If you happen to be in Houston during Karina Nistal's monthly residency at the GRAB (Game Room & Bar), you might learn her signature dance.
If you happen to be in Houston during Karina Nistal's monthly residency at the GRAB (Game Room & Bar), you might learn her signature dance. "Stand straight forward—one step to the right, swing your hips, [step] left, swing your hips, drop," Nistal says of crowd favorite "Trabajalo."
The Spanish track is from the breakbeat/dance/electronic artist's bilingual 2006 debut, "Nistyle," on Houston indie Starlight Beats & Breaks. The dance "is my sales pitch for the CD sometimes," says Nistal, who has performed in Houston for 10 years with the Rebel Crew collective of breakdancers, DJs and musicians. She's earned additional attention from her licensing deal with Dodge; the company loaded up a flash-drive key chain for the Dodge Avenger with her music and streamed tracks on its Web site.
"My goal is to be able to do this full-time—break out of the 9-to-5 thing and go on tour," says Nistal, who pulled together a backing band for a tour of the Middle East last fall with Armed Forces Entertainment. She was also named the 2007 Houston Press Award winner for best local rap/hip-hop artist.
Nistal is set to perform a South by Southwest showcase March 12 at the Molotov Lounge in Austin, and will take the Latin stage April 27 at Houston's International Festival. Meanwhile, she's working on her second album, tentatively titled "Nistalgia." "I'm going to do more Latin stuff, but it'll be more soulful than the last album," she says.