#Interview with Mark Ballas From 'Dancing With the Stars'

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#DamnWeLookAlike along with a Face Time pic of you and your cousin.

I just finished recording the video version for my single “Get My Name” that just came out and my cousin Sal and I are like brothers. When we were little we spent so much time together. He’s actually in the video as an extra, so you can see him in the back. He flew out for the recording of the video. He hears everything first. I talk to him, he’s really artistic, and he’s got a great eye for art. So I sent him the song. I just had him put his headphones on so he couldn’t hear me, he could only hear what he was listening to. And at one point he was laughing because he just thought it sounded so great, and I was like, “Man we look so alike.”

#TrueArtist #MyBae on Twitter to describe singer/songwriter, BC Jean.

Oh that was when I went to see my girlfriend sing at Hotel Café. She’s an incredible songwriter. She’s had some success in the songwriting game. She wrote “If I Were A Boy” for Beyoncé. She’s had some other great rock hits and what not. And she’s just an incredible inspiration to me as a musician and as a singer/songwriter. That’s how we met; we met on the singer/songwriter circuit. She’s very high up there and everyone knows who she is, and she really enjoyed my music at set and that’s how we got talking and then we started collaborating. We went on a few dates here and there. And it’s just awesome to see her in her element. She’s been taking time to writing so she hasn’t been performing as much. So it was really cool to go see her just take the rooms by the nuts. No one talked when she sang; she’s just that good. She’s, in my opinion, what a true artist represents, being able to make you feel a certain emotion. And that’s me being unbiased because I appreciated her talent before her and I started dating. She’s co-written 3 or 4 songs on the record. She co-wrote with me and they came out great. Lyrically, she’s just wonderful.

Aside from #GetMyName, what hashtag would you use for your first single?

#FunkyandFresh, like real funk, soul funk. We just dropped “Get My Name,” which did really well. It debuted at number 24 on the iTunes chart, which is big considering that I’m doing it all independently, no label, and no push. I mean we got some label interest in the beginning, but the deals just weren’t right for me so I thought maybe for this go around I’m gonna put these songs out myself and maybe they’ll come around and it’ll work out better for everybody. We’re getting ready to pick the next single and we’re just gonna keep putting out content for people to hear. And it’s an educating process to show fans and new fans that I’m not just a one trick pony. It’s okay to do more than one thing; you don’t just have to do one thing your whole life. I grew up playing flamenco guitar, my father was an amazing flamenco guitar player and that was kind of like father-son time. He would play me Paco de Lucía and Gypsy Kings and this is the stuff we would listen to growing up. Now, it’s about showing people I can get down just as hard on the guitar as on the dance floor.

What are a couple of hashtags to describe the past season of DWTS?

#Fun because it was fun. She was hilarious. #Unpredictable because I never knew if she was gonna make it through the routine or not because her nerves always got the better of her. And it wasn’t like, say in the routine there was a part of the dance where she struggled. I know in this part she struggles right, it wasn’t like that, she’d make a new mistake every time because her nerves just got to her. So it was constantly #KeepingOneEyeOnMyPartner at all times in case she made a mistake in a place she’d never made a mistake before. So I couldn’t truly relax in any of the dances because I was always in that coach mode of if she makes a mistake I gotta cover it up and try to make it look seamless. #Scary.

What would be a hashtag you would retire?

#YOLO gets old. YOLO it’s like NO, YOLO. #Twerk or #Turnup like no, turn off #Stop. I can’t stand when people say #Turnup. Or #FinnaGetTurnt it sounds like you’re saying, “finger a turd.” You’re fingering a turd? What? That’s so weird!

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About this author

Jesus Trivino,

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jesús Triviño Alarcón began his professional journalism career at Vibe. At 25, he became editor-in-chief of Fuego, the first national English language Latino men’s magazine, and served as senior editor for Scratch, a magazine dedicated to hip-hop producers and DJs. Since then he has guided the editorial direction for MyNuvoTV.com, the online component of the Latino lifestyle cable network, and BET.com's music shows and specials including 106 & Park. Additionally, he has written and reported for the NY Daily News, SLAM, The Source, XXL, Inked, SOHH.com, People.com, Essence.com, and many more. In his 16-year career he’s interviewed countless celebrities including Bruno Mars, Carmelo Anthony, Demi Lovato, Marc Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Willie Colón, Jay-Z, Nas, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Kanye West, among others. Today, as Latina’s Entertainment Director he’s constantly thinking WWJD—What Would Juanes Do? Follow him on Instagram @JesusTalks and Twitter @JesusTalkz.

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