It is now the 9th season of what has become the most popular and most talked about show of this century......American Idol. Gone is the hot but very annoying and sometimes drunk Paula Abdul, now replaced by the very non-music experienced but surprisingly impressive Ellen DeGeneres. With a new set of young hopefuls striving for that chance at stardom, I, along with several male co-workers, all agree that for some reason there hasn't seem to be that one favorite smoking-hot female that each of us were hoping to root for, in compared to previous seasons. This of course means that we would at least have to see who is the best overall when it comes to singing.
And there was that singer.....a young Latino from Southern California that caught my attention not only because of his voice or the song he first sang but because of the story about this young man and where he came from.
Andrew Garcia, a young father from Moreno Valley, had a background some Latinos can relate to. His parents grew up in the mean streets of Compton and were very active in the gangster lifestyle. I am one that will not deny the fact that I believe Latino parents are very much criticized for not taking the time to teach their own children about taking the right road in life (see my other story on LatinoLA.com..."CRIMINAL RIGHTS VS VICTIM RIGHTS") but in Andrew's story, his parents (interviewed in the same A.I. episode in which Andrew sang for the first time in front of the judges and won his trip to Hollywood), made it clear that it was about time to put family first and therefore getting out of the gang life was a priority greatly needed. His father, being interviewed at home during the episode of Andrew's first performance, tearfully explained how he simply wanted the best for his kids so that they don't get themselves into the same trouble he once got himself into.
ARE ALL YOU GANGBANGING, WELFARE-RECIPIENT, UNDER-AGED, LATINO PARENTS HEARING THIS?
Now of course, we can't forget the fact that there are also two other Latinos that make up the final 24 (Huntington Park's Joe Munoz and Ashley Rodriguez from the New England area) but what makes Andrew more important is that we need a Latino like him in the music industry. Why? Because he would be the first of a kind.
Now stop and ask yourself......are there any Latino American singers out there whose music has Solely been in English and only English?
Yes...but to be honest, the only 2 poor examples out there are.....
1) Your typical Latino gangster rappers who all seem to make it mandatory to wear Dodger or Raider jerseys in all their videos or on stage and who are more than likely still active in their gangs (don't deny this).
2) Your typical bands whose only way of getting exposure is by appearing on LATV. These bands become forgotten in a short amount of time since they all seem to have one thing in common....they all sound like a poor man's version of either The Smiths or The Cure. Sorry.....just speaking the truth!
What Andrew Garcia brings is something both Latino-Americans and the music industry needs......a Latino version of John Mayer or Jason Mraz. It is nothing more that good, clean music without your typical trashing or bringing down of the image of the brown race, something Latinos seem to do far too much in the entertainment industry (and please don't put this blame on the whites).
When was the last time you saw a music video of a popular Latino artist that did not include a bunch of half naked Latina tramps?. Don't get me wrong.....I have no problem with this but when its exposure to the public eye brings down the race, it then becomes a problem!
What is being requested is simple.....vote for this young man and help make his dreams a reality. Let's not just bring positivity to him but also to the image of Latino-American music as well.
To those who agree with me, I thank you for coming to your senses. To those who take this as a joke, make sure you keep your complaints to yourself the next time you see an up and coming Latino entertainer fall victim to stereotyping in the entertainment industry.