Regional Mexican star Jenni Rivera and actor Edward James Olmos may not sound like an obvious singing duo, but that's exactly what they're doing on the soundtrack of the new film, "Filly Brown."
Olmos and Rivera are currently promoting their new film in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Film Festival. They appear in the film and perform together on the soundtrack which will be made commercially available once the film finds a distributor.
"Hurts So Bad," is a tenderly written composition that has an "oldies" sound from the '50s and can be heard in the film about an aspiring Latina hip-hop rapper in Los Angeles struggling to find her way in life. Rivera, whose performance has been receiving praise, plays her mother in prison. The song was written by Arthur Dominguez, Olmos, Mico Olmos, Chris Perez, Edward Rios, Jenni Rivera and David Salas, who also performs on the track.
"Filly Brown" is directed by Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos and stars Gina Rodriguez, an actress who learned to rap for the film, says Lisa "Khool Aid" Rios, one of the producers of the film who also appears in the project along with Lou Diamond Phillips and Olmos, an executive producer.
"Filly Brown" producers (l-r) Mico Olmos, Lisa "Khool-Aid" Rios and Edward "E-Dub" Rios hang at the recording studio to introduce the music that's part of the film about an aspiring Latina rapper played by Gina Rodriguez. Jenni Rivera, Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips also star. (Photo by Justino Aguila)
During an exclusive listening session with Billboard, the film's producers Mico Olmos, Edward "E-Dub" Rios and Lisa "Khool Aid" Rios played tracks from the film which features several music producers, writers and contributors such as rapper/producer Chingo Bling, also in the film.
Lisa Rios says that while the film tells the story of Filly Brown, it also tells a bigger story of the Latin hip-hop community and as a result, many artists and producers came together to support the project and help Rodriguez channel the role of a rapper finding her way through life.
"We were confident that if we had a talented actor that had some sort of rhythmic ability and urban connection, we could take them there and we were so lucky to get a person like Gina Rodriguez," says Lisa Rios.
The film is being produced by Cima Productions, Olmos Productions and Silent Giant Entertainment's Lisa Rios and husband Edward Rios, known for their pioneering work in the Latin hip-hop genre.
The "Filly Brown" soundtrack is being produced through Silent Giant Entertainment.
During the listening session, producers also played other songs from the soundtrack including "Reflections," a piece that was written by Jose Javier Lopez, Larry Patino, Edward Rios and Reza Safinia. A pop version of "Filly Brown" is performed by Rodriguez and rapper Chingo Bling. "Get Away" is performed by Braxton Millz featuring J.Black and was written by Tomasello and Justin Aleman.
"Filly Brown" is part of Sundance's 2012 U.S. dramatic competition among 16 American narrative feature films premiering at the festival which continues through Jan. 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.