Residente Signs Multi-Year Venture with Sony Music Entertainment to Launch 1868 Studios and Create Authentic Latinx Content

Residente is expanding his empire…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican rapper, singer, writer, filmmaker, and member of Calle 13, whose real name is René Pérez Joglar, has signed a multi-year venture with Sony Music Entertainment to launch 1868 Studios.

Under the new deal, Residente and Sony Music Latin/Iberia will create, produce and globally distribute original content that focuses on bringing the authentic representation of cultural narratives including Latinx stories in front of and behind the camera.

Residente will lead the charge when it comes to creative aspects of the partnership. He’ll write and direct inclusive television shows, films and other on-screen content that will be distributed across multiple platforms.

1868 Studios commits that Residente will collaborate with an international creative consortium of writers, directors, on-screen talent, musical artists, and visual artists to provide creative services for a robust slate of new projects.

Sony Music Entertainment will provide its expertise in content creation, marketing and monetization to enhance the scale and scope of the studio’s work.

“There are much more important things than talking about million-dollar businesses in the midst of a pandemic, where unemployment is becoming a larger issue daily,” said Residente. “But, together, we are announcing that under this venture there will be employment opportunities for Latinos around the world.”

He added, “Throughout my career, I always knew that rap would be the vehicle that would lead me to fulfill my true passion, cinema. We are going to make films, TV series, documentaries and all kinds of visual content, where the main priority will be creativity. I am proud to have friends like Rob Stringer, Afo Verde, and Tom Mackay, who understand the great power of the intangible values of art.”

“Residente is a creative genius whose work has inspired the global music industry for many years and whose vision has inspired LatinX creators and communities all over the world.” said Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Latin, “This partnership enables us to channel his vast expertise and develop engaging and diverse content for audiences everywhere.”

Residente made history as one of the most Latin Grammy-winning artists as a member of the group Calle 13 and as a solo artist. He attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, which helped fuel his passion for cinematography, which he has incorporated into his music career.

His work has garnered the respect of his industry colleagues through his approach on award-winning music videos and feature-length films, including his own documentary called Residente which chronicles his journey to make his first solo album.

He has been acknowledged for his contributions to many philanthropic causes and organizations and serves as an ambassador of Amnesty International and was the recipient of the Recognition Award at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in 2015.

J Balvin to Take Part in Special “Mind & Music” Conversation at This Year’s Latin Music Week

J Balvin will be talkin’ mind and music…

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer will sit alongside Deepak Chopra in a special Q&A conversation during the 30th anniversary Latin Music Week.

J Balvin

Balvin will participate in a first-of-its-kind Q&A panel with the well-being pioneer titled “Mind & Music: Finding Meaning and Fulfillment Through Mindfulness and Music.”

They’ll discuss what meditation means to them, its connection to music, and why they decided to start a 21-day meditation program together.

Meanwhile, Grammy-winning Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía will join a Q&A session with Oscar nominated, 13-time Grammy winning musician and producer Pharrell Williams in an artist to artist discussion of their parallel lives as renaissance artists with multiple ventures, from music to fashion.

Colombian singer-songwriter and philanthropist Carlos Vives will be joined by internationally renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in an enlightening conversation on the power of music and the arts as a global agent of change for a better society.

And superstar Ozuna, one of the top-selling artists in the world, will join Afo Verde, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Latin Iberia, to discuss the crafting, production and promotion of his hit albums and songs.

This year’s event will take place virtually on its new dates October 20-23, 2020 here.

Gloria & Emilio Estefan Receive TJ Martell Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio’s philanthropic spirit is being celebrated in their hometown of Miami…

The TJ Martell Foundation honored the Estefans with the lifetime achievement award at their annual cancer fundraiser.

Gloria Estefan & Emilio Estefan

Scheduled as part of the NATPE market at the Eden Roc hotel on Thursday (Jan. 19), it was the foundation’s inaugural event in Miami and the first since the death of founder Tony Martell in November.

“To receive this award the first time TJ Martell celebrates an event in Miami is incredible for us,” said Gloria Estefan, while accepting the award alongside her husband. “We love Tony Martell, we love what he did. He turned a lot of pain into a lot of wonderful things.”

“When I used to go to Sony, Tony was always there with a beautiful smile,” added Emilio Estefan. “In [music], it’s important to use our career to make people’s lives better. It’s not just about us.”

On Thursday, it was about different sectors of Miami’s Latin music community coming together for a cause that is close to many. Hosted by Enrique Santos, the popular radio host who now heads iHeartMedia’s new Latin division, speakers included Maria Elena Marroquín, widow of CAA agent Rick Marroquín, who died last year of cancer.

In turn, the Estefan’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Afo Verde, Sony Music Entertainment’s Chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Portugal, who was a TJ Martell honoree in New York in 2014. Verde, who has a long history with the Estefans, spoke to the couple’s musical and cultural legacy.

“Gloria is one of the great music artists,” he said to applause. “To hear one measure and say, ‘That’s Gloria Estefan,’ that’s what all artists dream of.”

“I think we’ve never had a more beautiful introduction,” a smiling Estefan responded.

The event was punctuated by two excellent musical performances. First came Emily Estefan — daughter of Emilio and Gloria — soon to release her debut album. Backed by a powerful band that included horns, Estefan sounded uncannily like her mom, but applied her vocals to a hard to a blend of funk, soul and jazz. Both the pipes and the level of musicianship were impressive.

Next came the soulful Diego Torres, who sang an acoustic set accompanied only by guitar, keyboard and light percussion, which included new anthem “Igualdad,” and his perennially beautiful “Color Esperanza.”

Lopez Working on New, All-Spanish Album Alongside Marc Anthony

Jennifer Lopez is switching tongues…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actress is hard at work on a new, all-Spanish album, alongside ex-husband Marc Anthony, who will act as executive producer, according to Billboard.

Jennifer Lopez

The album is scheduled for release in 2017, with the first single from the new production set to drop in November.

It will be Lopez’s first all-Spanish album in a decade. Back in 2007, she released her Spanish-language debut, Como Ama una Mujer, which debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and, at the time, was only the fifth Spanish-language album to debut in the top 10 of the all-genre chart.

Como Ama una Mujer was co-produced by Anthony, who now comes in as an executive producer on Lopez’s new album via an alliance with his entertainment company, Magnus Media, and Sony Music Latin, which will release the effort.

Magnus also will provide consulting services to Lopez for the Hispanic market in marketing, content development and touring.

“I am so excited and really looking forward to this new musical journey and to celebrate my Latin roots with Marc Anthony and the Sony/Magnus family,” Lopez said Thursday in a statement.

Lopez hasn’t really stopped celebrating her Latin roots. In the past few years, she’s had several high-profile collaborations with Latin acts, including Pitbull (“On the Floor”), Wisin y Yandel (“Follow the Leader”), Wisin and Ricky Martin (“Adrenalina”), Prince Royce and Pitbull (“Back It Up”) and, of course, Anthony.

Most recently, Lopez recorded “Love Make the World Go Round” with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“[Jennifer] has had enormous accomplishments in her career and has been representing our culture all over the world from day one,” Anthony said in a statement. “Her artistry, professionalism and passion for music are just some of the many attributes that have earned her a unique place in the entertainment world that very few people have been able to obtain. I am looking forward to our creative collaboration and to be part of continuing her musical legacy.”

Expectations are high surrounding Lopez’s new Spanish set. At the time of its release in 2007, Como Ama una Mujer set the record for the largest sales week for an act’s debut Spanish-language album. That mark would later be topped by Romeo Santos, but Lopez still maintains the record among female artists.

“Jennifer is one of the most iconic Latina superstars of all time and a longtime member of the Sony family,” added Afo Verde, chairman and CEO, Latin America, Spain and Portugal, Sony Music Entertainment. “We’re very excited to partner with her and Marc on a project that is all about spotlighting her spirit and soul.”

Aside from her recording career, Lopez is currently working on season 2 of her hit NBC series Shades of Blue. In December she will complete the first year of her All I Have residency in Las Vegas at the AXIS Theater in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

The Late Ferrer Among the Cuban Artists Going Global Following Sony-EGREM Licensing Agreement

The late Ibrahim Ferrer’s music is going global…

Sony Music Entertainment and the Havana-based EGREM (Empresa de Grabaciones y Ediciones Musicales) have reached a global licensing agreement to release more than 20,000 recorded tracks by the likes of Ferrer, the Afro-Cuban singer, musician and former member of the Buena Vista Social Club who passed away in 2005, Irakere, Los Van Van, Bola de Nieve and Omara Portuondo, among many others.

Ibrahim Ferrer

Egrem’s catalog, the most extensive catalog of Cuban music in the world, encompasses audio and audiovisual recordings produced since the 1960s.

Although some portions of the catalog have been licensed before by various labels throughout the world, this is the first time a multinational label has access to the entire stock of recordings for the entire world as part of a multi-year agreement.

“We are delighted to be partnering with EGREM to share for the first time one of the largest and most acclaimed catalogs of Cuban music with fans across the globe,” Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris said in a statement. “This landmark agreement will help expand international awareness and appreciation of Cuban culture, Cuba’s rich musical heritage and its many wonderful artists.”

Although the deal between EGREM and Sony had been in the works for more than two years, it was only signed September 15 in Havana by Afo Verde, Sony’s chairman and CEO for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, and EGREM managing director Mario Angel Escalona Serrano. Edgar Berger, Sony’s chairman and CEO, International, was on hand for the signing, which took place at Areíto Studio 101, the historic Havana studio where legendary Cuban and international artists have recorded since the 1940s.

“We see these agreements as an opportunity for the joint management of our catalog over the coming years,” said Escalona Serrano.

“We are working on the release of this treasure of Cuban music so it will be available on all possible music and video platforms for music lovers to enjoy as soon as possible,” said Verde.

“Sony Music is honored to bring this iconic music — representing over five decades of Cuban culture — to all corners of the world,” said Berger. “We are thrilled to introduce these extremely talented artists to the global audience they so richly deserve.”