Classics: Louie Vega feat. Raúl Midón – Cerca De Mi (Nico’s Mix) (Vega Records)
Cerca de mi… “Sometimes, music takes to place that you’ve been. Or wanna go…” “Do you use yourself, and then refind yourself in the music? I couldn’t imagine a world without music, it would be such a void in my life…” As many words sounding so autobiographical in regards to singer Raúl Midón. The man singin’ both in English and in his native Spanish language. Therefore vibrantly expressing how music has become a therapy. This, in the sense of allowing him to escape from the confinement of his native blindness. Meanwhile engendering with others a closeness he might not have had otherwise.
Cerca de mi (meaning “close to me” in Spanish) stands as a definitive highlight from the 2003 ‘Louie Vega presents Elements Of Life’ album. And in the meantime in our 10 essential Louie Vega remixes. With xo production work by the likes of Albert Sterling Melendez and drum programming courtesy of Kenny Dope.
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– Born in Embudo, NM, Raúl Midón sadly never saw the light of the day nor his twin brother, Marco. This because of havin’ spent time in an incubator without adequate eye protection. The sound of music would become integral to his life at age 4 when his dad – an Argentinian folkloric dancer – introduced him to the drum. He would then learn how to play guitar while performing in educational programs at a school for the blind. Then at an academy in Santa Fe, NM while completing his last two years of high school. This before attending the University of Miami, which he selected for its jazz curriculum.
Midón opened his path as a session singer for various artists such as Jose Feliciano, Julio Iglesias and Shakira. And from then, he moved to the Big Apple to pursue a solo career. His unique style combining a distinctive voice, some extensive scat singing and a signature guitar technique catcvhing the attention of Louie Vega who offered him to join Elements Of Life. A collective of talents he’d put together in the early 2000’s.
From this association would come gems such as ‘Cerca De Mi’, but also ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Mozalounge’. Not to mention ‘Love Is On The Way’ and ‘A Better World’. Midón becoming Arif Mardin‘s Manhattan Records first signing back in 2005. Eventually releasing ‘State Of Mind’. An album which features a guest appearance of Stevie Wonder on ‘Expression of Love’.
Since then, he has dropped 4 extra studio albums. Including his latest – ‘Bad Ass And Blind’ – in 2017. This in addition to ‘A Night In Monte-Carlo’. An album that saw him sharing the duties with Marcus Miller and Roy Hargrove back in 2010.
– Louie Vega has worn coutless hats in his life. From his deliveries along with Kenny Dope as Masters At Work or KenLou among others. To his impressive amount of remixes. Not to mention his productions under the Elements Of Life guise or more recently on his own with the memorable ‘Starring XXVIII’ album.
The first trace we have of Elements Of Life brings us back to June 2000. This with an eponymous single which saw the light on MAW Records, credited to ‘Little’ Louie Vega, featuring some of those who would join him under the Elements Of Life umbrella soon after. From Josh Milan to Cindy Mizelle and Luisito Quintero.
An album of the likes would follow 2 years after, this time credited to Louie Vega. Featuring gems such as ‘Cerca De Mi’, ‘Brand New Day’, ‘Better Day’. Not to mention ‘Mon amour’ and ‘Sunshine’. Louie also using the EOL guise for his releases, such as the memorable ‘Love Remains The Same’ back in 2007. The same year seeing the release of the stellar ‘One Dream’ featuring Anané which he had especially crafted for the Superbowl.
Meanwhile the end of 2013 would see the release of the ‘Eclipse’ album on Fania Records. Featuring luminaries such as… Josh Milan, Anané and Luisito Quintero. Not to mention Raul Midón, Selan Lerner, Cindy Mizelle and Lisa Fisher among others. An album which spanned the classics ‘Children Of The World’, ‘Figli Delle Stelle’ and ‘Live Your Life Today’ to name a few…
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