Live at the LAMC: Latino Alternative Music Conference
By Maria Isa, STAR TRIBUNE, July 9, 2009
The Latino Alternative Music Conference kicked off on Tuesday night inviting artist, musicians, labels, publishing companies, marketers, and production companies from all over the country to its10th year anniversary in New York City's Roosevelt Hotel. It's to be said "the place to be" if you are a person in the music business representing Latino America in the alternative-urban genres.
Going into it's third day, Venezuelan funk, disco, acid-jazz band Los Amigos Invisables has highlighted the event with a presentation at the Apple Store in SoHo, commemorating thier single "Vivire Para Ti" featuring Natalia Lafourcade as one of Itunes' new single of the week.
Later on that evening, BMI also hosted a special showcase Verano Alternativo“ Women of Latin Music,"presented at S.O.B's. I must say I did enjoy parts of the evening meeting up with BMI Director of Latin Music Porfirio Piña (whom also was the MC of the night), but expected a bit more of the hip-hop element which was represented by La Niña Dioz , a rapper from Monterrey, Mexico. Not to Faltar el respecto to another female, but maybe it could have been that "the sound" wasn't being a good amigo to her towards the end of the night. As a big fan of international women in hip-hop, I'll give her maybe one more shot which she will take later on tonight at the LAMC Showcase on the Lower East Side's Bowery Ballroom. But, hey everyone's entitled to their own opinion and taste.
Last night, I had a great time on Orchard Street at an after-party hosted at the Annex. The late night showcased the wonderful work of Maleco Collective, which features frontman Malverde who is known best for his political activism through lyricism in Latin Hip-Hop. Not only did Malverde perform with his electro-fusion rockin' crew, but this afternoon took seat as a panelist for "Politik Killz: Latino Artist and Political Engagement in the Era of Obama," along with Maria Teresa Kumar (Voto Latino), Reynaldo Casas (MTV Tr3s), Marco Werman (PRI's "The World), Amy Blackman (Amy B MGMT/Cookman International), and Greg Landau (Round World Music). The panel focused on the United States' "promises of tomorrow" and how the aftermath of the 2008 election is and isn't contributing to Latinos in our country. With the questions of to "Why Miami-Cubano, rapper Pitbull and Boricua reggaeton-hitman Daddy Yankee are Republicans," to bullet points explaining the fact that the underground Latin Hip-Hop scene is a powerful fist towards the social justice movement and a tool for public awareness. Maria Teresa Kumar representing Voto Latino addressed three key points on: creating a civic agenda, immigration reform, and voter registration with advocacy from celebrities such as Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez.
I also caught up with "Sota" friend and U of M alumni, Jessica Phillips who is the Vice President of Marketing at EMI Televisa, as well as the Senior Director of Customer Marketing for EMI Music Marketing. It is her 2nd time at the conference and she expressed how the LAMC is "a great opportunity to network with Latin Alternative influencers, building relationships that help facilitate collaborations and breakout opportunities for artists exposing their performances."
I have found that participants at each event network immediately with major companies, independent distributors, production and media networks as well as other artists from different genres representing the Latino Market.
With an early day tomorrow at the Roosevelt Hotel for the panels "Radio Relevance: Debating the Role of Terrestrial Stations in a Digital Age," and "Staying 'Vivo' in the Economic Downturn: Opportunities for Changing Times," I am still trying to head out to catch Mexico's four-time Latin Grammy nominee and Sony/BMG artist Natalia Lafourcade tonight at the Bowery.
I take a sip for my Sota always and a "que Rico" for the taste. Saludos Twin Cities desde Nueva York. Peace- M.I.