Casualness and glamour commingled at the annual SESAC Latina Music awards, which took place June 19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, and featured performances by regional Mexican up and comers Voz de Mando, Spanish diva Luz Casal and singer/songwriter Robi Draco Rosa.
“This is truly la crème de la crème,” said Rosa before his acoustic performance alongside guitarist David Cabrera. “And the food was delicious,” he added, echoing what many were thinking of the sit-down dinner.
Big winners of the evening were Mexican songwriter Jesús Ariel Barreras -- who took home Songwriter of the year for “Llamada de Mi Ex,” which in turn won Song of the Year -- and publisher of the year Editora de Ideas. Casal won the SESAC Latina Icon award while Korean pop star PSY won the first SESAC Latina YouTube Performance Award for his “Gangnam Style” video.
“Now I’m going to show you passion, ‘Latin style,'” said PSY via video, before his manager picked up the award.
Prior to the ceremony, guests mingled at the Beverly Hills Hotel Patio, including Songwriter of the year Barreras, who said his award winning song was inspired on true events.
“I didn’t write it specifically for La Arrolladora,” said Barreras over drinks. “I was with my girlfriend and she got a call from her ex. In fact, that line in the song -- ‘What part of no don’t you understand’ -- those were her words,” added Barreras who is currently working on his own album.
Also working on their own album are rap/banda duo Akwid, who are planning on releasing a new album in August, according to manager Iris Corral, who shared a few minutes from their new single on her iPhone.
And Joey Montana, a SESAC affiliate who last year won Songwriter of the year, says his new single will be out before summer’s end, even as he continues to write for the likes of Chino y Nacho and Paulina Rubio.
Also in attendance, Pedro Rivera, the patriarch of the Rivera family, who aside from his career as a singer/songwriter is now the face of Tequila Azul Imperial.