New album by Los Rakas to drop on Universal Musica!

No Tan ListoNews from Rakalandia!

Panama via Oakland, Calif, Latin hip-hop duo, Los Rakas have released the first single,No Tan Listo,” for their debut album with Universal Musica’s urban label, Machete Music. The record will drop on April 15. (Grab the single here.)

As someone who played a minuscule role in this band’s publicity efforts, I couldn’t be more proud:

(Watch an interview I scored for them on CNN on Español here:

I also scored this premiere for them in the now-defunct (*sad face*) AOL SPINNER.

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That was a tiny glimpse to the press this duo has been getting. Just do a search online and you’ll see tons of articles, especially about their upcoming shows at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. (And you can thank their publicist, Raka team member, Conrazón, for all of that good press!)

Also check out their collaboration with The Bots – “Spaceshippin’” – for the Converse Cons EP (also features my favorite NYC rap crew right now, Ratking) came out via VICE’s Noisey.  Download the song here.


Making Movies December Tour: Los Angeles

1520722_10100129622897139_1624080311_nMy buddies from the Kansas City-based band, Making Movies, are on tour this month. They’re currently in Los Angeles and if these photos are any indication, I’d say they’re having a great time.

Get acquainted with the band and their sultry psychedelic son at their website, or via this great video from our friends at American Latino TV.

Listen to their latest album, “A La Deriva,” (produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos), here.

Watch an acoustic performance of “Lo Que Quiero” via 123UnoDosTres here.

Listen to an amazing, plugged-in performance, via KEXP’s “El Sonido w DJ Chilly,” here.

With superhost, Pili Montilla, of WAPA-TV’s “Té Para Tres.”
Performing at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, L.A.
Photo shooting w the good folks of My Square Bear & stylist, Demetri Faye.


Checking out Wavelab Studios with Steve Berlin.
Checking out Wavelab Studios with Steve Berlin.
Check out upcoming tour dates at
Check out upcoming tour dates at

Alternate version of ‘Wake Me Up’ perfect for the DREAMer cause

Screen shot 2013-11-03 at 12.44.44 PMSometimes a hit dance song can become an ally for a cause.

Wake Me Up” is a song that all of my indoor cycling class instructors at the gym can’t get enough of. Eventually, the song became an earworm and I had to look it up on YouTube. Not surprisingly, it’s a monster club hit by the Swedish electronic dance music giant, Avicii.

The video for it follows a model-like girl who seems to live a not-so-easy life somewhere in rural America, but ends up happy because she rides a horse to an Avicii concert. (It’s as pretty as a fashion magazine spread.)

But the lyrics are deeper than that. And though Avicii made the song a global hit with his EDM production skills, I had to know about the man behind the voice. That’s where the story gets more interesting, as far as I’m concerned.

The vocalist (who is listed as a co-writer the Avicii track) is Aloe Blacc, a singer, songwriter, rapper, and musician from Southern California best known for his single, “I Need A Dollar,” from the short-lived HBO comedy-drama series, “How to Make it in America.”

Turns out Blacc, real name Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, was born to Panamanian parents and that may explain why he recorded a video for the alternate version (acoustic country and folk) of “Wake Me Up.”

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Directed by Alex Rivera from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), an advocacy organization that advocates for day laborers and is staunchly against President Obama’s deportation policies, the video features undocumented immigrants, including DREAMer Hareth Andrade-Ayala, who arrived in America when her father Mario came to the United States in 2004 seeking a brighter future for his family. Mario is now facing deportation.

The song’s poignant lyrics are perfect for what Adrade-Ayala, and millions of other youth affected by the threat of deportation, must be feeling.

They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me

So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost

Watch the video below and read more about the director’s thought process behind the video via Buzzfeed.

Like Buena Vista Social Club…

Only with an AfroLatino-tinged indie rock twist…

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Kansas City’s Making Movies joins Mark Lowrey & Hermon Mehari as they become Making Movies Social Club for the night.

“We play old traditional Latino music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Mexico, and revamp some of our stuff in the acoustic format,” says lead singer, Enrique Chi. “We are going to make a record. It should be fun.”

Saturday, May 11, at the Kill Devil Club in Kansas City. Doors at 7 p.m.
$10, 21+

This event will sell out, so grab your tickets here.