Entertainment

After Their Lead Singer Quit the Band (Twice), This Band Responded by Releasing Its Strongest Album

The Space Cowboys Return to Aztlán: A Q&A with Porter

When vocalist Juan Son left Porter in 2013, most people assumed it was a death sentence for the Guadalajara-based rock outfit, which had just reunited after a four-year hiatus. After all, the clear star of the band was Juan Son, whose high-pitched, meandering vocals and stage presence made him a fan favorite. Son (real name: Juan Carlos Pereda) was largely seen as the creative force behind the band’s first two releases, 2005’s Donde Los Ponys Pastan and 2007’s Atemahawke. With Son gone, Porter had a few choices: disband once more or look for a new singer.

Enter David Velasco. A soft-spoken singer with a voice similar to Son’s, Velasco filled in as Porter’s lead vocalist after Son quit the band. Velasco eventually became a permanent member of the group. The similarity between the two singers’ breathy vocals wasn’t lost on fans, and Velasco spent a month enduring insults on the Internet from disgruntled fans who lamented that Porter had gone from “Juan Son to panzón (from Juan Son to a fat guy).”

Late last year, Porter released Moctezuma, its first album with Velasco. Unlike countless bands who have tried and failed to replace an “irreplaceable” lead singer, Porter have created their arguably most focused and polished album. Inspired by Mexico’s pre-Hispanic era, Moctezuma is packed with indigenous Mexican rhythms, history and mythology that may remind listeners of Caifanes and early Cafe Tacvba. On tracks like “Murciélago,” “Huitzil” and “Palapa,” the whole band – not just its singer – displays a confidence that shows Porter was never a one man band.

We caught up with lead singer David Velasco to talk about Moctezuma, Mexican pride and his bumpy transition to Porter’s lead singer.

Your start with the band was rocky, but it seems like you’ve won over the fans.

Yeah, I think we’ve become more solid because now I really feel like I’m a part of the band. At the beginning, I was a bit scared. So as I became more confident, the fans felt that confidence. We also have this advantage now where there’s fans who are 14, 15 years old, who never really experienced the first iteration of the band. So… the train keeps rolling.

Do you think you were trying too hard to emulate Juan Son?

A little bit. I put a lot of consideration into what the fans were used to hearing. If we would have made too drastic of a change, the fans probably would have responded differently. So my idea was to maintain that style, to continue to speak that language they were used to and, little by little, let my voice ring out a bit more and be myself a bit more.

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Photo Credit: Porter / Facebook

Moctezuma is a tight, polished album. How’d you pull it off?

We’ve all matured as people, and that’s been a big part of the more mature sound of the band. The other projects we worked on while the band was on hiatus also had a part in making us, and the album, much stronger. We also worked closely with the producers of Moctezuma… so all those things add up.

The album is packed pre-Hispanic rhythms, history and mythology. Was it planned from the start or did it happen organically?

The first thing we came up with was the name of the album, Moctezuma. From there, we tapped into these strong emotions we had about writing about Mexico. During our rehearsals, Fer would say “Imagine an indigenous person finding the instruments we have here. How would that person play them?” So it was definitely intentional from the start.

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Mariah Carey’s ‘Save The Day’ Video Pays Homage To Black Lives Matter And Breonna Taylor

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Mariah Carey’s ‘Save The Day’ Video Pays Homage To Black Lives Matter And Breonna Taylor

Mariah Carey says it’s powerful to be Black.

The beloved singer-songwriter with a five-octave vocal range is calling for the use of that power with her latest music video for her new song “Save the Day.” The song which features Lauryn Hill summons her fans to take action this year and vote their hearts out. The new single comes from Carey’s new two-disc compilation album, The Rarities which is available now and is a reminder that when it comes to our future “it’s up to us.”

And while the message behind “Save the Day” is getting quite a bit of love for how powerful it is, really it’s its drive to elevate Black Stories that is getting attention.

The animated music video for “Save the Day” dropped on October 22 and rhapsodizes the song’s theme “of citizenship—more important than ever in a tumultuous era marked by a global pandemic, political and social uprisings, and a looming presidential election.”

To create the animated music video, Carey partnered with ​PushBlack​, a non-profit media organization that produces Black stories, to honor Black influencers. Kerry Washington, PushBlack’s Julian Black, and the agency Maestra’s De’Ara Balenger and Zara Rahim worked to produce the film. Throughout the animated video, portraits of important Black people and essential workers come across the screen.

The video pays tribute to Black Lives Matter inspiration Breonna Taylor, Congressman John Lewis, Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglass, and trans activist Raquel Willis with powerful animations. The video also features essential workers.

The beautifully drawn portraits are drawn by artist Molly Crabapple who also illustrated A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 2019 Emmy award-nominated video about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This isn’t the first video created for “Save the Day.”

Carey issued another version of the video for the song at the opening ceremony for the Women’s U.S. Open. The animated version however works to illustrate the song’s themes in a way that works as a call to action to all watching to do their part in restoring our democracy.

“Our country is at a critical moment in history, and I felt compelled to do what I could using my platform of music to encourage us all to take action,” Carey said in a statement about the video. “My hope is that the ​’Save The Day’ video will serve as an inspiring message and spark meaningful dialogue and action across the country, for each of us to do our part to save the day.’ The lyrics of this song are all about doing your part to make a difference and highlighting the impact that each of us can make. Whether you’re an essential worker, a protestor, a student, a young parent making it work, or a first-time voter, we each have a duty to support our communities.”

Speaking about her daughter’s appearance in the video, Tamika Palmer issued a press announcement.

“Breonna’s life was tragically and wrongfully taken from her, but her death cannot be in vain,” Palmer stated. “There is so much at stake and we all must do our part. Having my beautiful daughter featured in the video is a testament to our people coming together in the face of tremendous adversity.”

Check out the Lyrics to “Save the Day” below

[Intro: Mariah Carey]
We’re all in this together
You’re my only hope
And it’s too divided, too deep to understand
But if we don’t do it, tell me, who will?
Oh, we always say these words that don’t mean too much
I wonder, where is the love?
It’s curious
The fear still holding us down
One day, will we look up?

[Verse 1: Mariah Carey]
You got a right to your own opinion
But when it comes to the world we live in
Isn’t it time that we start rebuilding
All of the things that have basically crumbled?
We all tend to forget that
We all cease to exist if
Wе all live for ourselves
If nobody bothеrs to find a solution

[Chorus: Mariah Carey]
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day

[Verse 2: Mariah Carey]
We’re all in this together
You’re my only hope (Only hope)
And it’s too divided, too deep to understand
But if we don’t do it, tell me, who will? Yeah
Always say these words that don’t mean too much
I wonder, where is the love?
It’s curious
That fear still holding us back
One day, will we look up?
It’s up to us

[Chorus: Mariah Carey]
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh
(To save the day, to save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (Come on, come on)
(Will we?) We won’t ever learn to save the day
(Ever learn, no)

[Bridge: Mariah Carey & Lauryn Hill]
La-la-la, la, la-la, la
Woah, la
Woah, la (Ah, ah, ah)
La
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh (To save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (And she won’t)
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh (I’ma have to learn to save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (All God’s children, all God’s children)
We won’t ever learn to save the day (All God’s children, to save the day)

[Outro: Mariah Carey]
We gon’ learn, we gon’ learn
Said we gotta learn

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As A Latin Music Fan, Here Are My Picks For The 2020 Latin Grammys

Entertainment

As A Latin Music Fan, Here Are My Picks For The 2020 Latin Grammys

Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Last year’s Latin Grammys caused an uproar on social media after the nominees list was released. Many fans and artists noticed the lack of representation of the Reggaeton music genre. “Sin reggaeton no hay Latin Grammy,” read many of the posts on social media, but this year seems to be different. 

This year’s nominees accurately represent the changing culture in Latin music as it shifts more towards the reggaeton genre. Here are my top picks for some of my favorite categories. 

Record of the Year

Record of the Year is always one of the toughest picks as many of my favorite songs are included in this category. This year it seems pretty competitive as Bad Bunny’s Vete competes with Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s Tusa. Karol G is competing against herself with the song China by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Featuring Ozuna and J Balvin. But at the end, Tusa by Karol G and Nicki Minaj should take the win as the overall production of the song is what makes it so great. From the rhythm to the lyrics, Tusa deserves the Grammy. 

Album of the Year

In 2019, we had a lack of reggaeton nominees in this category, but this year the list includes two reggaeton superstars: Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Both are nominated for their joint album OASIS and their solo albums, Colores and YHLQMDLG. To me, it’s clear that the winner of this category will be Bad Bunny with YHLQMDLG. The 20-song album delivered Latin trap with a variety of moods, whether it was a post-breakup heartbreak, our on-pause summer anthems, or the heartfelt thank you at the end. This album was highly anticipated and it delivered.

Best New Artist

The top contestants in this category are Anuel AA,  Rauw Alejandro, and Cazzu. While Rauw Alejandro has had some big hits this year, such as “El Efecto,” “Tattoo,” “Elegi,” and “TBT,” it is very likely that Anuel AA will take the Grammy home. Anuel AA was snubbed from a best new artist nomination last year, but he has been very successful since then which shows his growth as a new artist. 

Song of the Year

While there are many great songs nominated in this category, “ADMV” by Maluma stands out the most. The song was released during quarantine and was written by the artist as a dedication to all the people in his life that he loves. The song, which touches upon love and growing old with one’s significant other is a very heartfelt balada and one that gives us a whole new side to Maluma. The lyrics of the song and the overall composition gives us all the feels and reminds us to hug our loved ones a little tighter and tell them that we love them. 

Best Regional Song 

The top nominees in this genre include Christian Nodal with AYAYAY! and Natalia Lafourcade con MI RELIGIÓN. While I am a huge fan of Natalia Lafourcade, Christian Nodal will most likely take the win with this upbeat and modern song. What makes the song work for Nodal is that it is still rooted in the regional genre. 

Best Short Form Music Video

If you haven’t seen J.Balvin’s video for Rojo, please do yourself a favor and watch it now! But be prepared with tissues, this video delivers pain, acceptance, and even a message to its viewers. The video starts with Balvin receiving the news that his daughter was born, as he rushes to the hospital on the phone with his mom, he crashes and dies. But he is not conscious of his death and his spirit makes it to the hospital. The rest of the video shows Balvin following the life of his daughter as she grows up. This video delivers an exceptional story in less than 5 minutes and is a grammy-winning performance. 

To see who will win be sure to tune in! The 21st annual Latin Grammys will air on Univision, Nov. 19, 2020.

READ: Maluma Is Keeping Us Up To Date On His Life In Quarantine And I Couldn’t Be More Grateful

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