Viva el Reggaeton

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Juan Carlos Barguil, born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia, South America, grew up down the street from Disco Fuentes’ studios in Columbia. He recalls that there were two things to do on a Sunday after church – “…go to the movies or go to the Fuentes Radio Station studios for their weekly live radio broadcasts.�

I don’t know about you, but I love Reggaeton!  That rich and sexy beat just takes control of my body every time it bounces out of a Hummer or off the speakers at my favorite bodega.  A lot of my African American Sisters look me up and down like I’m crazy exclaiming, “That music gets on my nerves.�  It’s just so perplexing to me that a lot of people don’t get this saucy, deliberately captivating genre.  It is my deduction that, like most things, lack of understanding is the culprit of disdain for this beautiful contribution to the Universe.

So, I’m going to introduce you to one of the movers and shakers behind and at the forefront of Latin music -- Juan Carlos Barguil, Vice President of Finance and Latin American Operations for ARC Music Group, and founder of Sunflower Entertainment, a one-stop shop for licensing masters and publishing of World and Latin Music.

Mr. Barguil has a passionate concern for the lack of professional organizations working with young Latin artists from the streets of NY, Miami, Boston and the world.  This passion drove him to create Sunflower Entertainment, whose main purpose is to advise and guide young Latino artists from all over the world, teaching them about the music industry and the importance of keeping the rights to their creations.  With Mr. Barguil in his role of Chief Financial Officer, together with the rest of the amazing team including Marshall Chess, President, Jamar Chess,Vice President of A&R and Jim Leavitt, Vice President of Catalog Development, Sunflower Entertainment has placed great Latin music in film, television shows, commercials and record compilations.

Juan Carlos Barguil, born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia, South America, *grew up down the street from Disco Fuentes’ studios in Columbia.  He recalls that there were two things to do on a Sunday after church – “…go to the movies or go to the Fuentes Radio Station studios for their weekly live radio broadcasts.�   In an early prototype of “Latin American Idol�, unsigned artists would perform live in the studio in front of an audience and listeners would call in to determine whether or not the artist would be signed. 

Mr. Barguil originally came to the U.S.A. on a scholarship to play soccer.  “My dream was to become a professional soccer player and play in the U.S. League back in the early 1980's.  The league went out of business.  So I decided to hit the books.  I majored in Accounting and Economics and graduated from Hunter College.  Immediately out of school, I went to work at a CPA firm called Chase, LaRossa -- a firm that specialized in the entertainment business -- publishing, record companies, production companies, artists, etc.  It was at this firm where I met Mr. Eugene Goodman, at the time President of the ARC Music Group of companies.�

I asked Mr. Barguil to enlighten our readers on the concept of Reggaeton and how it developed.  “Reggaeton is a genre that started somewhere around the mid 1970's in Panama, in the Canal Zone, where the U.S. military bases where located.  This style of music was started by kids born between local Panamanians and U.S. soldiers.  These kids grew up in a bi-cultural society where they adopted local sounds with whatever, sounds they heard at the military bases.  As a result, Reggaeton developed.

*ARC Latino is well positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for Latin music in new territories like Europe and the Pacific Rim.  According to Jim Leavitt, Director of Catalog Exploitation and Licensing for ARC Music Group, “It’s more than a Latin American audience.  There are so many genres of Latin music beyond salsa and pop, such as cumbia, vallenato, reggaeton, bachata and Rock En Espanol, that people outside of Latin America are discovering.�  Together, Mr. Barguil and Mr. Leavitt have made some notable placements including several episodes of Six Feet Under, used for a character’s Latin dance classes, the Martin Lawrence film, National Security and more.  The company’s catalog has earned a number of Latin Grammy nominations and has consistently had songs on the Billboard Latin charts.

Latin Artists on the forefront with Mr. Barguil right now are  Bimbo ( Puerto Rico), Pablo Bachata ( New York), Propheta ( Bronx-NY), Judiny ( NY-Dominican Republic), LCD ( Philadelphia), Hancel ( Philadelphia), El Duke del Euro ( Holland-Dominican Republic), Nelson Herrera, El Ejemplo ( Dominican Republic).

If there are any aspiring Latino artists or writers out there who would like to have a shot, contact Sunflower Entertainment at www.sunflower-ent.com .  Mr. Barguil encourages artists and writers not to give up if your first demo is not used the first time.  Please keep sending them material.

*HFA Soundcheck – April 2004

Learn more about ARC Music Group at www.arcmusic.com

Learn more about Sunflower Music Entertainment at www.sunflower-ent.com

Brenda Jeanne Wyche, Advocate for Solutions and Results ©2006 is Managing Editor for The Black Star News and Harlem Business News and CEO of Winning Strategies & Associates, a Small Business Consultancy in New York City.  If you have a solution, contact Brenda@blackstarnews.com .   Maybe we'll talk.

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com

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