The Bronx’s own Marcy Place, an urban bachata group discovered by reggaeton star Don Omar, is competing for tropical airplay song of the year for a duo or group for the Billboard’s Latin Music Awards next week.
Marcy Place, the latest in a new crop of urban bachata artists, is made up of Juan Carlos Cabrera who is known as JC and brothers Billy Pabón and Joey Pabón. Marcy Place is nominated for its hit “Todo Lo Que Soy” featuring Don Omar, and the bacheteros are definitely planning to attend the ceremony in Coral Gables, Florida.
“I’m excited; I can't believe we are actually nominated,” says JC of the Bronx.
Marcy Place faces tough competition. They are running against “El Aquel Lugar” (Adolescent’s Orchestra), “El Perdedor” (Aventura) and “Ahora Es” (Wisin y Yandel).
JC says he is amazed to see his group running in the same category as the likes of bachata kings Aventura and reggaeton stars Wisin y Yandel.
JC says it's “weird to be fans of these people” and to be running in the same category as them.
JC, who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York when he was a boy, says he's looking forward to the big night. So far, he says, the nomination is one of the group’s biggest accomplishments.
Billboard’s Latin Music award ceremony will be on Thursday, April 23, and the show will be aired on Telemundo. The Billboard’s honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music as determined by actual sales and radio airplay data that inform Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated Feb. 9, 2008 to Jan. 31, 2009.
JC describes Marcy Place as an urban bachata group with influences from other genres such as R&B, pop, merengue and hip hop.
“Bachata is like R&B but in Spanish,” he says. “We sing about heartbreak and many of the same subjects.”
Before joining Marcy Place, JC worked as a sound engineer in Lenny Santos' (the guitarist and musical producer/arranger of Grupo Aventura) studio at a street named Marcy Place in the Bronx. Billy and Joey are of Puerto Rican heritage and they live in Brooklyn. Before joining Marcy Place, they worked as supervisors in a factory and restaurant respectively.
Don Omar discovered the talented guys when he went to record songs at the studio where JC worked. JC collaborated in the arrangement and chorus in Don Omar’s hit “Canción de Amor,” a bachata.
Don Omar was impressed and signed them to his label Orfanato Music Group.
JC recalled that the three were actually not a group. JC and the Pabon brothers were pursuing their own bachata projects, but it was Don Omar’s idea that they should unite as one group and gave them the name Marcy Place.
JC who is a Don Omar fan says he is grateful for his hands on approach.
Don Omar, he says, has been supportive of the group since the beginning. JC who writes songs for Marcy Place says he has also learned about the way Don Omar writes. Don Omar gives them feedback on choosing songs.
Late last year, Marcy Place released its first album, B From Marcy Place, a 12-track featuring 10 original songs as well as collaborations by Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Jayko and Divino.
From the streets of the Bronx to the world, Marcy Place’s goal is to share the contagious rhythm of urban bachata.
JC describes Marcy Place as “new, refreshing, innovative and ready.”
He says the group is currently promoting its CD and touring the United States and Puerto Rico.
The group’s short-term goals are to continuing to promote their music in the United States and abroad.
“Our long-term goal is to continue to have success in this business,” he says.
JC gives this advice to a young person interested in music, “Follow your dreams and give more than 100 percent.”
To find out more about Marcy Place, go to their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/marcyplacemusic. – Clarisel Gonzalez