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Latin Grammys Best New Artist Nominees Reflect on the Importance of Recognition



Last Thursday (Nov. 17), the 23rd edition of the Latin Grammy Awards was full of exciting moments and surprises. John Legend joined Sebastian Yatra on stage to sing “Tacones Rojos” for the first time live; Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro turned heads at the red carpet with serious power couple looks; and Los Bukis, led by the charismatic person of the year, Marco Antonio Solís, inspired the nigiht’s biggest sing-along with “Tu Cárcel” as the closing number. 

In addition, first-time Latin Grammy winners Angela Álvarez and Silvana Estrada, 95 and 25, respectively, tied in one of the most important categories of the night for best new artist, which marked another special moment. 

But beyond receiving a Latin Grammy, the best new artist nominees celebrated their Latin Recording Academy recognition as a victory.

Before the winners were announced, Billboard Español spoke with Estrada, Pol Granch, Nicole Zignago and Sofia Campos about what it means to them to receive the endorsement from one of music’s most prestigious institutions. They also shared some advice for those starting out in the business.

Silvana Estrada

One of the two winners for best new artist searched for her inner voice, recorded it on her soulful Glassnote Records debut, Marchita, and her poetic revolution began instantly. Her voice, often accompanied by the cuatro, is simply a powerful instrument, while her lyrics are at times reminiscent of Latin American greats like Chavela Vargas or Mercedes Sosa.

How does it feel to have your work recognized by the Latin Recording Academy?

It’s beautiful. I have been working on turbo for many years, so this whole experience has been very nice. All the work I do, I do it thinking of my audience, my shows, my music. Sometimes I’m like a horse [with blinders], I don’t look to the sides because I want to concentrate on my own thing, and I don’t pay attention to everything else that happens. These [Latin] Grammys are very nice because I feel very appreciated and recognized by people in the industry, who in the end are the people who really know the work behind things. I feel very grateful to all these people who are paying attention to my work, and who are also recognizing my effort.

What advice would you give to an upcoming artist who dreams of being nominated for a Latin Grammy?

For someone who is just starting out, you have to focus on the music first. It is very easy to get distracted. But if you have a good song, if you put a lot of effort and hard work into [putting together] a solid project, if you have a song that moves you, or a beat that makes you dance — you do it for the quality of the music, and everything else will follow. On the other hand, if the order of these factors is reversed, then it’s not so good.

Pol Granch

Pol Granch has a captivating flamboyance that simply mesmerizes, and when you pair that with his neon-hued provocative electro-pop — as heard in tracks off his 2022 album Amor Escupido — it all comes together and you’re instantly a fan. Although at times he reminds of a young Miguel Bosé, the Madrid artist claims influences by the likes of SoundCloud legends like the late Lil Peep.

How does it feel to be recognized by the Latin Recording Academy?

Complete gratitude because, in one way or another, they have recognized my work and it makes me have more motivation, more self-confidence, and much more desire to move forward.

What advice would you give to an emerging artist who is starting their career in music?

I always say this, but it’s the truth: If this is your dream, if you can imagine such a thing, you can become it 100%. To keep pushing forward despite any negative thing that can happen along the way. You have to know from the very first moment that if you want to work in this, you will face the opinions of everyone, and well, that’s what it is. But always go forward, like a racehorse.

Nicole Zignago

Zignago went from being a behind-the-scenes creator to becoming her own spotlight. She began making a name for herself co-writing hits for Sofia Reyes and Mariah Angeliq. As a solo artist, the Peruvian singer-songwriter caused hype with her 2022 debut EP, Así me siento hoy, a deliciously sensual slice of electro-pop.

What went through your head when you heard about your nomination? 

What can I say? It was crazy. I was literally in bed, it was early in the morning and I was watching the nominations. They called my name right at the end of the category. So it was a huge surprise. I cried. My family called me, my friends, and my head exploded. It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was very little. The fact that I was nominated in this category is super important, because it is a nomination that only happens once in a lifetime — once you are nominated for another category, you can no longer be nominated for best new artist. The fact that my first nomination is in this Latin is a huge blessing, and I’m super-happy.

What advice would you give to an artist who is just starting out and wants to make music as a career?

I would tell them to have a very clear north, to know very well what they want to do. I know that this may change over the years. The way to reach that north can always change but have a purpose. That will always make them find their core, and it will guide them to where they need to go in this career.

The heart and instinct are also very important. To surround themselves with good people — people who really love them and want to see them succeed. To have a lot of patience and discipline. To know that this is a 25/8 job, not 24/7. Remember to be present and grateful, because this road goes by very fast and if they choose this career, it will go by even faster because it is a lot of work. To give themselves time to rest. To give it their all, like jumping into a swimming pool without knowing what is going to happen. That’s how I describe it: like jumping into the void, but with a lot of conviction, knowing that this is for you.

Sofía Campos

When listening to her gorgeous blend of lackadaisical yet joyful pop, it’s clear that the Argentinian singer-songwriter is not afraid to bare her heart. Her second 2021 release, Lugares Imaginarios, is the kind of album that sparks curiosity with inquisitive musings, accompanied by her beautiful acoustic guitar strumming.

How does it feel to receive this recognition from the Latin Recording Academy?

It feels like a gift from music and for my effort. I always wanted to make songs with a lot of love, and suddenly the [love] comes right back. It feels very special, like something that will never be repeated.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in music? 

I don’t feel like I’m in the position of giving someone advice. But I can share things that I say to myself, like trying not to lose focus. I think it’s important to remember why you’re doing things, like why you’re making songs, why you want to sing, why you want to upload this song to [music] platforms, why you want to do this concert. It’s good to connect with the important reasons, like why you enjoy singing. Because it’s what makes you happy. 

To not get lost in some of the colder things of the industry, like numbers — whether it’s the number of listeners, money, tickets, and whether it’s sold out or not. I feel like those will make you frustrated or stressed, but they are a good way to guide your decisions. Focus your frustrations on the things that are worthwhile, and not on what’s not worthwhile. Connect with the essence of why you do things, and the real reason. 

All interviews were originally conducted in Spanish.

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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Promotes Amy Homma to Chief Audience Officer – Film News in Brief



Long-time Academy Museum of Motion Pictures executive Amy Homma was promoted to Chief Audience Officer Nov. 28, Director and President of the Academy Museum Jacqueline Stewart announced.

“Amy has proven herself to be a skillful, forward-thinking, and inspiring leader since she began at the museum in 2019, and I look forward to seeing her and her teams thrive in this new capacity,” Stewart said. “As a seasoned programmer, educator, and administrator who brings a deep knowledge of audience engagement and museology, Amy is the ideal person to steer our museum’s next chapter of external relations.”

Prior to her new appointment, Homma worked as vice president of Education and Public Engagement at the Academy Museum. Under her leadership, the museum developed K-12 programming and public programs rooted in accessibility and activism.

Homma’s introduction to the Academy Museum was as the inaugural director — a position she acquired following the conclusion of her tenure at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

In her new role, Homma will continue to facilitate community engagement while having a heavier hand in the museum’s upholding of inclusive values.

“I am eager to work across teams to further develop the museum’s impact and commitment to local, national, and global audiences through a visitor-centered approach,” Homma said.

Cinema Audio Society To Honor Alejandro González Iñárritu with Filmmaker Award

 Alejandro González Iñárritu will receive the Cinema Audio Society’s Filmmaker of the Year honor at the 59th CAS Awards on Saturday, March 4, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel.

“It is an honor to name director Alejandro González Iñárritu as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 CAS Filmmaker Award. His sobering portrayals of the human experience bring empathy and consciousness to perspectives often left untold and unconsidered,” said CAS President Karol Urban. “No doubt drawing on his history in music, his films experiment and utilize sound — uniquely embracing its capacity to emotionally engulf the viewer.”

Upon hearing the news that he was to receive the CAS honor, Mr. Iñárritu said, “Being singled out as a filmmaker by my colleagues in the Cinema Audio Society is a great honor. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most gifted sound designers in the industry and truly cannot emphasize the importance of the work they do in creating a fully sensorial experience for audiences when watching a film.”

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Announces 2022 Winners

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival has announced this year’s winners. In its 37th year, the festival took place from Nov. 4-13 and screened 200 films.

Below is the complete winners list of the Jury and President Awards at the 37th annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival:

Best American Indie

“Corner Office,” directed by Joachim Black

Honorable Mention:

“American Dreamer,” directed by Paul Dektor

“The Drop,” directed by Sarah Adina Smith

Best Foreign Film

“Ride Above” (Tempete), directed by Christian Duguay

Best Documentary

“The Ghost of Richard Harris,” directed by Adrian Sibley

Honorable Mention:

“The Long Rider,” directed by Sean Cisterna

“Territorio Africano,” directed by Joaquin & Julian Azulay

“Tiger #24,” directed by Warren Pereira

Spirits of Independents Awards

“Abuella’s Family: The Sansgiving Episodes,” directed by Kevin Bosch

“American Dreamer,” directed by Paul Dektor

“Bobcat Moretti,” directed by Rob Margolies

“Camino Al Exito,” directed by Sebastian Rodriguez

“Combat Club,” directed by Mark Moorman

“D.O.A.,” directed by Kurt St. Thomas

“A Matter of Trust,” directed by Annette K. Olesen

“The Mistress,” directed by Greg Pritikin

“Trade,” directed by Corey Stanton

“The Artist and the Astronaut,” directed by Bill Muench

“Freedom on Our Mind,” directed by Chad Light

Special Jury Prize for Production

“D.O.A.,” directed by Kurt St. Thomas

Best Florida Feature

“Bridge to the Other Side,” directed by KT Curran

Best Florida Short

“Connections,” directed by Jennie Jarvis

“Lioness,” directed by Molly E. Smith

Best American Indie Short

“Lift” by Charles Burmeister

Best Foreign Short

“Viva,” directed by Esteben Steven Petersen (Dominican Republic)

Best High School Video

“The Interns,” directed by Sabrina Dubner (USA)

“Backspace,” directed by Ethan Ross (UK)

“White,” directed by Vivian Burmeister (USA)

Best College Short

“Dad We Shall Sing Something,” directed by Aidana Baurjanqizy  (Kazakhstan)

Best College Long Narrative

“Nahrani,” directed by Angelina Auer (Germany)

Best College Animation (TIE)

“There Is Exactly Enough Time,” directed by Oskar Salomonowitz (Austria)

“The Many Benefits of Heartbreak,” directed by Luke Schroeder (USA)

Best College Doc

“Resurgence,” directed by Krushan Naik (USA)

Best Filmed in Broward Short

“Un Pequeno Corte,” directed by Mariana Serrano

Best Filmed in Broward Doc

“The Halls of Power,” co-directed by Janay Joseph, Graciel Quezada & Bianca Vucetice

Lifetime Achievement

Sally Kirkland

Career Achievement

John Gray

Career Achievement

Taryn Manning

Star on the Horizon

Hopper Jack Penn

Star on the Horizon

Zoe Bleu

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Takeoff’s Brother, YRN Lingo, Pays Tribute in Emotional Post: ‘I’ll Carry Your Name Until the Day I Die’



Late Migos member Takeoff‘s brother, rapper YRN Lingo, paid loving tribute to his fallen sibling on Monday (Nov. 28) in a lengthy Instagram post in which he looked back on the huge impact Take (born Kirsnick Khari Ball), 28, had on his life.

“Dear Take, I don’t know where to begin, I honestly still can’t believe it,” Lingo wrote in the multi-page post that featured family photos of the brothers with their mom through the years and a final slide of them as adults. “My big brother, my right hand, my other half, my literal twin. The one I could call upon anytime no matter what time, weather, situation you were in. You always made sure the family was straight, even when I didn’t need anything you always gave me something.”

Lingo recalled a time when they were children when Takeoff came into his room and promised that when he made it as a rapper, “‘you can ask me for anything. I mean anything.’” But, in the wake of Takeoff’s killing in an as-yet-unsolved Dec. 1 shooting at a bowling alley in Houston, Lingo said now he has to adjust to life without his older sibling.

“I hate that I have to move on with my life without you physically here, I wish I could just stop time and wait, but I know what can’t happen,” he wrote. “It’a a lot of things I’m going to miss about you, I could name them but it would be a full list and that would take forever. I looked up to you more than anyone on this earth and I will never stop looking up to you.”

Lingo promised to “carry” Takeoff’s name for the rest of his life, calling himself the pupil to Take’s teacher. “You thought [sic] me things and brought me places that [a] majority of the people can say they never seen or heard, level-headed, nothing ever got to you unless it had to do with family or money,” he wrote. “You always stayed in your lane and never bothered anyone. Quiet, but very well-spoken and a real HUMBLE GIANT.”

Calling his brother one of God’s “purest angels,” Lingo said he’s still trying to wrap his head around the killing, asking his big brother to help guide him through this “hell on earth, ’cause it’s going to be hard, super hard without you bro,” he said, listing the little things he’ll miss, including rolling one up and watching a movie and Takeoff’s sage counsel to pay attention to the details.

“I have to live by your book now, think before I speak, love the family before anyone and put my faith in God,” he wrote. “I will see you again one day in heaven brother along with my great grandma. I’ll take care of Mama and Heaven down here. Take you fulfilled your purpose and more. You will forever remain in my heart, our hearts.”

Check out Lingo’s post below.

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Jennifer Lopez Says Upcoming Album Is Inspired by Rekindled Romance With Ben Affleck



Just days after Jennifer Lopez announced her new LP “This Is Me… Now,” the star sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss the upcoming album — her first in nearly a decade.

The collection is an updated play of Lopez’s 13-song 2002 album “This Is Me… Then,” which was heavily inspired by her and Ben Affleck’s highly publicized romance. Lopez told Lowe that the new record captures “me at this moment in time when I was reunited with the love of my life and we decided we were going to be together forever. The whole message of the album then is this love exists.”

Lopez said she wants to share that “vulnerable” message with the world, despite it scaring her. “I think parts of it scare Ben, too,” she added. “He’s like, ‘Oh, do you really want to say all this stuff?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know how else to do it, baby.’”

The pair re-entered the relationship in 2021, nearly 17 years after they had called off their engagement in 2004. Reflecting on that time in her life, the Bronx native admitted she refused to perform the Affleck-inspired songs from her 2002 record, which included songs like “Dear Ben” (a sequel to the track appears on the new tracklist as “Dear Ben Pt. II”), due to the pain of the breakup.

“Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life, and I honestly felt like I was going to die,” she said. “It sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t get it right. Couldn’t get it right. But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most would-never-happen-in-Hollywood ending. ‘That would never happen. We’re not going to write that because nobody would believe it.’”

Several song titles on the record reference the couple’s reunion including “Greatest Love Story Never Told” and “Midnight Trip to Vegas,” which seemingly hints at the story of their summer wedding in Las Vegas.

No official release date has been assigned to “This Is Me… Now,” but it is expected to arrive next year.

See the full interview below.

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