Under Alex Gallardo, New Artistic Direction For Sony Music US Latin

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At a time when Latin music is experiencing unprecedented popularity and Sony leads the Latin category in U.S. market share, according to Nielsen Music, Nir Seroussi’s unexpected exit from Sony Music U.S. Latin — on Jan. 18, after four years as president and another four as managing director — came as a surprise to the Latin music community. Sony did not give a reason for the change, although both the label and Seroussi said they were parting on amicable terms.

But the announcement of Alex Gallardo, 43, as the division’s new president puts an artist favorite at the helm of the company and reinforces its commitment to investing in A&R.

“Sony Music Latin Iberia is the home of the artists and will always be. It’s my most important flag,” Afo Verde, Sony Music Entertainment’s chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Portugal tells Billboard. “[Alex] is a consummate professional, musician, A&R, lover of music and all of its creative process from start to finish.”

Gallardo, who spent six years as senior vp A&R for all of the company’s regions and is known as firm and even, will oversee a staff of nearly 100. “What’s important is to understand artists, their needs and motivations, and to create the best environment possible for their creativity to flow,” he says. And his appointment was met with praise from many in the artist community. In a statement, Shakira called Gallardo a “professional” who is “in touch with the musical landscape and understands artists,” while Ricky Martin says, “His focus, knowledge and passion makes artists trust the process.”

To read the complete article, continue on to Billboard.

Cara Santana Joins Glamsquad As Their Global Engagement Officer After Her Success With The Glam App

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Actress and former CEO of The Glam App, Cara Santana, has joined Glamsquad as their Global Engagement Officer. The longtime actress founded The Glam App after struggling to find on demand beauty services during filming in more remote locations where services were not easily accessible. After exiting her own on demand beauty platform, Santana has recently joined the Glamsquad team to bring a fresh perspective to their scaling business model. She shares how she went from a Hollywood start to entrepreneur.

Yola Robert: You have pursued acting since the age of fifteen, but have always loved the world of business.  How did you shift from the acting world into the business world? 

Cara Santana: My fiancé is also an actor so I would end up getting a lot of attention on what I was wearing to events or red carpets when I was with him. He encouraged me to start a blog to keep meaningful conversation ongoing with women from around the world. I loved helping women feel like luxury was accessible. Eventually, I started working with brands as a digital influencer and that was my first foray into the business world.

Robert: The idea for The Glam App came to you when you were shooting Salem in Shreveport, Louisiana. What white space in on demand beauty did you discover while you were there?

Santana: I had arrived in Shreveport with only 24 hours to get rid of my acrylic nails, fake eyelashes and long ombre hair extension. I didn’t have transportation, they wouldn’t send anyone to me and I had no idea who I would even go to in the area. I thought to myself, “Gosh, this must be a problem that women find themselves in all the time.” I wanted to find a way to give accessibility to luxury beauty services at any time. As an actress I have developed relationships with so many hair stylists and makeup artists so it made sense to create an equally advantageous platform for not only a consumer of beauty, but also a provider of beauty. That was the catalyst to launching.

Robert: Being the founder and CEO of The Glam App was your version of business school. How was your experience going to business school in real life?

Santana: It was a long journey of trial and error. If I had known everything I was going to encounter and all the struggles that would have come my way, I probably wouldn’t have launched a business.

Robert: What advice do you have for women out there who are thinking about starting a business?

Santana: Firstly, You have to be super passionate about what you are doing. Secondly, surround yourself with people that are better at doing things than you are. I think the reason why The Glam App was so successful was because I hired people with my weaknesses as their strengths. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Culture Circuit: Latinos & Film – A Sundance Film Festival Perspective

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The Sundance Film Festival is known for championing eclectic, independent work from artists around the world. Given their specific diversity-driven initiatives of years past, the 2019 edition of the festival was no exception, particularly with respect to cinema of interest to the Latino community. To the contrary, if you spent any time in the last few days in the snowy, mountainous air of Park City, you saw that this year showcases an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality cinema from Latin America.

But, like all things involving Latino culture, Latino-related films at Sundance defy reductive simplifications. The picture that emerges is of a vibrant, diverse, and complex community of films and filmmakers. As told through the eyes of these artists, Latinos experience much of the same angsts as all other members of society. At the same time, we have a unique set of anxieties—and a beautiful, distinctive perspective—that makes Latin American cinema rewarding.

For the complete article, continue on to Awards Circuit.

This Latina Started A Studio With Her Family And Became One Of NYC’s Top Trainers In The Process

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Samantha Ortiz started a business before even realizing she started a business. A couple of times a week, her sister and her sister’s best friend would find themselves in the Ortiz family living room getting ready to be led in a workout by Samantha. Thanks to social media and personal referrals,what started with just the three of them slowly grew into more structured classes — and this was the beginning of Triple Threat Bootcamp, or the Ortiz family business.

“I outgrew my parents’ living room,” explained Samantha Ortiz. “I had to start running bootcamp classes in public parks and [eventually] I rented a small studio on the 3rd floor of a building, but [even that] still didn’t feel like home to me. I had this image in my head of having a fitness studio designed with monkey bars, a slam wall, a view overlooking Brooklyn, equipment all around the room and a place where my clients could call home. A few months after renting the small studio, my family and I were driving up Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and as we stopped at a light, I looked up and saw a “for rent” sign. We called and the rest is history.”

Samantha’s mother, Aileen Ortiz, who now serves as President and CEO of TTB, never doubted the why behind her daughter’s decision because she related to it herself.

“I was motivated by the vision of seeing the three of us using our talents and skills to bring a healthy lifestyle to others,” shared Aileen. “My interest in healthy living began 26 years ago and I instilled that in my girls from a young age.”

The duo is rounded out by Christine Ortiz, Samantha’s sister and the studio’s Operation Manager and co-owner.

“We have always believed in health and wellness,” shared Christine Ortiz. “Combining fitness and nutrition was a no brainer once Samantha became a trainer. We wanted to impact more people in our community and be pioneers of female fitness entrepreneurship.”

With their mother at the helm, the studio has grown to be a staple in their Brooklyn neighborhood and has provided a platform for others to experience Samantha’s training style. This year, for a second year in a row, Classpass (the flexible fitness membership app) recognized Samantha as one of its top fitness instructors in New York City.

The recognition serves to underscore how Samantha’s mission behind TTB has simply been amplified as its grown.

“I was inspired to open Triple Threat Bootcamp because motivating others to be the best versions of themselves has always been my passion,” says Samantha Ortiz. “I felt like it was my mission to bring fitness and health to my community.”

Below Samantha shares more insight on what it has been like running a business with her mom and sister, what advice she has for other Latinas, and what she would do differently.

Vivian Nunez: What advice do you have for any Latinas who are looking to break into fitness and the business world?

Samantha Ortiz:I love to remind my fellow Latinas that anything is possible. Being Latina in the fitness industry and owning a fitness studio with your family (mom and sister) isn’t normal by any means but that’s what I love about it. You don’t have to follow the crowd, you can create your own lane. Don’t be afraid to go after what fuels your soul. Even if you don’t know everything, you will learn along the way. Life is about taking chances and learning from every experience. Last piece of advice, network. Go to events, reach out to people who are in your field of work. There’s nothing like being surrounded by like minded people.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

This Latina Went From Product Development To A Frida-Focused Online Pop-Up Store

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For Tatiana Figueiredo a career in entrepreneurship wasn’t the end goal. Figueiredo was building a career in product development across tech companies when she started an Instagram for fun. Her intention behind the Instagram page was to celebrate Frida and her contributions to her own Latinidad, over time the Instagram page has garnered thousands of followers and now serves as a marketplace for Frida-inspired artwork.

“I learned as a product manager that the most important skill is not knowing everything but knowing where to find the information you need and then learn it quickly,” shares Figueiredo. It’s a huge deal to just know that the answer is not necessarily to hire an expert but instead to spend a few days nerding out to learn something..

Her tech background and exposure to the startup world has helped her navigate an entirely different career than she expected. Her understanding of her parents’ expectations of her has also helped her make peace with the guilt that came with leaving her steady job.

“My parents sacrificed everything to move to this country for my sister and I. Then, when it feels like everything is going well with my career, I’m making good money, moving up fast, all of a sudden I declare that I’m going to quit and [to pursue a passion project because] “I’m not fulfilled in my current work”. That’s just not something my family will ever be able to relate to. What has helped me is to put all that first-generation guilty energy into doing my best making sure the things I’m building are successful. I owe them that.”

Below Figueiredo shares advice for Latinas who are teetering between a traditional job and wanting to pursue their own passions, what inspired her to focus on Frida, and how she balances consulting with building up the brand.

Vivian Nunez: What red flags would you encourage others to look for when it comes to career transitions? 

Tatiana Figueiredo: I think the idea of “going all in” is romanticized too much. Whether you’re going into entrepreneurship or just want to transition to another job, do the work for the transition while you’re still grounded in a job – and a paycheck. From my experience this is better than just quitting and starting from scratch for a lot of reasons. First, you don’t want to put too much financial burden on your next opportunity from day one. If it’s something you’re doing on the side at first, you’ll have more time and energy to figure it out without money pressures. Also, creatively, you’ll have time to expand your focus and have fun if you think of it as just a side project. And most importantly, you might have a great idea but you might actually hate working on it. By doing it on the side for a while you’ll be able to tell if it’s something that gives you the kind of energy you’re looking for. Same when looking for a new job: talk to the people doing it, ask about their day-to-day, try to live a day in your new life and see if it’s what you really want.

Nunez: What inspired you to use Frida as the center for your new brand? 

Figueiredo: I studied a little art history in high school and college and always thought Frida was the most unique artist we studied. In those classes, I think she was literally the only female artist we focused on. I was immediately drawn to her work and her life. I researched all I could about her, watched the documentaries, read her diary. While I was learning about Frida in Art History, I was also studying Latin American History and Spanish. It was through all these things that I began to connect my experience as an immigrant from Brazil to the broader experience of women in Latin America and Latinas in the US. Frida’s story and voice was always inspiring to me because of her mix of strength and vulnerability that was so familiar to me because I saw it in the women of my family.

But I didn’t intend to make her the center of a brand at first. I didn’t think I was even starting a brand. I started the Instagram as a side project while I was winding down a bigger work project. I had been saving images I saw on Instagram and figured I’d just post them kind of as a public art board. It was just for fun. After I started I realized the lack of women artists I saw in Art History years earlier was still a thing. Even on Instagram, the big art accounts post male artists 90% of the time. So I made it a rule that we would only post non-male artists. It was from there and through the Instagram account that I met a few women artists to partner with for a pop up shop and the brand grew from there.

Nunez: How has your Latinidad inspired your career? 

Figueiredo: Where I’m from – and in many Latin American countries – entrepreneurship is not something cool that some people get to do, it’s how people survive. I come from a family where everyone runs a business. My parents always ran businesses, my aunts and uncles all had their hustles, it seemed like I was always around someone trying to create a new thing to make money. In Portuguese and Spanish there’s not even a cool word for it like “entrepreneurship.” As varied as it has become, my career still seems like an internet version of what my grandparents started (because they had to).

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

A Latino Wine Company Is Challenging Perceptions in Washington, D.C.

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Politics aside, Washington, D.C., has undergone a remarkable transition in recent years. Its dining scene has evolved from cookie-cutter steakhouses and chain restaurants (plus a reliable handful of Ethiopian-American destinations), to boldly creative bars and restaurants showcasing culinary influences from the Mid-Atlantic and around the world.

The wine scene is evolving, too. Until quite recently, there were very few places Washingtonians could go to learn more about “New World” wine from places like ArgentinaChile, and Uruguay, and be able to take home a bottle to enjoy with their family and friends.

Enter Grand Cata, A Latino Wine Company.

For owners and friends Julio Robledo and Pedro Rodriguez, opening a specialty wine store presented an opportunity to raise awareness about the diversity of Latin American wine. It was also chance to embrace their cultural identity and improve the representation of Latin America across the city.

“We met in late 2007, working for a Latino-focused non-profit organization,” Robledo says. “For both of us, wine has always been our passion. I remember growing up as a kid in Chile, seeing a bottle of wine would mean happiness — at family barbecues, holidays, birthdays and so on. Through a bottle of wine, we can tell a story, share how we grew up, and, in a way, bring part of our family here to the city.”

To read the complete article, continue on to Vinepair. 

The Hispanic consumer has a major impact on the 2019 U.S. markets

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If one thing is clear as we start 2019, it’s that America is changing. According to a Claritas report (registration required), in the United States today, there are 131 million multicultural Americans, making up 37.5% of the U.S. population, with Hispanics accounting for the largest portion at 19.6%.

Minority groups now represent the majority of the population in more than 400 U.S. counties. There can be no doubt that America is becoming multicultural and that Hispanics are a significant part of this change.

Although some brands are starting to face the facts, there is a still a long way to go before advertisers understand the U.S. Hispanic market and unlock its potential.

What’s Changed

From the enormous success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians to the rising popularity of Hispanic celebrities like Cardi B, America has changed a lot in the past year. We’ve seen advancement in film representation, a resurgence in cultural and political movements, and the continued popularity and application of technology like smart homes and streaming media. And 2019 will be no different, with these changes impacting not only the people living in the U.S. but also brands across industries that will have to evolve with the changing American landscape.

According to 2017 estimates from the Census Bureau, there are over 58.9 million Hispanics living in the United States, and by 2030, U.S. Hispanics are expected to reach more than 72 million. More than that, this growth doesn’t just mean more Hispanics, it also means a transformation of the Hispanic market.

Hispanic consumers today are not the same as Hispanic consumers from years back. They are now the youngest ethnic group in America with the median age being 28. Realizing their youth is crucial for advertisers as it influences their media consumption habits, the technology they use, their abundance in prime spending years, and much more. Hispanics — especially in the younger age groups of the U.S. population — are also increasingly more diverse than older Americans. As a matter of fact, almost half of the U.S. millennial population will be multicultural by 2024 (registration required).

To read the complete article, continue on to Forbes.

Schoolteacher Yalitza Aparicio earns Oscar nomination for lead role in ‘Roma’

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Yalitza Aparicio, who was just nominated for best actress in a leading role, gives a compelling and honest performance in her role as the family’s nanny, Cleo.

She is now the second Mexican best actress Oscar nominee.

“From the very first casting call to this morning, my Roma journey has been extraordinary,” she said in a statement to ABC News. “As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen.”

“I am eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing Roma,” she added.

The 25-year-old told Variety that she related to the character, “because of her background and how she managed to keep going despite adversity.”

However, Aparicio wasn’t on the path to becoming an actress before taking on this big role.

She’s actually a schoolteacher and only auditioned for the part after going to the audition with her sister, who is a singer and wanted to try for the role herself.

Continue on to Abc News to read the complete article.

Young adults are hyped for ‘Carmen Sandiego’ Netflix series with ‘badass Latina’

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“When I see that cute little girl with her pretty brown skin, it makes me melt,” said actress Gina Rodriguez, who is Carmen in the animated series.

Carmen Sandiego and Maria Vargas Aponte don’t have much in common. One is a fictional criminal mastermind who travels the world to avoid capture, while the other is a very real Texas-based video game blogger who makes an honest living as a computer engineer.

But when Netflix released the trailer for its new series “Carmen Sandiego,” which drops on Jan. 18 and features actress Gina Rodriguez as the voice of the main character, Vargas Aponte watched it “more than 15 times.”

Like other young adults who grew up in the 1980s and ’90s loving computers and gaming, Vargas Aponte relates to Carmen for many reasons, though one sticks out.

“Many Latina characters are secondary characters, but with Carmen Sandiego, we have this badass Latina character,” said Vargas Aponte, 28, who grew up playing a version of the “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” computer game.

Rodriguez, a native of Chicago who is of Puerto Rican descent, views her character as one that bridges cultures, something that resonates among the increasingly diverse younger generations.

“Carmen gets to travel to so many different places all over the world, and you see her empathy and desire to learn other people’s languages and cultures and religions, and she teaches that,” Rodriguez said. “The show fuses two things I love the most, which is art and education, and when I see that cute little girl with her pretty brown skin, it makes me melt. I almost want to cry when I think about it.”

Carmen Sandiego was introduced to the world in 1985 as a character in a computer game.

The character has since appeared in multiple iterations of the game, such as “Where in the U.S. Is Carmen Sandiego?”; “Where in Europe Is Carmen Sandiego?”; “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” and others.

The character also inspired a PBS game show where middle-schoolers won prizes for successfully answering questions about geography, as well as an animated television series, “Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?” Rita Moreno was nominated for three Daytime Emmys for her voice work as Carmen in the latter series. On Thursday, fans found out that Moreno will be voicing the character of Cookie Booker in a few episodes of the new series.

Duane Capizzi, one of the new show’s executive producers, told Variety that “Gina just wigged out at the prospect of having both Carmens in our show, past and present.”

Though Carmen Sandiego was the center of a sprawling franchise, she was perhaps best known to young people like Vargas Apointe from the educational computer games where she first appeared — and where there were hardly any young women of color.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

First LGBTQ Latinx Talk Show on Nationwide Television

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LATV Network, the original national, bicultural television network — which recently kicked off its second decade of programming — is excited to announce the launch of its groundbreaking weekly talk show “Glitterbomb”, premiering on the network this fall.

“Glitterbomb” is an explosive pop-culture talk show hosted by an entirely gay, Latino, Hollywood-insider panel featuring “Entertainment Weekly” senior editor Patrick Gomez, iHeartRadio personality Alexander Rodriguez, and actor Enrique Sapene.

Their queer Latino perspective — drizzled with wit, humor and first-hand insight into A-lister life — gives “Glitterbomb” a festive and unique flavor that everyone can enjoy. Combining their experience in acting, radio and journalism, there’s no subject too hot to handle and no scandal too spicy to dig into.

“The LGBTQ Latino community has, for too long, been underserved,” says Luca Bentivoglio, LATV’s COO and Head of Programming. “LATV is proud to foster an environment of inclusivity and we are thrilled to be a pioneer in LGBTQ Latino programming by airing the first-ever talk show with an entirely gay Latino cast. As part of our network’s mission to be as inclusive as possible, ‘Glitterbomb’ is a shining example of our network’s commitment to serving diverse and alternative audiences.”

Produced at LATV’s state-of-the-art HD studios in Los Angeles, “Glitterbomb” is an English-language show that features heated discussions about the latest in pop culture news and trends; provides an inside look at the latest celebrity hot spots and events; and welcomes some of the biggest names in entertainment.

“We could not be happier that LATV has given three gay Latinos a platform as big as ‘Glitterbomb,'” co-hosts Gomez, Rodriguez, and Sapene say in a joint statement. “But we hope that people of all races, genders, and orientations will see a bit of themselves in our show — or, at the very least, have a good time watching it!”

About LATV:

LATV is the only remaining Latino-owned TV network in the Hispanic television space. Its programming primarily targets U.S.-born Latinos and the coveted bicultural 18-49 Latino demographic, with content that features originally-produced shows in Los Angeles, as well as licensed content that has never before been seen in the U.S. For more go to LATV.com.

About the hosts:

PATRICK GOMEZ is currently a Senior Editor at “Entertainment Weekly”. As a veteran “People” magazine writer and member of the Television Critics Association, the Texas native has appeared on “Today”, “Extra!”, “Access Hollywood”, “E! News”, HLN’s “Michaela”, and “Nightline” and can be seen frequently on “Good Morning America”.

ALEXANDER RODRIGUEZ is an on-air personality and entertainer. His sense of humor shines on his nationally syndicated radio show, “On The Rocks”, “where celebrities and cocktails” on iHeartRadio and Universal Broadcasting Network. The show is broadcast live weekly from Sunset Gower Studios in the heart of Hollywood. The Southern California native also serves as Entertainment Editor for “Bear World Magazine”, a national LGBT online media source.

ENRIQUE SAPENE is an actor, host and producer. The Venezuela native has entertained audiences internationally as a reporter on Univision, NBC, ABC and Telemundo. As an actor, he has recurred on the Amazon Prime series “Borderline” and his telenovelas ” Pecadora”, “El Alma Herida”, “Eva la Trailera”  and “Tomame o Dejame” have sold worldwide. In 2017, Enrique joined the cast of the docu-series “My Life is a Telenovela”, which aired on WEtv and E! Latin America and is currently available on Hulu.

How Knowing Her Worth Is Helping This CEO Build A Latinx Lifestyle Brand

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Patty Delgado understands Latina millennials living in America and who are trying to pursue their own version of the American dream because that is what her own hustle consists of.She navigated self-employment and working freelance in the design space after she graduated from college and eventually that transitioned into the new business she helms — Hija de tu Madre.

The Latina lifestyle brand celebrates a generation’s entrepreneurial drive while honoring the phrases and cultural realities that helped mold them. Delgado’s product line started with clothing and accessories and has now moved into the home office space.

“Back in 2016 I had a little idea for a jacket: a denim jacket embellished with a sequin design of La Virgen de Guadalupe,” shares Delgado. “With $500, just enough to make 30 jackets, I started my little ecommerce business called Hija de tu Madre. Once I started, I knew HDTM had the potential to reach a large untapped market: Latinas.”

In just two years, Delgado has gone from being entirely an online experience to having an office and showroom headquartered in Los Angeles. This year she plans to host events — panels, workshops, and networking opportunities — in the space and make it a larger cultural experience.

“We’re a $1.7 trillion dollar industry, but the business world doesn’t treat us as the superpower that we are,” shares Delgado. “Latinas are still the lowest paid labor group. How is it that we’re one of the greatest U.S. buying powers but with the greatest wage gap? With this political climate, and anti-Mexican and Central American sentiment, it’s my responsibility to create a Latinx safe space. Hija de tu Madre will continue to remind our community that our culture matters, and that we aren’t going anywhere.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.