Jorge Lopez

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Musical Flashbacks

Like many children, I was exposed to a lot of the ethnic music my parents themselves grew up listening to and represented where they were from. Like most children I usually didn’t care for it since I was just too cool to listen that “old people stuff” that simply didn’t reflect the more modern sounds of artists like Jesus Jones, 2 Unlimited, Ace of Base, Bell Biv Devoe and of course, Madonna that I was listening to as a kid growing up in the guilty pleasure nineties.

Eventually as time wizened me up and made me realize that it was okay to like Latin music from the past and present, I developed a fondness for Latin pop, mostly because it reflected the same genre of music I prefer in English. This fondness eventually lead me to discover Shakira (before she became a household name in both languages) and other artists like La Oreja de Van Gogh, Juanes and Mexican singers Thalia and Paulina Rubio.

Speaking of Thalia and Paulina Rubio, they both attempted an English crossover but neither managed to grab the attention of American audiences like Shakira, although they both did manage relatively minor hits, the former with “I Want You” off of her 2003 self titled album and the latter with “Don’t Say Goodbye” off of her Border Girl album.

In some cases the manufactured aspect of Latin pop music (some of it anyway) of today reflects the same manufactured approach that’s played on American radio these days which really made me appreciate the time and effort that a lot of singers and musicians put into their craft way back in the day.

With the advent of YouTube and its ease in sharing these videos of the past and present, I’ve recalled a lot of these older artists that I grew up listening to or whose songs I was particularly fond of like Daniela Romo, Emmanuel, Jeanette, Camilo Sesto and Rudy LaScala. Some of those were one hit wonders or simply faded from the music scene but with YouTube I’ve found their videos and it’s so great to get reacquainted with these songs once again while chuckling to myself at some of the fashions and limited technologies that were used to create these videos and now seem so silly but were so modern back then.

Does there always come that point in one’s lifetime when they learn to appreciate the music they were raised on and exposed to or are there common circumstances where even in adulthood this older music still seems…blasé? It’s always fun to revel in that moment when you remember something like Kaoma’s version of Lambada and remember it fondly. Having access to this video and countless others from back in the day or from the nineties for that matter…it only makes the revelry that much more pleasant.

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