Blurring the Border: New Era of Latin Urban Culture
The past decade has experienced the rise of Latino Urban culture into a notable crossover mainstream phenomenon. Key players of this movement will elaborate on what business models effectively set them on center stage. It is a growing demographic, currently 58+ million Latinos in the US and Puerto Rico with a projected growth of 167%+ by 2050. Artists have more opportunity to work in a broader market with brands, television and touring spread across North and South America.
"Reach For the Stars, You'll Grab One."
Born and raised in Miami, Angela "Angie" Martinez attended the University of Miami, wherefrom in 1997 she received a BA in Political Science and Criminal Justice, with a minor in Business Law. After graduation, she pursued a law degree from Florida State University, College of Law.
Between her first and second year of law school, Angie commenced work as an intern for BMG US Latin's Legal and Business Affairs Office. This internship lasted two and half years, during which time she was exposed to the inner workings of a record label, and the plethora of business and legal affairs issues affecting it. After her law school graduation in 2000, her internship was transformed into a full-time associate position, which also encompassed marketing responsibilities. In May 2001, Angie was hired by Universal Music Publishing Group's Miami office as the Manager of Business Affairs. In August 2005, Angie decided to hang up her shingle and start her own law firm. During which time she has represented various recording artists including Pitbull, Plies, Fat Joe, Tego Calderon and Alexis & Fido, producers such as DJ Buddha, songwriters, production companies and other entertainment-related executives fulfill their dreams. In 2010 she went back to being an in house attorney at EMI Music Latin America until recently when she partnered with Universal on a creative venture, while simultaneously maintaining all her law firm, management company and other entrepreneurial ventures running. Angie encourages all artists and entertainment related personnel to know their rights and consult an attorney before signing anything. She also encourages her clients to educate themselves in the fundamental business principles which govern their industry.
As the architect responsible for some of today’s biggest hits, DJ Buddha has continued to redefine the pop
music genre with his notable fusion of world music.
His work has sold over 15 million singles to date and has topped Billboard Charts repeatedly. He began
receiving world-wide acclaim after creating the radio hit remixes of both Daddy Yankee’s hit “Gasolina”
and T.O.K’s “She’s Hotter.” But his career didn’t begin there. At the age of nine, DJ Buddha earned his
broadcaster’s license, and he’s been making records and music ever since.
Born Urales Vargas, Buddha was introduced to classic Caribbean merengue, salsa and bachata music by his immigrant parents. By the time he was 12, DJ Buddha was already a master of the turntables, DJing
at parties and clubs. These early gigs built confidence, and it’s where Buddha discovered how to make a hit. His parent’s music included Caribbean superstars Celia Cruz, Johnny Ventura and Hector Lavoe and
pervaded DJ Buddha’s own work. “I’m rooted in my parent’s music,” Buddha says, “Even now, when I need to clear my head, I put on something like ‘Dejame Volver’, by Fernando Villalona which is a classic
He began creating mixed tapes by using his extensive vinyl collection - 50,000 records at last count- to create tracks that combined elements of Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Soca, House and Latin Music in all genres. His reputation expanded quickly beyond his hometown of Lawrence, MA as his mixed tapes
reached all along the East Coast. “I was my own record company for a long time; making the mixes, the copies and the deliveries,” he says recalling the long road trips he made in his mom’s car. DJ Buddha went on to produce two successful mix tape series, Tropical Heat and Caribbean Connection;
where Caribbean Connection Volume 2.5 was reviewed by the New York Times and Fader. The mixtapes combined the latest of dancehall, reggaeton and soca, with artists such as Sean Paul, Tego Calderon and
Machel Montano. This earned him critical acclaim across the globe. His ability to connect with artists across all genres along with his extensive knowledge of Caribbean music helped establish DJ Buddha as a
Caribbean music expert and earned him the nickname “Mr. Caribbean Connection.”
He spent six years on the road with T.O.K. as the group’s official DJ. During that time, his remix of “Gal Yuh A Lead” featuring T.O.K., Beenie Man and Nina Sky became a hit. That paved the way to
remix projects with rappers Lil Jon, N.O.R.E. and Grammy award winning Lady Saw. In 2009, DJ Buddha transitioned from being Pitbull’s tour DJ to his personal A&R, where he focused on consecutive productions of Platinum selling albums; namely “Planet Pit” and Grammy nominated “Armando.”
DJ Buddha is executive producer for Pitbull’s next album “Global Warming” and Afrojack’s solo project,which both fuse together genres from around the world. He frequently works with Enrique Iglesias,
Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, RedOne, Polow Da Don, Marc Anthony and Juan Magan. He recently created Therapist Music, a music company specializing in the cross pollination of musical genres that has come to define DJ Buddha.
Never forgetting his roots and having been the recipient of a scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club, DJ Buddha established a scholarship fund entitled BEYOND in 2012 that offers funding to the Lawrence, MA Club and provides tuition assistance to local kids with big dreams. To donate, visit
Flavio Morales is Executive Vice president of BIG VIDA Entertainment a sister company to Pink Sneakers Productions. BIG VIDA Entertainment is a full service production company focused on content for the US Latino market in English and Spanish.
Prior to BIG VIDA he worked for mun2 a NBCU/Telemundo cable network for 8 years where he served as Senior Vice President, Programming and Production. At mun2 he oversaw all programming strategy and on-air content, and was at the head of the network's West Coast and East Coast Production. Under Morales' leadership, mun2's creative content received extensive industry recognition, including a Peabody Award.
Morales is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in conceptualizing programming that truly speaks to its audience, particularly in the areas of culture and music with shows such as I Love Jenni featuring Jenni Rivera. In 2008, Morales was honored with a prestigious NAMIC Vision Award, which celebrates and recognizes the cable industry's commitment to quality and diversity. In 2009, he was selected as one of Multichannel News' "40 Under 40" visionaries.