Lime interview - Clubs & Nightlife
Lime Magazine interview with Fulanito
London’s second biggest festival, Carnaval del Pueblo explodes in joyous and colourful fiesta glory on Saturday August 18th 2012 at the brand new London Pleasure Gardens, this month Lime Catches up with headlining act Fulanito.
Are you excited about being the headline act?
I am honoured and very excited to be invited as the headliner to the "CarnavaldelPueblo" 2012. London has always been aspecial city for me being that this is where I performed in front of a large crowd for the first time back in 1989 as a member of the group, Two In A Room. I can’t wait to perform in front of my Latino community and I am expecting nothing less than a fired up audience on August 18th.
What can fans expect watching you perform live?
My fans can expect a really lively show, full of energy and emotion including performances of all my Fulanito and Two In A Room hits such as “Que Comiense La Fiesta”!!
You have been described by El Peñol, London’s Premier Latin Club as a household name in Latin music and one of the most popular acts in Latin America, why do you think this is?
I am both humbled and flattered by El Penol’s description of my team and our music. Since the ’97 release of ‘El Hombre Mas Famoso De La Tierra" which included "Guallando", "El Cepillo" and "La Novela", we’ve continued to receive support from both club and radio DJ’s all over the world. This support for our classics and recent songs has contributed to our continual presence on dancefloors and in households alike and has helped us acquire many frequent flier miles throughout the years as well - lol.
Has it been difficult to break into the UK market as you are a household name in Latin America?
I believe we have not had difficulty breaking into the UK Latino market due to already attaining success in our fans' respective countries of origin. I reached the Top 10 National charts in the UK back in 1991 with "Wiggle It" when I was in Two In A Room but I hope to one day again attain mainstream acclaim with my Latino-infused Fulanito brand.
What do you bring to the Latin Music Scene that is fresh and new?
I have been in the industry for almost 25 years and have the luxury of witnessing how most musical genres from the past are recycled and just given new names with a few updates. I simply try to keep everything fresh and new by writing, producing and performing whatever is musically in the industry at any given moment.
Who are your musical influences –dead or alive?
I've had many musical influences that have shaped my style and trajectory throughout the years. I grew up listening to the great Soul, Disco and Salsa records of the 70’s and then the edgy Hip Hop, House and Merengue music of the 1980's. When it came to time to create my own music, I borrowed from all the music that I enjoyed as a fan to develop my own style.
If there is one person you could choose to perform a musical collaboration with who would that be?
The one person I would have loved to do collaboration with would be Hector Lavoe. I am still fascinated by the masterpieces created by La Fania and their musicians.
You experiment with many other rhythms and this is now becoming a trade mark of the group what can we expect in 2013 to keep your group ahead of the game?
Throughout the last year I've been working on a new Fulanito studio album that will include a lot of our signature elements plus a lot more integration of the English language and experimentation with genres we have not dabbled in such as Electronica, R N' B and Bachata.
As you are in London during the Olympics are there are any sporting events you would like to see, more importantly did you get tickets?
I am a huge basketball fan and I would love to check out the new American Dream Team take home the Gold Medal.
Will you be attending Notting Hill Carnival in London this year as I think you are still in London town?
I am not familiar with the Notting hill Carnival but if time permits I will try to attend.
You have been invited to many prestigious events, who have you met, who made you feel as a group you have made it?
I've had the privilege to meet or work alongside many artists I admire, but back in 2000 I was thrilled to meet and perform alongside Juan Lee Guerra in 'El festival De Vina Del Mar' in Chile.
For UK music fans that are new to your music and feel that it is an exclusive scene for Latin Americans how do you encourage them to get into the vibe?
I feel our music can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a good time. The language barrier might just be what may keep some people from enjoying the music but if you want some music to work out to, I got what you need. [Laughs].
At Carnaval Del Pueblo I will be performing an up-tempo Perico Ripiao style song I recorded with English lyrics that's often featured in Zumba classes around the world titled "Wiggle Wiggle", for those who can't dance in Spanish! [Laughs]
As a Dominican born in America how are your musical influences combined to give you such a unique sound, describe your cross pollination of culture and sounds?
As a Dominican born and bred in the Washington Heights section of New York City I was exposed to the Dominican culture as if I grew up in Santo Domingo. Washington Heights has the highest Dominican population in the United States and Merengues was the music heard everywhere. My friends and I were big fans of Run DMC, LL Cool J and Eric B & Rakim but we also enjoyed the music from the motherland. After releasing my Two In A Room hip house albums in the early 90’s I eventually fused all the sounds I enjoyed listening to while growing up in my neighbourhood to create Fulanito.
What do you do when you are ready to Chill Out?
My chill out moments usually consist of spending quality time with my children.
What is your favourite Latin American dish that you would recommend me to try?
I recommend you try Oxtail stew ( Dominican style) of course with Mixed Rice and Guandules and Fried Sweet Plaintains! Guaranteed to satisfy.
Where in the Caribbean would you recommend to visit?
Yes, I am biased and recommend the Dominican Republic as your next vacation destination. Come ready for good times
Share one of your carnival experiences.
One of my best Carnaval experiences was in El Carnaval de La Vega in the Dominican Republic. We filmed a video for one of my songs, 'Mira' in the middle of the festivities and enjoyed how the Carnaval goers participated and provided endless amounts of culture and cheer to our production.
Fulanito headlines at Carnaval del Pueblo 2012, 12 midday -11pm, 18 August, London Pleasure Gardens, North Woolwich Road, London E16 2BU
Allyson Ava Brown