identities

Her Abuela Listened To Salsa And Merengue Music, While Her Mom Listened To The Cure And Joy Division, And Now Jessica Hernandez Fronts A Soulful Punk Band

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, soulful punk rocker Jessica Hernandez felt like she was growing apart from her Cuban and Mexican-American culture. Because of this, Hernandez decided to travel to Mexico City to produce the second album for her band in a way she had never done before.

Her Cuban abuela has always longed for her band, Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, to create music in Spanish. With her in mind, Hernandez wrote and produced her very first bilingual album, ‘Telephone’ and ‘Teléfono.’

Despite how complex Spanish is when it comes to rhythm and rhyming, all of the work that went into the album was completely worth it to Hernandez, especially after learning how much of an impact it had with her audience.

From the beginning of her music career, Hernandez felt intimidated in the male-dominated rock scene.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

As the lead singer of a band and a Latina in the rock & roll industry, Hernandez often finds herself being the minority. She recently performed at the High and Low Festival in California, sharing the bill with mostly white, male-dominated bands like Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Bad Suns and Cloud Nothings. Because of this lack of representation, Hernandez recalls the hesitation she felt as a Latina band lead breaking into the music scene.

Being the first in her family to pursue a career in music, she remembers feeling insecure about possibly not fitting in and how people would receive her music. However, all of those initial insecurities are broken down more and more each time she receives feedback from her fans.

When Hernandez first entered the music scene, friends and family were concerned about the name of her band.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

“Even some family members were like, ‘Do you have to change your name? Are people going to think it’s ranchera music?’ And I was like, no,” Hernandez explains. “And maybe people do think that. I’m sure there are people who haven’t listened to us because of that. But I think it’s still important for me to keep trying and keep at it.”

Hernandez’s decision to keep the band’s name as Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, sparked a sense of belonging and representation amongst young, Latino fans. This has been confidence boosting for her.

“The kids that I meet and talk to me about how important it is that I kept my name, or that I’m doing something in English and in Spanish,” she says. “All of those little moments, they add up and break down my insecurities every single time.”

Rather than feeling restrained to only one part of her identity, Hernandez embraces every musical influence she had growing up. And they were all over the place.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ / JESSICA HERNANDEZ AND THE DELTAS

Ever since she was a child, Hernandez’s family played a huge part in her musical influences. Growing up, her dad listened to Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper, her mom was a fan of Joy Division and The Cure, her Cuban abuela was all about salsa and merengue, and her Mexican grandma loved Motown.

Because of this, her music doesn’t strictly fall into a single genre.

CREDIT: WE ARE MITÚ

Hernandez grew up listening to Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Selena, all artists she calls “female powerhouses that I looked up to vocally.” But her musical tastes weren’t limited to country and pop. She also had an alternative side, listening to bands like The Clash and Talking Heads.

With all of the musical puzzle pieces Hernandez has pieced together over time, she has been able to learn, grow and creatively experiment as an artist.

“I think my voice is constantly evolving. My writing style has changed a lot too,” Hernandez notes.

With the diversity she brings into her music, the industry and the stage, there is one thing Hernandez always makes sure to keep in mind.

“It’s always been important to me to be a positive role model,” she says. “And make sure that my style and my aesthetic is always coming through.”

To watch our full interview with Jessica Hernandez, check out the video below:

This alternative rock singer is proud of being Cuban, Mexican …

This alternative rock singer is proud of being Cuban, Mexican and American.

Posted by Fierce by mitú on Thursday, September 21, 2017


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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.”


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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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