Can we all just agree to dub this the year of Mr. Pauer?
His career, years in the making, has all led to this point. And because when it rains, it pours, he's been reaping the fruits of his labors, notching one milestone after another throughout 2011. It started with the release of his debut album, Soundtrack, and now it's led to one of the greatest honors the music industry has to offer.
"It is amazing to get this type of recognition," says Mr. Pauer (AKA Toto Gonzalez) of his recently announced Latin Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album. "Especially from the Recording Academy members.
"It's all voters from the music industry who actually select the nominees," he explains with understandable and well deserved pride.
He released Soundtrack in February, earning recognition from both iTunes Latino and iTunes Mexico as Song of the Week for "Cumbion del Sur," which has logged more than 50,000 downloads to date.
Talking about the record, Toto says, it "was recorded with a lot of love, and a sincere relationship with music at this time of my life. Amazing things have been happening ever since."
In addition to big traffic at iTunes, his achievements this year have also included performances on some very distinguished stages. Like POP Montreal, and the Central Park Summerstage at L.A.M.C. this year. But few feats can compare to that elusive nod from the Recording Academy that artists sometimes wait their entire career for.
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"For me, it's a reminder that I am on the right path," says Gonzalez. "I've been doing music for the past 20 years and I've been involved with the Miami music scene for the past 18. I feel proud to achieve this from my hometown Miami, representing the boiling music scene we have here.
"I am a Venezuelan immigrant that came to this country following my passion and dream to become a musician. I thank Venezuela and Miami for all the music influence."
Congratulations, Toto! You've made your town proud.