Courtesy of the artist

Coastcity and the Second Puerto Rican National Anthem

Miami-based Coastcity might be a new name in the music scene, but the duo behind the music aren't newcomers. With almost 20 years of experience between them, Grammy-nominated musicians Jean Rodriguez and Danny Flores are breaking ground with their latest musical endeavor.

Prior to joining forces, Flores was a producer and musician who worked with a variety of artists such as CNCO and Prince Royce. Rodriguez has two albums to his name as a solo artist and was also the vocal coach for Beyonce for her feature on J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” remix, which he says is one of the fondest memories of his career.

Rodriguez and Flores were not only drawn together only because of their similar taste in music but also because of their almost identical backgrounds. Both come from Puerto Rico and grew up in the States in musical families. And both became passionate about creating music at a young age. Rodriguez is the younger brother of Luis Fonsi.

Describing their music as Caribbean soul, Coastcity is a fusion of Latin vocals with funk and R&B grooves. Although the two musicians have managed to create their own genre and go against the current with their unique sound, they have capitalized on the current popularity of Spanglish music. The two anxiously awaited the success of Latin artists, such as Fonsi with “Despacito.”

“Now its like I’m finally, after so many years, feeling like I found my place because of songs like this, because of what ‘Despacito’ did,” Rodriguez says. “Now there’s this focus and there’s this window that, you know, everybody is kind of like looking at, where now it’s just being accepted and it’s becoming a norm. Now I don’t feel so alienated as before.”

Coastcity received their first Latin Grammy nomination this year for the Best Urban Music Album category for their debut album, Coastcity. The nomination is a validation of the duo’s persistence and determination to bring their music to the forefront.

“We were in such a high here these past few days, it’s such a big moment in our career, and if you look at the artists that are in that category and then us, like, that’s David & Goliath right there,” Flores says. “And to earn that credibility, you know, from being nominated with these huge records that we’re fans of, it’s really very humbling and it brings a lot of joy to us.”

Rodriguez and Flores continue to work on their music and hope to have something out by November. They recently released a single, “Pa La Calle,” which features Fonsi. As if another collaboration is coming, the two say they hope to work with Latin artists in the indie scene like Rosalía, Cuco or Buscabulla, Flores says. They hope to continue to break boundaries and showcase the immense talent of so many independent artists.

The two also released a cover on their YouTube channel for the first anniversary of the two hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico. The song, “Preciosa," which they say is like the second national anthem, is meant to raise awareness of the devastation that was caused by the storms and the amount of work that still needs to be done on the island.

“It would be dope for people to kind of connect and check out what we did and to keep Puerto Rico in our prayers,” Rodriguez says.

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