September 15th, 2009 | Published in Artists
By Bryan Thao Worra
Alex San Dinero is a Miami-based Lao American musician wowing audiences with his high-energy Laoggaeton, an upbeat form of Lao and Latin-hip-hop. He released his smash album and is touring around the country to bring a new Lao sound to the community. It’s been a wild ride for the young artist and we had a chance to catch up with him:
What’s been the best thing anyone’s told you so far about your music?
ASD: So far, it’s been the fact that my music is fresh and new to our Lao culture. No one as far as I know has intermingled Lao and Spanish together. I figured I was the first one to do so, however, I wasn’t too sure since I’m quite new to the industry. All this stuff kind of just fell into my lap when I decided to do it. It wasn’t something I’ve been doing for years. It’s a great feeling to be an originator of something that could potentially become popular someday.
What’s the Laoggeton sound all about, and who are some of your key influences?
ASD: Laoggaeton is really just a word I first came up with when I decided to make my first song a year ago Thia Longe. I had and have been listening to Reggaeton and Spanish music in general for so long, I decided to try it for the first time with a Lao twist to it. The language of course…. Nothing has really changed from the beat aside from the flow spoken in the music genre. I gave it the “Laoggaeton” twist to give the genre it’s identity for our Lao people to recognize.
My key influences in the genre is first my Lao people. I wanted to bring something a little different to our entertainment life. We have so many talented Lao artists who have brought our Lao people hip-hop, pop, r&b, and rock music with our language. I figured…why not do something else on my own? Maybe people will like it. Who knows? I love these other genres just as much. But, I am submerged in this Spanish culture, because of the demographics of my lifestyle, it’s become the only thing I really know.
I am heavily influenced first by major Reggaeton artists such as Wisin and Yandel, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, Tony Dice, Fantazma (my producer), and so much more. I can’t even go into all who influence me because it’d be a long laundry list of great musicians from our Reggaeton world.
What new projects are you working on?
ASD: Well, right now, we have a song Fantazma and I have been working on called Asian Queen. Our roll out date for release of this single is September 12th on the day we do our concert in Winnipeg, Manitoba with SKL (Schools for Kids in Laos). I’m very excited about it. The Lao Canadian Community has been very enthusiastic about our coming and I can’t wait to shake all their hands and meet everyone in person.
This song is about Asian women and their beauty but, tailored specifically for Lao women. I’m not sure if there already is a song as such out there just for Lao women but I’m definitely proud to have put this project together.
Fantazma and myself have stepped outside of Reggaeton for a bit to do more pop, dance, trance, and techno type of music. Very commercialized type of material to try and reach out to more listeners and touch more fans who are not familiar with Reggaeton just yet. That’s what Asian Queen is produced in. Fantazma created a pop feel to the song and I really, really dig it. I didn’t think I would ever step outside of Reggaeton because I love it so much. But, here I am working on new stuff and I love it.
How do you balance your family, your professional life and your artistic life?
ASD: I don’t balance my life very well. Alex San Dinero is a workaholic. Anyone who knows me up close and personal would confirm that, too. I’m not proud of it, but that’s who I am. Maybe someday I’ll learn to do that better. But, right now, it’s puttin’ in the grind while we still have the momentum going.
What would your dream performance be?
ASD: Wow! Great question. I have ran this through my mind forever and ever. I would love to do a Lao Urban Music tour with all the great artists of Lao decent IN Laos. ALL over Laos in the major cities starting with the northern cities down to my parents hometown of Savannakhet! The line up would be the phenomenal Ketsana, Fantazma, Kristy Whitford, Gumby, Sarky and the Band, Lila T, SupaSang, L.O.G., Alexandra Bounxouei, Sam Intharaphithak, Cells, Aluna, Phone Phoummithone, King Khampa, Illphatic, my cousin, Bird down in Fresno, Ourathay, Birdie, and other well known Lao Artists. The list goes on and on. We’d bring a powerhouse of talent to the Lao people.
AND…. I would love to do one long written song with all of us saying a verse or two and having the fine voices sing a hook. Now that would be awesome! A real dream come true for me. I am so blessed to have shaken the hands of many of these great artists already. I’m looking forward to meeting all of them in person.
That, my friend, is a dream performance that will someday come to a reality. It’s just a matter of time and gathering support from the right sponsors and reaching out to as many Lao communities as we can and share our dream with them. It will really happen once we get them to start dreaming with us as well. Although, right now, it may be just MY dream.
But, I’m sure other Lao artists and fans have probably dabbled in the thought once or twice and just brushed it off as just a pipe dream. It can happen. Anything is possible, right?