Backbeat: Gerardo Ortiz Showcases New Music at L.A. Album-Release Party
Backbeat: Gerardo Ortiz Showcases New Music at L.A. Album-Release Party

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Purgatory: Gerardo Ortiz performed live at L.A's Conga Room at a CD release party for his new album "Entre Dios y el Diablo"/"Between God and the Devil" (Photo: Eddie Sakaki/The Conga Room)

Regional Mexican singer/songwriter Gerardo Ortiz showcasednew music from "Entre Dios y el Diablo"/"Between God and the Devil" at his CD release party at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles last night (Sept. 6).

The Tuesday night event included executives from Del Records, Sony Music Latin and BMI who all turned out to support the Billboard Mexican Music Awards finalist in 10 categories, including artist of the year, digital download of the year and Norteño album of the year (for two albums).

"I was very surprised to be a finalist in so many categories," Ortiz says. "I know that my audience has enjoyed the music, but I honestly didn't think that I would be a finalist in all those categories."

Ortiz debuted on Billboard's Top Latin Albums on July 2010 and quickly began finding a fan base with the support of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

At the CD release party, Del Records co-founder Angel Del Villar said that the nominations symbolize the hard work on behalf of the "dream team" that includes Ortiz, Del Records and Sony. "It's a great satisfaction to see Gerardo growing so much," Del Villar said. "I want to be the next big major label and I think we can get there together."

Jorge Sanchez, director of marketing for Sony U.S. Latin, also sees Ortiz' hard work paying off. "Having Gerardo being a finalist in the Billboard Mexican Music Awards is an honor, Sanchez said. "We're very happy and looking forward to the awards show and his concert at the Nokia Theatre on Oct. 8."

Marissa Lopez, BMI's associate director of writer-publisher relations/Latin Music, has also seen Ortiz grow as an artist. "I've seen him develop as an artist, but also as a songwriter," Lopez said. "I'm so proud of him. He's one of the sweetest, kindest, honorable, down to earth artists that I know."

The Billboard Mexican Music Awards will take place in Los Angeles' Orpheum Theater and will air Oct. 27 on the Telemundo Network.

Also in Backbeat: Who turned out for the release party for "Le Freak," the autobiography of Chic's Nile Rodgers?

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Publisher-Manager Sandwhich: (From Left) BMI's Marissa Lopez, Gerardo Ortiz, and manager Richard Chang. (Photo: Eddie Sakaki/The Conga Room)