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Lessons Learned From LAMC: Streaming, Syncs and Immigration

The Latin Alternative Music Conference gave some helpful advice to foreign Latin artist in terms of getting access to U.S. soil, and making their music heard. 

The Latin Alternative Music Conference hosted a series of panel discussions tailored for the different conundrums that arise when U.S., Latin and Latin American artists try to swim in the mainstream of the music business in the United States. On Thursday (July 13) and Friday (July 14) inside a shabby-chic event room in New York City’s Stewart Hotel, executives from some of the most prominent music streaming services, festival coordinators, artists, A&Rs, and legal experts came together to share advice.

In the panel titled "Latin Music In the Digital Age: Where Do We Go From Here?" the focus was on smarter use of services. The key to having a successful marketing plan, experts explained, comes down to research. “Use the Internet to get data on what’s happening in particular cities, and in a region of a particular country that can become part of the story that you’re telling about yourself,” explains Jason Pascal, VP of catalog development & associate general counsel for The Orchard, a film and music distribution firm. “See what’s starting to catch fire in a particular region, and maybe it makes sense to do some advertising there. It makes sense to play live there, and make that part of your story of the times based on the direction your career is going.”

Return on investment is key. Rocio Guerrero, head of Latin culture for shows & editorial at Spotify, advises artists not to lend so much energy in creating a physical copy. It may turn out to be cost ineffective considering only two singles out of one whole body of work might get attention. Instead she offers to try and use a digital platform for fans to have access to the music.

Still, with offering artists a home to place their music in, comes the great responsibility of making sure the artist gets recognition from the public. "Streaming inherits the responsibility that we have to foster discovery and to make sure we’re being inclusive to a broader landscape of people,” said Marcos Juarez, Latin music curator and programmer at Pandora. “A Pandora experience can begin with your favorite artist, and can lead you to an artist you’ve never heard before.”

Both Spotify and Pandora have discovery tools and algorithms, which are designed to help their consumers be privy to up-and-coming new artists. Amid the various ways of branding an artist, there’s no denying music streaming services have helped the Latin community. Daddy Yankee recently became the No. 1 artist on Spotify, which Guerrero acknowledges streaming has opened new doors. “Whether you like reggaeton or not it’s helping all of us in this room to get the visibility that we needed,” she noted. “I know for a fact it’s opening up a lot of doors to independent artists, mangers and labels. We are getting knocks on our doors from the general market much more than we did before.”

Latin artists are also starting to gain momentum in placing their music on film and TV. The "Content is King: Latin Music Synchs In The Streaming TV & Film Era" panel explored the topic of using music within other mediums of entertainment consumption.

“Because of the streaming platforms with a lot of original content that have been created via Hulu and Netflix, there have been a lot more programs that have been looking for Latin music than in the past,” explained Yvonne Drazan, VP and A&R of Latin Division at Peer Music. “Pretty much every time anyone would ever ask me for Latin music for either film or television it was for like a taco truck scene, or something like that.”

With the rise of shows like Narcos and El Chapo, the use of Latin music for programming purposes is in high demand. But that also brings stereotypical syncs that reinforces longstanding clichés, which some are looking to combat. “I’m working on a documentary called The Classic, and it follows East L.A. Latino football players, and it features all kids of immigrants,” said Josh Norek, who handled music supervision for El Chapo. “There’s a lot of Latin hip-hop in this movie, but it’s all positive. I think it’s going to depend on who’s making the movie, and what the characters are doing.”

Beyond song performance and placement, Latin artists from abroad face a different set of challenges under our current troubling political climate. The panel entitled "Another Brick In the Wall: Touring the USA In 2017" deconstructed what the process is for Latin artists when trying to come and play in America.

Immigration attorney Eva Golinger, who specializes in entertainment immigration and international law, advises those looking to enter to have the proper documentation. “For foreign artist coming to the U.S., you need to make sure that you have legal paperwork, a proper musician or artist visa,” she noted. “Make sure you discuss if you have any prior encounters with the law, because all of these things are now being scrutinized in a very serious way.”

Golinger also added that immigration officials have access to phone records and social media accounts, which means one needs to be careful with what’s shared online. Additionally, she mentioned that artists should submit a print version of their press kits filled-out with all their press articles translated into English. Also, they need all the contracts for concerts they’ve played in their country of origin. Immigration departments nationwide are looking for a reason to not let international artists come to America, she said, all the more reason why everything needs to be on point.

Alicia Zertuche, music coordinator for SXSW, suggests that an artist’s interactions with immigration officials at border crossings, and airports should be amicable. “When you come in through an airport or a land crossing it’s really important to have a certain or particular attitude towards the official because all can go south in seconds,” she warned. A bad encounter can lead to a secondary holding, which means officials can take you in for more questioning. This of course, can subsequently lead to jeopardizing the artist or band’s chance at playing in the country.

Golinger also warned artist to take calculated risks once they are here, because if they engage in a political protest and get arrested this can lead to deportation. In music, it’s always important to have a strong message, but sometimes the personal can get political.

This article was originally published on Billboard 

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Jennifer Lopez's Iconic Versace Dress To Be Transformed Into Swanky Watch

The iconic Versace dress worn by Jennifer Lopez that sparked the creation of Google Images is now a luxurious watch.

To mark the brand's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, the brand has decided to reprise the Medusa Frame jungle print by way of a sleek timepiece. In addition to the new collection, this also marks the 20th anniversary of Donatella Versace's legendary jungle print. Roman numbers are found in the dial along with an interchangeable black leather strap for additional styling. The piece will cause Versace and J.Lo fans a pretty penny at $1,495.00 when it hits retailers in May.

Since her jaw-dropping fashion moment, the actress-singer has rocked the print a few times. A jumpsuit version was worn in the visuals for "I Luv Ya Papi" back in 2014 with a revamped version of the gown making its way to Milan Fashion Week in 2019.

But the jungle print wristwatch isn't the only second coming of the print. The brand will also release shirts, heart-shaped necklaces, Squalo sneakers and beaded as a three-dimensional décor on Virtus handbags.

Originally worn to the Grammys in 2000, Lopez's take on the dress was both a music and fashion moment. Although the dress was worn by Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, Donatella Versace and Sandra Bullock (in another color), Lopez's daring look cemented her spot in pop culture.

“I really didn’t think about it. I didn’t think it was all that risqué, to be honest,” Lopez told Vogue in 2019. “I was more excited it was the Grammys. I wasn’t even thinking about the dress all that much. I was just glad I had something to wear.”

Check out the watch below.

 

 

 

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Getty Images/YouTube

'Hustlers' Inspiration Sues Jennifer Lopez's Production Company For $40 Million

Samantha Barbash has filed a federal lawsuit against Jennifer Lopez's production company and others apart of the megahit Hustlers, with claims that her likeness was exploited in the film.

According to PEOPLE, Barbash's suit includes Lopez's production company Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Pole Sisters LLC. Lawyer Bruno V. Gioffre Jr. claims filmmakers tried to “obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal” of her and failed after Barbash refused to sign over her life rights. The film was still made as it was based on a 2015 New York Magazine article titled, “The Hustlers at Scores,” about Barbash and several co-workers who drugged wealthy clients for their money.

Released in 2018, critics and fans fawned over Lopez's strong performance but Barbash shared in several interviews she wasn't impressed. She is now seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages. Barbash and her lawyer pointed towards specific scenes in the film that weren't accurate like Lopez’s character “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.”

“I’m a businesswoman. J. Lo doesn’t work for free. Why would I? At the end of the day, I have bags that are worth more than what they wanted to pay me," Barbash told TMZ in September 2018. "She had my birthmark that I have. I used to have a piercing on the top of my lip. She had it on the bottom. She had a tattoo on her finger. I had it on my wrist. But her mannerisms? No. I am nothing like that in person.”

Hustlers proved to be a hit at the box office, grossing over $33 million in its opening weekend. Lopez has also received critical praise for her performance and earned a Golden Globe nomination.

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Camila Cabello attends the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards which broadcasted live on TBS, TNT, and truTV at The Forum on March 11, 2018 in Inglewood, California.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Camila Cabello Issues Apology For Resurfaced Racist Tumblr Posts

Camila Cabello has released another apology about disturbing racist posts she shared on her Tumblr page in her teens. Her Tumblr account, which went by the name "vous-etess-belle," shared various posts that mocked African-Americans and Asian people. The posts were pretty corny as they used stereotypes like chicken and watermelon to mock black people. One post also made fun of hip-hop music with a meme of Lil Wayne.

exposing camila cabello‘s racist and downright disturbing tumblr reblogs: a thread

— 🌉 || fan account (@motivatefenty) December 17, 2019

The posts from the Tumblr page were circulated on Twitter by way of user @motivatefenty. While the posts were ultimately taken down, Cabello now 22, posted a lengthy apology on Twitter.

"When I was younger, I used language that I'm deeply ashamed of and will regret forever," she wrote. "I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it. I apologized then and I apologize again now."

I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. pic.twitter.com/iZrnUawUAb

— camila (@Camila_Cabello) December 18, 2019

The singer has apologized in the past for her behavior and went through a revamp of sorts in 2016 by showing love to the Black Lives Matter movement, supporting Dreamers and donating money to various charities.

camila cabello is racist, homophobic, and problematic: a thread

— ًash (@mexicubans) August 28, 2018

"I'm 22 now, I'm an adult and I've grown and learned and am conscious and aware of the history and the pain [this] carries in a way I wasn't before," the post continued. "Those mistakes don't represent the person I am or a person I've ever been. I only stand and have ever stood for love and inclusivity, and my heart has never, even then, had any ounce of hate or divisiveness. The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware. I use my platform to speak out about injustice and inequality and I'll continue doing that. I can't say enough how deeply sorry and ashamed I feel, and I apologize again from the bottom of my heart."

As previously mentioned, Cabello's past behavior has been highlighted in the past. The former Fifth Harmony singer operated a mock Twitter account called "Ratchet and Sassy" to use the n-word and also used the word to describe former bandmate Normani. She apologized in 2013, calling them immature.

Despite their past, Normani and Cabello are on good terms. In an interview with The Fader, the "Motivation" singer recalled the moment where she was bullied with racial slurs by the group's fans after they misinterpreted the singer's reaction to a question about Cabello.

"[The girls] offered support, but I'm not sure they could be there in the way that I needed because it's not their experience," Normani explained. "They don't have to face on a day-to-day basis the things that I have to. I definitely learned after that that I had to walk a different way. I can't look like everybody else. We're all on good terms. Conversations have obviously been had. I spoke to [Camila] at Billboard Music Awards. I saw her again at the VMAs, and no bad blood at all."

Meanwhile, Cabello's boyfriend, fellow pop star Shawn Mendes has also apologized for "racially insensitive" social posts he's used in the past. "I apologize wholeheartedly for what was said & understand how offensive those posts were," he said in August, according to CBS News. "There is no place for comments like that, and those words do not represent who I am. I stand for complete inclusivity, equality, & love."

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