A report by Ray Monell for the New York Daily News.
Without having released an album, Mozart La Para has managed to become one of the faces of the Dominican Republic’s role in musica urbana.
Born Erickson Fernandez in Santo Domingo, the 29-year-old became the first-ever recording artist to be signed by Roc Nation’s Latin division, which is headed by bachata star Romeo Santos.
He recently released the music video to his single, “El Orden,” which puts on full display Mozart’s ability to spit rhymes. But that’s only one aspect of a repertoire that has earned him a massive fan base.
“You can’t call me a reggaeton singer, rapper, salsa or merengue singer,” says Mozart, who writes, composes and produces his music.
“I’m an artist who does different fusions. You play 10 of my songs, none of them resemble one another because I’m always innovating.”
As his fans the world over wait for him to drop his yet-titled debut album, his New York-area followers will be pleased to learn that he is dropping by Sixth Ave. on Sunday, Aug. 13, for the Dominican Day Parade.
He’s participated in the event before, and expects this weekend’s parade to be no less humbling than his previous experiences there.
“These are the people who’re active and concentrated on what’s going on in the music scene (in the Dominican Republic), but they don’t get to see me often,” says Mozart, who will be performing on the Daily News/Viva float on Sunday.
“So when I come here, you feel that grace, that desire of theirs to see you perform, finally.
“I always get told, ‘I live four hours from here. I came from such and such, three hours away.’ They came to see you in the flesh, you know?
“(I’m) very happy with how the fans support me. The people appreciate me, and I (appreciate) them.”
Mozart forms a part of the new guard of musica urbana alongside Colombia’s J Balvin and Farruko of Puerto Rico.
Over the past few years, that trio and others have reinvigorated the musical movement, which peaked in popularity via reggaeton in the mid-2000s — on the heels of the commercial successes of Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee and Don Omar — before slumbering into the 2010s in need of a phonic makeover and new blood.
“To simply put it, nothing lasts forever,” the “Fiesta y Vacilón” singer says. “Every day, a new talent surfaces. Right now, there are artists who aren’t known — nobody knows about them — who’re nevertheless better than people who’ve made it. The goal in this career is not to merely make a hit or two, but to maintain that level of success after breaking through.
“The ones who’ve remained are who they are; the ones who’ve disappeared were just passing by. That’s how it is.”