Song and Dance Man Aurelio Martinez has achieved legendary status in the pantheon of Garifuna Music among the ranks of Paul Nabor and Andy Palacio. He’s made his name here for his soulful Paranda performances captured on the albums Garifuna Soul and Laru Beya. But the Aurelio Martinez we know in Belize is really only half the story – those Stonetree albums capture his international side; in his home country of Honduras he’s known as a straight up Punta Rocker. And that’s the direction he’s going on his latest track which is called “Me Enamore.” It’s a latin tune recorded in New York with a Belizean American artist named Jahsa (Hasa) – and he told us about the video today – and discussed the wider concept of cultural music versus music for the hometown clubs:…
Aurelio Martinez - Performer
"He invited me to do something with him and I decided it to be my single for my new Punta Rock album. Aurelio Martinez is a multi faceted singer so before I did any professional way - Paranda and Punta Rock music, I played in a latin band in Honduras. My first band I sang Rancheras and sang Salsa, Merengue, every kind of music so I know to do that. When Jahsa invited me to do the song with him - he's a fan of Aurelio Martinez and so I said I don't really like to do collaborations with other artist but this Jahsa touched my heart and he called me to help him and I said 'yes'. Jahsa met some people in New York and he found people to be the models for a special video on a special boat in beautiful places in New York."
"You had a lot of fun"
"Yes, it's a beautiful video. I work in the editions because too much bikini panties inside. I did a lot of work to be a little softer especially in the presence of beautiful women but I have to have respect for women. It's a special song, it's a good song - we are Caribbean, I feel Caribbean in my blood but I tried to bring everybody together because music is free, it's a universal language. I feel that when I'm in Belize I feel that I'm in Honduras or in Guatemala in the Garifuna village because we feeling something but Belize is the window for the international exchange for the Garifuna music."
"Is it that indegenous artists have to have two identities for the work. They have to have the identity for the people at home and for their own people and also an identity for the world which is a very sophisticated international sound."
"When I met yossou n dour - rolex program, he was a mentor same way he is a protégé. When I came with him to the station he took me to the stadium in Senegal, 45,000 people in the stadium it was full. They called me to the stage and said 'Aurelio Martinez from Honduras - Garifuna'. Myself and my guitar and 45,000 people in font of me, it was crazy but it was a special thing in my life and like you said they played different ways. When we traveled to Brazil or in Ney York, the Nokia Theater they are playing pop music. I followed him because I know it's true."
Martinez says he plans to release two new albums this year.