Puerto Rico stand up!
Miami's own Marlow Rosado was awarded the Grammys' Best Latin Tropical Album for his band La Riqueña's May release Retro, a "salsa duro" nostalgia project covering golden-age classics from the 1970s.
The album was recorded, produced, arranged, and promoted right out of the 305, and features all local musicians. Mixing and mastering occurred on la isla and the left coast.
We got him on the phone while eating breakfast in Los Angeles and can hear his giant smile from 3,000 miles away.
Here's what he had to say.
Yooooo watup man. Big congratulations, bro, a Grammy, that's fucking awesome.
You can't imagine how incredibly proud I am right now.
What is "un salsero de la mata?"
"Salsero de la mata" means, it's like if you fell from a tree, from a salsa tree. What I do comes right from the salsa tree. The real thing. The real deal
Explain "Salsa Dura"
It's hard. It's almost like heavy metal vs soft rock. Both are considered rock, but one is hard driving rock. so its the same thing you got the hard and then you got the more romantic. I got that hard salsa. Hard in essence. It's a whole style of salsa that's a lot harder than anything on the radio. We're like the rebels of our genre.
That's the name that they give salseros in Puerto Rico. I'm a cocolo. That's the name given.
Where are you from over there?
From a town called Capaño.
They must be going crazy for you out there....
A call just came in from a newspaper from Puerto Rico...They've been callin' me all morning!
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How do you think your award will affect the community of musicians down here?
I really would love to see Miami grow as a musical city. Puerto Rico a musical city. NYC is a musical city, and for some reason we still are struggling at making Miami a force to be reckoned with. We've had Gloria, Pitbull, 2 Live Crew...we've had major major acts out of Miami, but we're still not on the musical map as a real force. I hope this brings help to the city. This is the city that we live in and so we wanna make sure as a musical community that we can continue to work, and that's what I hope this helps. The development.
When and where is your first local show gonna be when you get back from LA?
We are right now talking to one of the promoters so we can do a Grammy party. But stay tuned, I guarantee there will be a Grammy party celebration.
Talk about working with KCC Productions...
I wanna say that Kimberly Chmura is a very very good friend. She is a supporter of Latin music, and she has been an incredible help to me in this whole process, from the press release on the album release all the way to now with the Grammy.
What do you think of the growing Latin influence on popular American culture?
We're gonna get in there one way or another man, there's too many of us. It doesn't matter where in this country you go, whether it's salsa or Mexican music, whatever the style, we're gonna make our way through because we're screaming and we're gonna be heard and our music is good music. Everybody loves to dance. Salsa is worldwide. And we spend a lot of money in the U.S. We're one of the ethnic groups that spends the most money. We're gonna definitely make our voices heard.
How was it to be able to pay tribute to the artists whose songs you covered on the album?
Winning a Grammy was like putting a stamp of approval on being able to pay tribute to the artists that are my teachers in this crazy music life that I live. These are the men that I tributed, that I learned from, that made me a musician.
What is a jicotea?
A jicotea is a turtle. That's the song that's on the radio the most. It means like 'Fire to the turtle,' like, they're slow, but the song is putting the fire behind it to move faster. It's not supposed to be literal. It's about the track, about getting people out of the chair and onto the dance floor.
Where was the album recorded?
I have a recording studio in Miami Lakes. I used all local musicians. All Miami Based. And it was all arranged, produced, recorded, and everything was done in Miami.
What's your studio name is it open to the public, for artists that want to get that Grammy winning sound?
Yeah, it's called Pink Chaos Productions, and people can email me through my website.
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How was it to actually be there at the Grammy's and win?
It's a dream come true. When you're sitting there waiting to hear your name, you have moments of doubt, moments of enthusiasm...you're doubtful, you're nervous. I couldn't sit still. And once they call your name....I'm here today, and I still don't believe it.
Did you get some good networking done?
I met a lot of people. I'm definitely going back to Miami a little bit better than I got here.
I watched the video on your site with your family as your team, your label, your promo, your distribution. How they feeling right now?
My wife is right here next to me right now. She's loving it. She hasn't got off facebook all day. So many people are congratulating her. Everybody knows we struggled to get here. The music business is a difficult business. We've done everything possible so that people know what we're doing. Wow, I'm getting the calls from Puerto Rico right now, ok here we go.