Entertainment

These Five Singers Prove You Don’t Have to Be Mexican to Love Mexican Music

Who says you have to be Mexican to love its music? Whether it’s rancheras, Norteño or banda, Mexican is infectious. These five singers had little to no ties to Mexico but once they got a taste of its culture, they were hooked:

1.Magdalena Serafin aka La Güera Chakaloza

La Güera Chakaloza
Photo Credit: La Güera Chakaloza / Facebook

Magdalena Serafin loves to tirar desmadre.

 She’s a Polish-born singer known as La Güera Chakaloza.

Serafin, who’s now based in Chicago, sings a mean corrido.

After impressing singer Larry Hernandez with her chops…

Credit: Thebrandon831 / YouTube

She had a chance to perform with Banda Los Recoditos.

Credit: La Guera Chakaloza / YouTube

The banda group invited her up on stage during one of their live performances. She’s since performed Los Tucanes, Larry Hernandez and Banda MS.

Earlier this year, she even met with one of Larry Hernandez’s mutual friends…

Credit: La Guera Chakaloza / YouTube

El Compa Negro.

La Güera and her band now gig regularly around Chicago.

2. El Charro Negro

Bobby Butler of Little Joe & The Latinaires
Photo Credit: Buena Suerte Records

Nicknamed “El Charro Negro,” Bobby Butler was one of the vocalists for the Tejano group Little Joe & The Latinaires.

Here’s Butler Singing “El Papalote.”

Photo Credit: CATOHERNANDEZ / YouTube

NICE.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson clapping

Butler later became a vocalist for the band Tortilla Factory.

Credit: TejanoLegend’s channel / YouTube

When Little Joe – a Tejano music legend – fired the Latinaires, the band rebranded as Tortilla Factory. Butler, who donned a charro outfit during performances, told the Austin Chronicle he first heard Tejano music in Arkansas: “I must have been 8 or 9 years old – me and Mom and my brothers out in the cotton fields picking cotton. At that time, they brought up workers from Mexico to help with the cotton harvest. They’d sing out in that sun all day, and I fell in love with the sound.”

El Charro Negro is still singing.

Tortilla Factory 40 Yrs Album
Photo Credit: Tortilla Factory

In 2013, Tortilla Factory released a 40th anniversary album featuring Butler, who is now into his 70s. He’s still got it. That’s him on the cover.

3. Dwayne Verheyden & The Texmexplosion

Accordionist Dwayne Verheyden
Photo Credit: Dwayne Verheyden / Facebook

Dwayne Verheyden was born in the Netherlands. How the hell did he fall in love with Tejano music? The way most kids usually do: his father was a huge fan. “It was kind of a normal thing for me, because I listened to this music everyday,” said Verheyden in a YouTube interview. So basically, the soundtrack to his childhood was Tejano legend Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez.

Let’s hear what he’s got:

Credit: Dwayne Verheyden / YouTube

DAAAAAAAAAMN

Friday movie GIF "Daaaamn"

Inspired by Flaco Jimenez, Verheyden began playing the accordion at age 7.

Dwayne Verheyden as a child
Photo Credit: Dwayne Verheyden / Facebook

Now he fronts his own band: the Texmexplosion.

Verheyden met his hero a few years ago.

Credit: wsmvideoproductie / YouTube

Yep, Flaco Jimenez, who once said Verheyden plays his songs “perfectly.”

The Tejano music scene has embraced him.

Credit: Dwayne Verheyden / YouTube

He was named Best New Artist at the 2014 Tejano Music Awards.

4. Timoteo “El Charro Negro”

Timoteo El Charro Negro
Photo Credit: Timoteo “El Charro Negro” / Facebook

There’s another singer who calls himself “El Charro Negro,” and his name is Timoteo (real name: Timothy Pollard).

He’s been on shows such as Sábado Gigante, Despierta America and even Caso Cerrado.

Credit: Timoteo El Charro Negro / YouTube

Born in Texas and raised in Long Beach, California, the 48-year-old was exposed to plenty of Mexican music during his youth. When he heard Vicente Fernández, he was hooked. “A few years ago, I was at a party at a friend’s house and I heard the powerful voice of Don Chente singing ‘Nuestro Juramento’ and ‘Lástima Que Seas Ajena.’ I was paralyzed. I still remember it and I get goosebumps. I knew that I had to sing that music,” said Timoteo to People en Español.

Here’s Timoteo with Chente.

Timoteo El Charro with Vicente Fernandez
Photo Credit: Timoteo “El Charro Negro” / Facebook

They didn’t just meet, though.

Timoteo El Charro Negro and Vicente Fernandez
Photo Credit: Timoteo “El Charro Negro” / Facebook

Chente invited Timoteo to perform a song with him during one of his legendary live concerts. Pass the tequila.

5. Mateo “El Gringo”

Mateo "El Gringo" at Mariachi Plaza
Photo Credit: MateoFilm / YouTube

If you’ve eaten at a Mexican restaurant in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of East L.A., Highland Park or Echo Park in the last decade, chances are you’ve seen Matthew Stoneman perform at least once.

He’s the guy who looks like a science teacher with a guitar.

Credit: MateoFilm / YouTube

Known as Mateo “El Gringo,” Stoneman learned to play guitar while in jail for theft. After his release, he watched local musicians performing for tips in restaurants. Inspired, Stoneman began performing old-school boleros in Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.

He’s now the subject of a documentary, Mateo. 

Photo Credit: MateoFilm / YouTube

The New York Times described the doc as a “deeply complicated portrait of an angel-voiced musician.”

Who else has embraced corridos and rancheras like a Mexican? Leave a comment below to tell us.

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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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