / Twitter

There’s no reason in trying to hide how we really feel. 

Feelings for JuanGa is genderless. It’s a human emotion.

Credit: @stevezitro / Twitter

Never give a hard time to anyone crying over Juan Gabriel. 

This lady doesn’t know if it’s the chilaquiles that is making her cry or the Juan Gabriel song. 

Credit: @CosmicMons

It’s probably a combination of both, to be honest. 

Of course, even in the worse moments that we face, Juan Gabriel provides comfort even if it hurts like hell. 

Credit: @lourdesgnavarro / Twitter

He is with us always no matter what. 

READ: People On Twitter Can’t Handle Juan Gabriel’s Death…And We Totally Relate

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