EXCLUSIVE: Cobra Starship Singer Gabe Saporta Breaks Down His Latino Roots!

His hit song "You Make Me Feel" is one of our favorite songs of the year, so when we found out Cobra Starship frontman Gabe Saporta was Latino—we asked the dreamy singer to break down his Latin roots exclusively for our Latina readers! 

Tell us about your Latin roots!

I was born in Uruguay. I came to New York when I was four years old and we lived in a Spanish community in Queens. We were living illegally in America for three years before my dad got his green card. 

Your middle name is Eduardo right?


Do your parents call you Gabe or Eduardo?

Gabe is only in America. And it's actually really hard because Gabriel is such a nice name in Spanish—but when you're a young kid, no one wants to be called Gabriel. It sounds very formal—it just doesn't sound cool. So my nickname was Gabe, which is short for Gabriel. But Gabe always sounds like you're saying "gay" and my last name was Saporta, so it always sounded like I was saying "gay supporter!" {Laughs}. I always got made fun of for my name growing up. I wanted to change it when I was younger, but as I got older I really love my name. To this day, my mom calls me Gabrielito! {Laughs}. 

Introducing Gabe Saporta

Do you speak Spanish?

Yeah, I speak it fluently.

Are there any plans to release your hit song "You Make Me Feel" in Spanish?

I'm not sure if we're going to release that in Spanish, but I'm definitely going to do a lot more writing in Spanish. I'm actually going to Miami in the New Year to work with a Spanish artist—I can't say who it is yet, but I'm going to try and write a song with her. 

Is it easy for you to write in Spanish?

Even though I was born in South America, because I came here so young, I speak English better than I do Spanish. So I started writing songs and listening to American music before I got into Latin music. When I try to write in Spanish, I just don't have the mastery of the language that I need to be able to write well. 

101 Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!

This has been a breakout year for you and Cobra Starship. What's coming up for you next year?

I feel like we're outsiders to the mainstream. We come from more of an underground place, so in some ways we have no business being mainstream—we weren't trained for this. But in other ways, we want to kind of take it over. So it's an interesting test to see if we can really just keep doing it and really become part of it. A group like The Black Eyed Peas is a household name—it'd be great to have Cobra Starship get to their level. It just means releasing more singles and doing more projects and just getting out there more.