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.

Carey Reunites with Epic Records, Releasing New Album “Later This Year”

It’s a new deal for Mariah Carey… with the promise of new music in the near future.

The 47-year-old half-Venezuelan American Grammy-winning singer’s Butterfly MC Records is partenring with Epic Records. While terms of the partnership haven’t been revealed, the deal is said to include a new album to come “later this year.”

Mariah Carey

“To continue working with Mariah Carey at Epic has been another rewarding chapter of my career,” Epic Records chairman-CEO L.A. Reid said in a statement. “Mariah’s incomparable talents as a singer, with her vocal range that is nothing short of legendary, are matched by her brilliance as a songwriter, producer, and performer par excellence. Mariah’s chart records have established her enduring place in music history, a position that is cherished and supported by her loyal fans worldwide. I look forward to building upon all of Mariah’s success for years to come.”

Following rather tumultuous exit from Sony Music Entertainment (where she started her career in 1990) in 2000, Carey returned to Sony Music in 2015 when Reid personally signed her to Epic. The two had previously worked together on her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi, which was recorded/released while Reid was at Universal Music label Island Def Jam.

No further details regarding Carey’s forthcoming album were given, but with a summer tour lined up (with Lionel Richie) and the return of her Las Vegas residency set for July, it could be sooner than later.

“I am putting my heart and soul into making more new music,” Carey said in a press release. “I am so thrilled for this next chapter and to continue working with, and for, everyone that I love.”

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.”

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.”

Iglesias to Receive Honorary Degree from Berklee College of Music

It’s one degree of appreciation for Julio Iglesias

The 71-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter, one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music at the prestigious school’s commencement ceremony next month.

Julio Iglesias

The recognition comes for Iglesias’ achievements and influences in music and for his enduring contributions to American and international culture, according to a press release.

Iglesias, a Grammy winner, has sold more than 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released more than 80 albums, with more than 2,600 gold and platinum records certified.

In April 2013, he was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Other honorees this year include Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris, jazz drummer Harvey Mason and singer-songwriter Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Past honorary degree recipients include Aretha FranklinDizzy GillespieSmokey RobinsonSteven TylerLoretta LynnDavid Bowie and Duke Ellington, who was the first to receive this honor in 1971.

The ceremony will be held May 9 at the campus’ Agganis Arena.

Per Berklee’s tradition, on the eve of the commencement ceremony on May 8, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers at Agganis Arena. The concert and ceremony are not open to the public.

Prince Royce Releases Brand New English-Language Song “Stuck on a Feeling”

Don’t get stuck on Prince Royce’s new sound; just enjoy the music…

The 25-year-old Dominican American singer-songwriter has released a brand new English-language song, “Stuck on a Feeling,” that doesn’t sound anything like his previous work.

Prince Royce

“My friends say it doesn’t sound like me,” Royce tells Billboard. “It’s a whole new vibe, a whole new swag, a whole new animal. But when I hear myself, I think it sounds like me; it’s just not a me that they’ve heard before.”

The “new” Royce sings rhythmic, urban pop in English, with a brand-new album due out next year on RCA Records and on this first track from that album, featuring Snoop Dogg, available for sale on November 24.

The sexy track, produced by Jason Evigan, takes Royce to places he’d never been before. While Royce has long been romantic, he’s never been as forwardly sexy as he is here. And while his urban bachata has been decidedly acoustic, in “Stuck,” he goes more for production and layered tracks.

“It’s a side of me that’s always been here, only people never got to hear it,” says Royce. “I think people never really got to hear my R&B vibe.”

Born and raised in the Bronx, Royce has both Latin and urban roots.

And while he started his career singing his contemporary take on bachata — the traditional music of the Dominican Republic — in his crossover bid to English, he’s taking a very different path.

“As soon as I heard the track, it took me back to New York and the Bronx and the urban vibe,” he says. “And from the beginning, I could hear Snoop doing it. So we reached out and it was amazing how fast he jumped on the track, and when I heard the verse it was exactly how I pictured it. We shot the music video in Los Angeles with director Colin Tilley [of ‘Anaconda‘ fame], and it was insane. It’s so much fun.”

The video shows Royce riding on an elevator that gets stuck. The lights flicker, and suddenly “it’s a whole new world. We don’t know if I’m dreaming or not,” says Royce. “In the last floor I meet up with Snoop Dogg. There’s choreography, there’s dancing. It’s a beautiful video. It’s definitely a big-budget video. It’s exciting.”

More exciting is the prospect of successfully crossing over from Spanish to English, something that hasn’t happened in a while. Royce, who was initially signed to indie Top Stop Music, signed a recording contract in 2013 with Sony Music Entertainment for the release of Spanish-language albums through Sony Music Latin and English-language albums via RCA Records.

The first of those English albums will be released sometime next year. Although Royce wouldn’t give more detail, he says there are collaborations aplenty with both Latin and mainstream acts.

More immediately, Royce is up for four Latin Grammys this week, more than he’s ever competed in, including record and song of the year for his hit single “Darte un Beso.”

“I’m excited for those nominations and for hopefully winning my first Latin Grammy. The fact that it’s bachata music makes it special. It’s a genre that just keeps growing and just being nominated is not so common.”

Miguel Provides New Track for “BET Presents Music Matters Vol. 1” Compilation

There’s no denying that music matters to Miguel… And, nowhe’s proving it. 

BET Networks and its new artist program Music Matters has partnered with Louder Than Life/Red Associated Labels to launch a compilation album series: BET Presents Music Matters Vol. 1, which features new music from the 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer-songwriter.

Miguel

The compilation, also featuring new music from Big Sean, Mack Wilds, Melanie Fiona and The Internet, will be released June 23 in support of the second annual BET Experience (June 27-29). The three-day music and lifestyle festival culminates with the BET Awards on June 29, hosted by Chris Rock.

Miguel’s track for the 15-track compilation is called “Gravity.”

Now available for preorder at Amazon, the album sports a mix of established acts and rising stars. Music Matters is a multiplatform initiative that provides exposure for groundbreaking talent across BET and Centric, in addition to national tours and monthly showcases.

Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, Elle Varner, J. Cole and Marsha Ambrosius are among the artists who have been spotlighted by Music Matters.

Salaam Remi, who founded Louder Than Life and doubles as executive vice president A&R and production at Sony Music Entertainment, is the executive producer of the BET Presents Music Matters compilation album series. Collaborating with Remi is Kelly G, senior director of music programming for BET Networks.

Here’s the Complete Track List:

1. “Music Matters Theme” — Marsha Ambrosius
2. “Gravity” — Miguel
3. “Prove” — Gabi Wilson
4. “My Crib” (Remix) — Mack Wilds featuring Pusha T
5. “It’s a Man’s World” — Adrian Marcel
6. “Lit” — Bas featuring J. Cole and KQuick
7. “Memories” — Big Sean
8. “Dontcha” — The Internet
9. “Walking Shoes” — Mali Music
10. “Liquid Love” — Chris Turner
11. “Under the Covers” — Curtis Fields
12. “Touch” — Ashley Kimbrae
13. “Cold Case” — Elle Varner
14. “Where It Counts” — Melanie Fiona
15. “Friends and Lovers” — Marsha Ambrosius

Pitbull Releases Official World Cup Song “We Are One (Ole, Ola),” feat. Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte

Ole. Ola! Pitbull has released “We Are One (Ole, Ola),” his easy, breezy World Cup song.

The 33-year-old Cuban American rap superstar’s new track – the official FIFA song for the upcoming World Cup – was released Tuesday in advance of the official FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil album.

Pitbull

“We Are One,” which includes a whistling melody and stadium chants, features Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte.

Acoustic guitar sets up a beachy backdrop for “We Are One” before Pitbull launches into some easy motivational rhymes to a marching dance beat. J.Lo comes in with a more aggressive run, peppered with a few words in Portuguese, and Leitte’s muscular vocals briefly demonstrate why she is one of Brazil’s most popular singers.

“Show the world where you’re from, show the world we are one,” goes the chorus.

Pitbull, Lopez and Leitte will perform the song at the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo. A video shot in South Florida is set to debut later this month.

The track is the first single on the 17-song album, which will be released on May 12, exactly a month before the tournament kicks off.

Shakira, Ricky Martin, Sergio Mendes, The Isley Brothers and Baha Men are included on the list of Brazilian and international artists who perform on 17 tracks.

One Love, One Rhythm, the World Cup album, released on FIFA partner Sony Music Entertainment‘s RCA Records, will also include the official anthem, “Dar um Jeito (We Will Find A Way).”

Carlos Santana, Avicii and Alexandre Pires are set to perform that theme at the World Cup closing ceremonies in Rio on July 13.

Buyers who pre-order the album now on iTunes receive a free download of “We Are One.”

‘One Love, One Rhythm: The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album’ Tracklisting:

1. Pitbull feat. Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte – We Are One (Ole Ola) (The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup TM Song)
2. Santana & Wyclef feat. Avicii & Alexandre Pires – Dar Um Jeito (We Will Find A Way) (The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup TM Anthem)
3. Arlindo Cruz – Tatu Bom De Bola (The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup TM Mascot Song)}
4. Ricky Martin – Vida (Spanglish Version)
5. David Correy – The World Is Ours
6. Psirico – Lepo Lepo
7. Sérgio Mendes & Carlinhos Brown – One Nation
8. Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014) feat. Carlinhos Brown
9. The Isley Brothers – It’s Your Thing (Studio Rio Version)
10. Bebel Gilberto and Lang Lang – Tico Tico
11. Adelén – Olé (Stadium Anthem Mix)
12. Magic! – This Is Our Time (Agora e’a nossa horra)
13. Baha Men – Night & Day (Carnival Mix)
14. Rodrigo Alexey feat. Preta Gil – Go, Gol

Estefan Releasing “The Standards” via Sony This Fall

Gloria Estefan is heading back to the standards with her old label…

The 55-year-old Cuban singer, who is developing a Broadway musical about her life, has signed a multi-album agreement to return to her longtime label Sony Music Entertainment, a deal that will begin with the release of her upcoming English-language album, The Standards, due out this fall.

Gloria Estefan

Estefan’s album will be a set of American standards, with the repertoire having special significance to Estefan, beginning with “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Good Morning Heartache,” which she performed at her very first Tonight Show appearance in 1985 with Miami Sound Machine.

Estefan spent 30 years with Sony, releasing albums in both English and Spanish, both as a solo artist and with Miami Sound Machine. Then, in 2011, she took a hiatus and released Miss Little Havana via a worldwide distribution and marketing deal with Verve Forecast and Universal Music Group. In the U.S., the physical album was sold exclusively through Target. Now, Estefan has returned to Sony and will be promoted through both its Latin and Masterworks arms.

“Gloria is one-of-a-kind — in any language, in any genre,” said Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment for the Latin Region, Spain and Portugal.

“Masterworks is thrilled to be a marketing partner with Sony Latin and Gloria Estefan on this very special project,” added Bogdan Roscic, President of Sony Classical and Sony Masterworks. “It represents another landmark in the career of an artist who continues to be a creative inspiration in all styles of popular music.”