by Nathalie Molina Niño
Earlier this month MTV and Nacional Records announced a new late-night music show in the tradition of Yo! MTV Raps and 120 Minutes, called “La Hora Nacional,” with a focus on Latin Alternative music. According to MTV Latin America’s VP, Marc Zimet, having Tomas Cookman, gives the show the “ultimate stamp of credibility.”
What follows is the second in a series of excerpts from a lively chat about music and the Latino community with Tomas Cookman, the charismatic founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and president of –the label of artists like Manu Chao and Aterciopelados.
Now that you’ve launched La Hora Nacional, what’s next?
We’re working on a number of programs, including a Latin Pop radio show and we just closed a deal with Sirius to provide Latin Alternative content. The industry is undergoing massive change and there is tons of creativity that we’re tapping into from Brooklyn to Bolivia to Barcelona. Also our audience is growing, I mean we just had Diego Garcia open for Miss China and Manu Chau will soon be doing a China show too! The world is just getting smaller and smaller.
What about the U.S.?
We are still definitely focused on the U.S. because we believe there is a market here. When we’re able to showcase the creativity of our talent, more often than not we get strong support. And if we don’t have support from Latino pop radio, we just go to Triple A Radio and NPR and they’re extremely supportive. We’re not going away, we’re here and we’re going to keep on doing what it is that we do. Though I think we still have a lot of work to do and we’re probably a couple years behind what the African American community has been able to accomplish.
I think the All Star game in Arizona was a perfect example. Arizona doesn’t honor MLK’s birthday and the superbowl left! But the majority of the players for the all-star game were Latinos and they all went! They all still played! We need to get our cojones together.
Although I’m a big believer that you should go to Arizona!
You are? Why?
Because I believe that if all the people from around the rest of the United States did not go to Birmingham or Mobile or other places down south in the early 60’s, they’d still be drinking out of segregated water fountains. So you have to go. You have to go, get your ass kicked and get in front of their faces. Plus there are tons of Latinos in Arizona that want to see these acts, so I don’t believe in what Rage Against the Machine is doing with their boycott. On the contrary, I think everybody should make a point of going there!
So we should all descend on Arizona?
Exactly! Piss them all off! Show up all dressed in pink prison garb! But maybe that’s just the Lower East Side punk rocker in me talking.
To learn more about Nathalie, visit Global Misfit.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.