If you like good Latin music that gets you moving and grooving, then the Apollo Theatre was where you wanted to be last week. Broadcast Music, Inc hosted their How I Wrote That Song panel at the iconic Harlem Theatre on Thursday, June 19.
Moderated by Mega 97.9 on air radio personality Jaylah Sandoval, the panel provided an opportunity for aspiring songwriters and composers to learn about the craft of songwriting from today’s Latin music hit makers. Featured on the panel were Latin Grammy winners Alcover & Xtassy, bachata duo Mickey Then and Joell Jaquez of 24 Horas and Latin Grammy nominee Pedro “sP” Polanco.
Alcover & Xtassy were happy to participate as panelists at the BMI event at the Apollo—a hop, skip and jump from their native Bronx, they had a lot to talk about! The Grammy award winning group’s Pura Vida was featured on the World Cup soundtrack. “It’s a motivational song and it’s an inspirational song,” said Alcover. Big sports fans, it was a cool opportunity to get their music featured on the World’s biggest stage. Alcover & Xtassy are of Dominican descent and love Dominican sports, but the DR doesn’t participate in World Cup Competition. Nevertheless they’re still watching. “We root for the Brazilian team,” said Xtassy.
Joel Jaquez and Mickey Then of 24 Horas credited their parents and music from their native Dominican Republic for their early influences in music: “We always listened to music and we always turned up,” said Joel Jaquez.
“It’s in our blood.”
They enjoy salsa and merengue music while growing up and like there is so much diversity in music now with bachata and reggaeton music. “That’s music and it is always changing,” said Mickey.
Producer Pedro “sP” Polanco has a diverse background in music being influenced by gospel, Latin and hip hop and enjoys that he can create good music for listeners to enjoy. Last year, he produced Leslie Grace’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. He was happy to be on the prestigious panel and tell his life story: “Everybody wants to be an artist,” he said. “I wanted to be behind the scenes and I wanted people to enjoy what I create.”
Jaylah Sandoval has developed her passion both behind the scenes and in front of audiences. The on-air radio personality for WSKQ Mega 97.9 in New York, she’s also a plus size model. Sandoval grew up inspired by former Hot 97 radio host Angie Martinez and is glad that like Martinez, she can influence the generation coming behind her. “I like being able to share to the youth who want to be in the industry,” she said. “It’s a phenomenal experience.”
BMI’s How I Wrote That Song was held on the Apollo Theatre’s Main Stage and was in collaboration with the Apollo Theatre Education Program. For more information on How I Wrote that song visit: http://www.bmi.com/news/tag/C6146
Photo Credit: Melissa Dispenza