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. 

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Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

Entertainment

Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

shakira / jbalvin / Instagram

Latin music is something we all grew up with. Our parents raised us on the voices of Celia Cruz and Vicente Fernandez. We cleaned the house and entertained ourselves on road trips to these artists and they are ingrained in our DNA. Billboard recently released a list of the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some are undoubtedly iconic and others just aren’t Latin music.

Billboard dropped their list for the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some of them are truly classics.

Amor Prohibido” by Selena, “Guantanamera” by Celia Cruz, “El Rey” by Vicente Fernandez, and “El dia que me quieras” by Luis Miguel are just a few of the songs on the list that deserve all the praise. They are songs that transport us to our childhoods and cherished family memories.

The list also includes some newer songs that have rocked out adult worlds. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, “Mi Gente” by J Balvin, “El Farsante” by Ozuna, and “Tusa” by Karol G and Nicki Minaj all made the list. Not only do these songs speak to the Latino audience, they have been able to go mainstream sharing our musical culture with the world. That’s something to admire and respect because it gives our community representation like never before.

The list has proven to be just want some people have been asking for.

Tbh, this would make a pretty amazing road trip playlist if you need to pass the time. Nothing like a mix of Latin music songs playing along to give you a big, inclusive sabor of Latin America through music. A little be of Mexico and a little bit of Puerto Rico mixed in with a little bit of Colombia is pure joy and magic.

However, a lot of people are questioning the list’s inclusion of Spanish artists.

The list has various artists who are not Latino, but Spanish. There seems to be an unspoken rule in the music industry that music in Spanish is automatically Latin music. Fans have long been arguing against the industry’s blanket label of Spanish-language music automatically being considered Latin music.

Rosalía, who has arguably become the face of the debate, is listed as having one of the best Latin music songs of all time.

While Rosalía does make some good music, there is a real push to make sure the artists of Latin American roots are uplifted in Latin music. There is nothing wrong with including Rosalía in your Spanish-language playlists but Latin music fans want the distinction made that some artists aren’t Latino.

You can check out the rest of the Billboard list here.

READ: Vogue México Put A Spanish Music Artist On Their Cover And Called Her Latina And Latinos Almost Set Twitter On Fire

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Demi Lovato Gasses Up Her Teen Self In Her Latest Music Video ‘OK Not to Be OK’

Entertainment

Demi Lovato Gasses Up Her Teen Self In Her Latest Music Video ‘OK Not to Be OK’

Pixl Networks

Demi Lovato is hardly a stranger to opening up about the things that have plagued her. The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer has long used her voice and platform to shed light on the issues that so many young girls struggle with. Namely body image. Like many young girls across the country (who are reportedly more likely to suffer from the pressures of our society’s pressure to obtain the “ideal body”) Demi Lovato has been open about her years struggling with eating disorders. Moreover, in recent years Lovato has positioned herself as an advocate for young girls suffering from similar issues.

In a recent music video, Lovato is opening up about her pain by doing so with a girl she can relate to on a completely different level: her younger self.

Lovato’s newest song comes with a heartwrenching and brilliant collab with Marshmello.

In her latest video, Lovato finds herself transported to her childhood bedroom, waking up in her old bed. When she looks in the mirror, she finds herself staring straight into the face of her younger self (a la Camp Rock). Marshmello also wakes up in his own childhood room, and the two artists end up settling with their past demons throughout the rest of the video. 

The lyrics of the song detail the process of coming to terms with dark emotions and mental health struggles. “Don’t get lost in the moment, or give up when you’re closest,” Lovato sings in the new music video. “All you need is somebody to say, it’s OK not to be OK.”

Throughout the video, the teenage and adult versions of Lovato and Marshmellow rage in their bedrooms in the video before ultimately finding a balance. The video concludes with both versions of Demi holding hands and meeting up with the teenage and adult versions of Marshmello while dancing down a street.

“I think it’s just such an important subject,” Marshmello said about the song’s release on World Suicide Prevention Day. “I think a lot of people, about negative feelings and negative thoughts that are affecting them are kind of scared to bring it up, scared to talk about it. When in reality, they’re scared because maybe the person won’t relate or the person won’t understand, when in reality most of time the person that you could bring it up to, will most likely has felt like this or will understand or can relate as well. So I think it’s very important to talk about it.”

Check out the music video below!

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