My Aventura Story
The year was 2002, when I heard Aventura’s song “Obsession” ( they were literally unknown then), I could NOT believe it. I WAS AMAZED! and said to myself “MY GOD” this group is going to be BIG!! because when I heard them singing that music and those lyrics, I saw in my mind the representation of a new generation of US Latinos through their music, because l heard AND saw how they effortlessly and magically, they fused bachata with elements of Hip Hop, R&B, and even Rock. As mentioned earlier, I KNEW they were special and were going to be big, I must confess, I did now know they ( and later on Romeo ) would be this BIG!!
Anthony Santos (artistic name Romeo) used hip street slang in English while sigining in Spanish with a New York flair, words such as: “ Let me find out” and others, and in doing so was able to be even more relevant with bi-cultural Latinos, that and of course his and the groups talent played a big role in the success what was to follow. Romeo and Aventura followed their love of Bachata music even while being born and raised in the South Bronx. They grew up listening and enjoying different music from Hip Hop to punk rock, yet they end up playing bachata and the rest is history and we music lovers are better for it.
In case you did not know, Johnny Marines. is a recent recipient of The Latino Trendsetter Awards produced by LatinTRENDS at this year’s event back in May and Romeo graced our second cover at the very beginning of our history back in 2002 when this the magazine was known as Dominican Times and later on with the whole group as Aventura. See below.
Johnny Marines with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz jr. at 14th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards in May 2016
Aventura and Anthony Santos changed the game, simply by working hard doing what they love and in doing so they discovered what they most likely knew before anyone else, that they had talent! When we broke Aventura in 2002 and in 2003 with their first covers Bachata was still considered ghetto… music for low lives by the upper class and elite of the Island and even many Dominicans here in the States felt the same about bachata. Aventura made bachata cool! they took this music that was born in the bordellos (prostitution houses) of The DR and its dark but colorful past to new heights. To this day Bachata music is still referred to by many Dominicans as” “corta vena” (wrist cutter) and “La musica del amargue” because of it’s emotional lyrics and themes, such as; “she left me” “she no longer loves me” “I’m poor and I’m the underdog”.
Batcahata’s other nickname is, music of sadness-music of blues. Lately and in part because of Romeos talent and movement, its lyrics have gotten a bit more refined, but Romeo has been able to keep the essence of the genre in place. There are now others that have followed his lead and they are shining in their own light as modern day/ urban bachata artist such as: Prince Royce and Leslie Grace. Of course, we can’t forget some original bachata legends like : Anthony Santos, Luis Vargas, Yoscar Sarante, Joe Veras, Frank Reyes, Raulin Rodriguez, El Torito, and Juan Luis Guerra, who is not known as a bachata artist per se, however, he does have some big bachata hits.
Henry Santos, Juan Guillen, Anthony Romeo Santos, Toby Love back stage at China Club ( where the Copa is today) before live performance for Spring 2002 issue cover release party of magazine.
Thanks to Romeo Santos and Aventura and to their manager Johnny Marines Bachata has not only lived on and grown beyond its humble beginnings but will keep soaring to new heights, not as much because of Roc Nation Latino ( Jhonny Marines is now the president and Romeo the CEO of JAY-Z’s Roc Nation Latino) click here to read about it, and that is a great thing! but because bachata music and its genre has so much potential. Its mellow, its aggrieve, its soft, its loud, you can fall in love over it and fall out of love with it. you can dance to it, you can chill to it and you can sing to it. Bachata has it all and the world over is loving it. Thanks again Romeo, Johnny, Aventura and all that came before you and a shout out to Jay-Z and his team for seeing this potential now and into the future.
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