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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. 

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The Rosalía And Billie Eilish Collab Is Here And You’ll Want To Hear It

Latidomusic

The Rosalía And Billie Eilish Collab Is Here And You’ll Want To Hear It

Jerritt Clark / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

At long last, that Rosalía and Billie Eilish collaboration is here. The Spanish singer teamed up with the pop superstar for “Lo Vas A Olvidar,” which will be a part of the soundtrack to HBO series Euphoria.

The hotly-anticipated collaboration was nearly two years in the making. Eilish first confirmed that she was working with Rosalía back in Feb. 2019 in an interview with the BBC. Rosalía was open in follow-up interviews about how their song was unfinished because both artists couldn’t find the time to get together again. “Can’t wait to finish our song,” she wrote on Twitter in March 2019.

While in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosalía told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in April 2020 that she found the time to finish working on the song. She was only waiting for Eilish’s vocals to come in to wrap things up.

Following a recent wave of Anglo artists teaming up with Latin music’s superstars, Eilish released “Lo Vas A Olvidar” with Rosalía. On the atmospheric track, Eilish sings in Spanish about walking away from a toxic relationship. Both Grammy-winning singers beautifully harmonize with the heartbreaking lyrics. In the song’s few English lines, they repeat on the chorus, “Can you let it go?” This Eilish and Rosalía crossover is a subtle yet stunning moment.

“Lo Vas A Olvidar” is not actually the first time that Eilish has sung in Spanish. She’s a Carla Morrison fan and she’s covered the Mexican singer’s “Eres Tú” in the past. Eilish’s Spanish pronunciation remains on-point.

The second season of Euphoria starring Zendaya will premiere on HBO on Jan. 24. “Lo Vas A Olvidar” will be featured in the episode “Part 2: Jules.” Rosalía and Eilish’s next albums are due out later this year.

READ: Bilingual Collaborations Are Taking The Music World By Storm, These Are The Dream Collabs For 2021

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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