Entertainment

This Latinx Music Festival Is Amplifying Women’s Voices And Giving Coachella A Run For Its Money

Francisca Valenzuela is a master of quite a few trades. She’s a multi-instrumentalist, a published author of various forms and a music revolutionary. She’s also a firm believer in the notion that music is for all people. Women and men of all sizes, genders, colors, ages and everything else that lies outside the scope included. It’s why she started Ruidosa Fest, a music festival and online platform that runs on this concept exactly. In an interview with FIERCE, Valenzuela shared how her project is pushing Latinas to the forefront of the music scene.

Like a lot of radical ideas, the concept of a Latina-focused music festival, sprung from a conversation between women.

AYER/YESTERDAY > @pstinla @gettymuseum @thegetty ⚡️?

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Valenzuela had been cracking at the male-dominated arena of the music industry for a while when she first came up with the idea for Ruidosa Fest. In her experience as a female performer, songwriter and music entrepreneur she’s faced her fair share of sexist experiences.

“I have encountered and identified troubling and confusing sexist behaviors — which have taken me a moment to even identify as such and even longer to know how to deal with and react,” says the Chilean-American artist. “I have always felt a lack of access to information and understanding as to how artists — especially females — develop their careers in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world. Even though the industry has similar struggles and challenges [as] the anglo, it has its own quirks, idiosyncrasies, difficulties and culture.”

The more she shared her frustration of having to deal with sexism in the industry while trying to sculpt out a place for herself as a Latina artist, the more Valenzuela’s desire to create a space for Latinxs grew. “The conversations I had with female professionals in the music industry…really inspired and activated me. I was like, ‘Oh this is happening to you to? How do you do it?'” She explains. “And [I] was like, ‘WOW it would be great to have a formal space of dialogue and conversation of challenges and possible conclusions and ideas; to facilitate that space to speak, listen and learn.'”

Valenzuela got to work shaping a safe music platform for women by creating Ruidosa, a festival whose name translates to the feminine version of “noisy.”

“In spanish, adjectives are adapted to gender. Ruidosa would be a rough translation of “she-noise” or something,” Valenzuela explains. To her, the name comes packed with all the potency of what a woman can be, despite societal expectations. “There are many approaches I like [about the name],” she says. “The fact that words in spanish such as “ruidosa” “histérica” “neurótica” are used for women in general and in a demeaning fashion — as if raising your voice and being present and visible as a woman is a threat, an annoyance, an unpleasant thing to get rid of or overlook.”

Ruidosa’s made its debut in Santiago, Chile in March 2016. For it’s first round, 2,000 people showed up. Since the start of the festival, established artists like Mon Laferte to La Santa Cecilia have made appearances.

But Ruidosa, is more than just a music festival. It’s also an online space that works to showcase the work of female artists across the globe.

??mis reinas #ruidosas @lidopimienta @martypreciado cc: @ruidosafest

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As Valenzuela explains, Ruidosa, is equal parts festival and digital platform. After kickstarting the festival, which has powered events in Santiago, Chile, Mexico and the U.S., the artist rolled out Somos Ruidosa, an online hub. There, artists are able to promote projects, extension workshops and publish their own essays and articles. On the site, Valenzuela hopes users will find encouragement to be vocal about their work and passion for their artistry.

For Latinas carving a place for themselves in the music industry, Valenzuela wants women to give power without limits. “I think it is important to elevate and listen and learn from the maximum diversity of voices and stories,” She says. “There is a need to empower women.”


Read: This Latina Artist Hid Her First Tattoo From Her Mother For Two Years, Now She’s Tipping The Scales of The Male Dominated Tattoo Industry In Both Colombia And New York

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

Stay grateful you did not grow up in the era of Snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook kids because you can delete but your recorded actions can still come back to bite. Cardi B knows the story. While the Afro-Latina queen of Trap isn’ making any apologies, the latest video to be dug up from her past is requiring her to give some answers.

Video of the singer, recalling a time in her life in which she felt forced to drug and rob men while seducing them has resurfaced.

Over the weekend, video of the “Money” rapper recalling how she used to drug and rob men resurfaced.

The video, which was recorded during an Instagram live broadcast, sees Cardi as she goes on a tearful verbal tirade about her past. This after, someone apparently questioned her success and accused her of not “putting in no fucking work.”

“I had to go ‘oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah let’s go to this hotel.’ And then I’d drug [expletivie] up and I’d rob them. That’s what I used to do.”

Users online were quick to comment.

“The fact that cardi b admitted to drugging and robbing men she would take back to a hotel for sex blows my mind,” wrote Twitter user @itsangelaa. “That’s not ‘keeping it real.’ that’s a crime.”

“I wonder what woulda happened if it were the other way round,” @BTSisthecauseo5 commented.

At the onset of the backlash, the rapper seemed to take the comments rather lightly.

The following day she also tweeted “IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE, IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE and I love it.”

On Tuesday, however, after users on Instagram and Twitter continued to simmer, she was forced to issue comment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bve_d3sFet7/

In a post to her Instagram, the rapper responded to the comments about the video by saying: “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”


Read:After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

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Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

The year 2017 marks a time of major multilingual and multicultural musical collaborations. With Luis Fonsi’s remix of “Despacito,” featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, climbing to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 16 weeks, and J Balvin and Willy William’s remix for “Mi Gente,” featuring Beyoncé, making it to the No. 3 spot, the western music market is opening up to music in Spanish. But these aren’t the only collaborations bridging different cultures and genres. In the era of globalization, K-pop, short for Korean pop music, is an international phenomenon, and the genre is beginning to meld its addictive melodies with urban Latin pop. Evidence: K-pop boy band Super Junior’s recent collaboration with Leslie Grace.

Debuting in 2005, the fellas of Super Junior are the kings of Hallyu — the Korean wave. At their height, 15 men donned the Super Junior title, but, due to departures, mandatory military service and other issues, only Siwon, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Yesung, Heechul and Leeteuk are currently active. As a group, the men have led a revolution in the industry, spurring forward electro-pop and R&B-influenced dance tracks.

(Courtesy of Leslie Grace)

And among K-pop, they also have one of the strongest fan bases in Latin America. The group has long captivated these audiences with hits like “Sorry Sorry,” “Mr. Simple” and “Mamacita,” and Super Junior has made sure to visit their Latin American E.L.F — what they call their fans — on three separate tours since 2013, holding arena shows in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru. It must be noted that the group has yet to hold a single solo show in the U.S.

For many years, Super Junior and SM Entertainment, their label, had seen the excitement from their supporters in Latin America and wanted to show their gratitude by releasing a song partly sung in Spanish. In March, the group dropped “Lo Siento,” a tune about finding romance on the dance floor, featuring Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace and the Latino production duo Play-N-Skillz as part of the extended version of their eighth album, Replay.  

“The song with Super Junior and Play-N-Skillz came out of nowhere. None of us really knew each other,” Leslie Grace, who was recommended to the K-pop group by the Argentine-Venezuelan sibling duo Play-N-Skillz, told FIERCE. “The beauty of it was [having the opportunity of] discovering something that’s been happening hugely in its own right in a different side of the world, and discovering it for the first time and saying, ‘Man, I wanna be a part of that. I don’t know anything about it up until this point, but I really want to be a part of that.’”

While it’s commonplace for K-pop groups to release records in Japanese or Mandarin in order to cater to Asian music markets, or English one-offs for international fans, no act had ventured into singing in Spanish or acknowledged their Latin American fans with a song quite like Super Junior.

“Lo Siento” is a true K-pop and urban Latin-pop mashup. It plays up the typical Spanish guitar and blends a familiar Latin flair with the energy and the mix of pop, dance and hip-hop that K-pop is known for. The music video, shot in South Korea, even features the “Díganle” singer dancing along with the guys of Super Junior.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhf174fBlko/?hl=en&taken-by=lesliegrace

The trilingual track debuted at No. 13 on Billboard’s Latin digital sales chart, the first K-pop entry ever. A bit over two weeks after the music video dropped, “Lo Siento” surpassed 20 million views, which was three times more than what their last Korean single, “Black Suit,” accumulated.

While “Lo Siento” isn’t the first time K-pop artists have teamed up with Latin ones nor used Latin genres in their music, it is the first instance that we can actually call a real collaboration. In 2016, for instance, Ricky Martin released a version of his hit “Vente Pa’ Ca” featuring Wendy from K-pop girl group Red Velvet, though she sang in English, and Mexican boy band CD9 released “Get Dumb” with Korean girl group Crayon Pop. In both cases, the artists simply exchanged vocals, put them together and released the song with little fanfare. With “Lo Siento,” however, not only did Leslie fly to Korea to be in the music video, but Super Junior invited her and Play-N-Skillz on their Latin American tour last month.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiNZO-sgKLW/?hl=en&taken-by=playnskillz

Stopping in Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Mexico City, Leslie, Play-N-Skillz and Super Junior played before a total of 55,000 fans. The stars blew up the stage with “Lo Siento,” but both Play-N-Skillz and Leslie also had the chance to perform their own sets during the show.

“It never stops being a surprise, with my most recent released single ‘Duro y Suave,’ for [the crowd] to sing it back to me,” the 23-year-old singer, who came to fame after the release of her bachata remake of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in 2013, told us. “I know it’s Super Junior’s crowd. I know that their fans are so accepting and loving, and I knew that they would be attentive during the show, but you don’t expect everyone to connect, especially a crowd that’s so different, to your music when you’re the special guest.”

Leslie is currently finishing her new album, which she says will drop by the end of the year. She’s also very excited about potentially finishing another leg of the tour with Super Junior. “They’re trying to see if we can do some more shows in Latin America, in Central America, go to the countries we didn’t get to go to in South America, like Colombia [and] Brazil,” she said.

Just like with “Despacito” and “Mi Gente,” “Lo Siento” is bringing together different cultures, languages and even fandoms from various parts of the world that don’t get to interact as much through music in a compact, smooth earworm.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiId1-5Bv_d/

“For us to come together just fully based off of mutual artistic respect, and for something like this to happen, and now everybody really enjoying it despite the cultural differences, that to me was the biggest takeaway and the biggest blessing to now be a part of Super Junior’s story and them a huge part of mine,” Leslie said.  

During an interview in Times Square, the dominicana gave the boys a quick dance lesson — and it was all caught on camera.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkWSwsvhpta/?taken-by=lesliegrace

“Bridging cultures one dance step at a time! First Super Junior with me and ‘Group Dance’ in their land South Korea, and now me with them and ‘Bachata’ in my home NYC,” Grace, 23, captioned a video of the dance sesh she posted on Instagram. “Proud to be your instructor, @eunhyukee44 hahaha! You are officially baptized the best bachatero out of Korea by the princess of bachata — BOOM!”

Catch the whole thing above!

Read: Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

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