Gerina Di Marco
'Breaking Down The Boundaries, One Beat At a Time'
If you didn't think Latin Pop could get any steamier or more exciting than Shakira's “Hips Don't Lie,” get ready to turn on the AC with Gerina Di Marco , who left her gig fronting a pop/rock group in Las Vegas to record her danceable and sexy, soulful and hard rockin' debut Gerina.
Drawing on her multi-ethnic roots--her mother is Venezuelan, her father is Italian—and the inspiration of the pop and rock icons of her youth (Madonna, Guns N Roses), the multi-talented singer-songwriter fashions a fourteen song set in English and her native Spanish that runs the gamut between blistering rockers, tasty pop, soulful Latin grooves and emotional ballads.
And unlike a lot of big pop acts whose music and style often is just a reflection of the high-caliber producers they work with, Gerina wrote and co-produced all of her own material, and is already a hit songwriter in the Latin Pop world.
Chatting recently with Gerina, and noting that as she had left her gig fronting a pop/rock group in Las Vegas to go solo, I first wondered what had been the name of that band and why had she chosen now to take the solo leap? "The name of the band was Paragon and I decide to leave it because it was the right time for me to move on and follow my dreams!! I had written a lot of great songs and it was time to set them free."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your self-titled debut album, how would you yourself describe your sound? "No boundaries. The music is rockin pop with a hint of country and some Latin grooves. All of it is full of energy and emotion. There are songs for every emotion. You can rock out to "You Can't Break Love", feel the sadness of "I Don't Blame You or It's Too Late", sing along with "Blind and "Blink of An Eye" and dance to "Juegos Del Amor".
Your album title being self-titled is sometimes construed as being ballsy or lazy! So, which one is it for you?! "This CD embodies all that is me and I wanted to convey that to the listener. I wrote the songs, sang the songs and co-produced the album. These are songs that have been building inside of me since I was a little girl in Venezuela."
If there was one track on this new CD that truly encapsulated Gerina at her musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "It's hard for me to pick just one because to me they all do that!! You can't just listen to one song on this CD and get a feel for it all because there are so many types of music on it."
Noting from your press that it states that if we thought Latin Pop couldn't get any steamier or more exciting than Shakira, we'd better watch out for Gerina, I'm wondering just what we are to expect from you?! "Just for the record, I didn't write that. I am humbled for my name to be mentioned in the same sentence with Shakira and Kelly Clarkson because they are huge stars. I haven't tried to emulate either of them but comparisons are unavoidable when you share a musical style with an existing artist. My music has the energy of Shakira's music and the great hooks of Kelly Clarkson's. I can assure you of one thing and that is my audiences will leave the show exhausted from the energy we bring to the stage."
Being that there were a lot of songs that you wrote and possibly even recorded before choosing the final track listing for this CD, I'm wondering what happens to all those other songs? "We have some great music for our second album. My songs are like my children that I have nurtured to maturity. I feel a real connection to each song that I write. I have had offers from major artists to record some of my songs but I have declined because of the emotional connection I have to each song. In the future I may consider collaborating with other artists but for now I am focused on establishing my musical identity."
Having written 'Closer To You' which was a hit for seemingly everyone that touched it, have you done more songwriting for other stars, perhaps? "That opportunity opened a lot of doors for me so, yes, I've worked with other major artist either translating songs for them or just coming up with ideas. But as I mentioned before I have declined to turn my songs over to other artists because these songs were written about my life experiences so the emotions expressed in their performance are genuine. In the future I look forward to collaborating with other artists on new songs."
Please tell us more about your time spent as reigning champion in the “spokesmodel” category on Venezuela's version of "Star Search," “In Search Of A Young Star.” "Each week there were two contestants that competed for the title by essentially hosting the show and introducing the contestants in the other categories. I was selected by the judges as the winner for five consecutive weeks. It was a fun experience that looking back makes me proud to see how brave I was at such a young age :-)"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I think I would have to say "99 Red Balloons", that was the first song that I sang when I was 12 on TV back in Margarita Island and back then I had no idea of what I was saying... LOL."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Yes, I like penguins .... they seem to be happy all the time :-)"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Gerina's new CD, just answer this easy question: Paragon, the Vegas based band that Gerina starred in became a star attraction at which 'Room' at which beautiful hotel?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 15th with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: GERINA SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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