Last night, we caught up with the fine Laz Alonso at the Remy V event at NYC hotspot Lavo and he gave us the scoop about his latest movie and his new music venture that keeps it real with a fiery Latin sound.
What’s new? We know you have a lot of things going on, so fill us in!
I’m very happy because Breakout Kings got an amazing response and just got picked up for a second season back on A&E. I have a film coming out in September called Straw Dogs, where I play a sheriff in the South trying to keep the peace in a hostile environment; it’s a remake of the original movie that starred Dustin Hoffman. And as you know, I’m always talking about my music and I’m finally releasing it!
What got you into music?
Well, I grew up studying classical piano my entire life as well as listening to everyone from Celia Cruz to Hector Lavoe to Vicente Fernandez. I’m a Latin music historian with over 7,000 latin songs ranging from salsa to boleros and as a fanatic of Latin music I’ve always wanted to do my own version.
Did this inspiration come from your mami?
Probably. As you know I was raised by seven Latinas and it was a very musical home. Our basement was full of percussion instruments like maracas, bongos, guiras—you name it, we played it! When a song would come on we liked, everyone would grab an instrument, freestyle and go for it.
Tell me about your sound as a musician?
My artist name is El Mambi, which is a very cultural thing since they were the freedom fighters of Cuba. I basically do Mambo, but it also has a mixture of something like Merengue Urbano, Electronic, and Latin house and dance music. I have an amazing management company, Uno Dos Tres Management. It's run by video director Jessy Terrero and James Cruz, a pioneer in the music industry that’s managed people like 50 Cent, Missy Elliot, Puffy, so I’ve got a nice team around me. I also write all my own music and my guys in Toronto, Crown Loyalty and Fito Blanco, they produce all my music, so it’s a beautiful collaboration and we’re shooting for an album soon hopefully.
Sounds awesome! So, when can we hear this music you’re talking about?
You can find me on Twitter @NegroMambi or @LazOfficial, but if you go to the @NegroMambi one, you can download the first single I just released for free—make sure you download the clean version [laughs]! It’s a Latin remix, sung all in Spanish, of a song by a French artist and it’s called “Te Quiero.”
Are there any plans for a video? You know us ladies want to see a video!
Absolutely, we’re going to have a video out in September for “Te Quiero” and Latina will be one of the first to have it!
Listen to "Te Quiero" below: