DJ's Domain

M:G/The Newest Latina Diva

Interview by Howard Perez

Latina singing sensation M:G has taken over the Bay Area airwaves with her song "Sweet Honesty." M:G (her initials Maribel Gonzalez) is a Bay Area native and is ready to share her music with the rest of the country and the world! Her album will be released in mid-summer and she is busy putting together a show so she can go out and perform live for her fans!

How were you discovered? Vicious E. (a DJ at WILD radio station) was looking for a female vocalist, so I hooked up with him and we made a demo which he submitted to Classified Records' Director of Promotions. A couple of weeks later, I found out that the president was trying to get a hold of me. I came here (to Classified) and met with everyone. They took me to a studio and had me sing a fast song and a slow song to see my range. The day after, I got a letter saying they wanted to sign me up!

When did you discover you had a talent for singing? By accident. I was in the fifth grade, and I wanted to join the middle-school band to play the trumpet, but they didn't have any room left so they stuck me in choir. And I was like, "Man, choir? There's a bunch of choir geeks!" But then after a couple of weeks of learning songs and singing them I found that I really loved it.

Who have been your inspirations musically and who have been the people that have inspired your upbeat sound? My high school choir teacher, Mr. Brad Reed. Other choir directors taught us, "Read notes, sing it this way," but he taught us that the lyrics are a story. You have to put yourself in the song to grab what the song is really about. He showed me that music is a lot deeper than what I thought.

Are there any famous people that influenced you? Barbra Streisand. I was a little girl when I first heard her sing, "Memories," and I just started crying. I was so moved. I didn't know that a song could have that much power to actually touch you.

Have you always wanted to be a famous singing artist? Honestly, yeah, I really have. (laughs) In my shower I used to pretend I would be holding a concert, and I would grab the soap bottle and sing to myself and my imaginary crowd. I never thought it would be a reality. But what I've learned is that your reality is very much what you make of it.

Has your family been very supportive of your new singing career? Yup! They are all very supportive. I was recently at a family gathering for my grandma's birthday, and there was a "Hot 8 at Eight" show on WILD Radio. I was listening to it and they said "Sweet Honesty-number two" and I was like, "Oh my gosh! It's number two!" Everyone crammed into my little cousin's room, and everyone was hi-fiving and dancing.

Do you have any plans to sing in Spanish? I do, although I don't speak it fluently. When I was growing up, I spoke Spanish and English, but when I got to kindergarten; there was only English. I kind of lost it through the years. But yeah, I want to sing a Spanish song eventually and make my grandma proud.

Has your life changed now that you're a singing sensation? I'm humble-it hasn't really changed my lifestyle. It's just made my life happier and put a bigger smile on my face.

You have many QV fans. Would you ever play in a QV event or club? Of course! I've been to a few QV clubs and they're cool because the guys aren't trying to get at you. You can just go and have a great time.

What is your ultimate goal? Where do you envision yourself going with your music in the coming years? I just want to be known worldwide. To have people from different cultures and different backgrounds all groove to one familiar vibe which would be my music.

Is there anything you want to say to your fans? If you have a dream, just strive for it. You only have one lifetime, so why not? Follow your dreams.

Step Inside Foxxee's House

San Francisco's famous radio DJ speaks his mind.

By Paul Arturo Cabral Jr.

Foxxee Brown is one of the most popular radio disc jockeys in the San Francisco Bay Area. He works for radio station KMEL as part of the morning show, "The Breakfast Club," and late Friday nights with Yo Mama's House, which features house music. He was, also, in last year's hit movie "Soul Food." He is African-American, QV, outrageous, and enjoys speaking his mind.

Considering all the stuff that's going on with "Ellen," has anyone told you to not be "too" QV or be careful with what you say on the air? My sexuality is not going to handicap or cripple me in any way. I have to just be who I am, and if people can't deal with it, I have to keep moving. I don't work with insecure people at the station so I don't feel that I really need to fight for who I am. It's okay for people to be in the closet as well as out of the closet. I choose to be out.

Do you feel you need to be a positive role model for young QV kids? It's not about being a role model; it's about being a person. It's about allowing people to see you being a person and then they feel empowered to be who they are. Who they are is not me and who I am is not them. Who cares who Foxxee Brown is or what he says-that doesn't matter. What matters is I am who I am.

How did your part in "Soul Food" come about? Babyface saw me on video from a KMEL concert. He gave me a call and asked if I wanted to be part of a project that he was working on. One year later I am in Chicago shooting a film. Things just kind of happened. I'm not an actor, though, I'm just me. I'm falling through life, and I'm having a good time. I have to go wherever the wind takes me.

What is the best QV, house club in the Bay Area? QV Latin club? Personally, I get off on Anthem which is in the city of SF. It's also all about Hamburger Mary's down in San Jose. We did a "Yo Mama's House" party down there and it was a blast. Universe after 3am is da bomb. Pan Dulce, which is no longer around, was the perfect Latin club. There was good energy. The (Club) Papi events are fierce. DJ Salvador is amazing! When it comes to Latin parties, there needs to be more parties that are promoted and owned by Latinos. If you look at all the parties, they are not run or owned by Latinos. That really needs to change. You can't have people from the outside telling your community how you should party. It's not healthy.

I understand KMEL is having their annual stage at the SF pride and that Club Papi is having a Latin stage. Are they going to be in competition? I think Club Papi having a stage is cool, but, whoever came up with that idea is not Latin. No person from that community would ever want to do something to segregate their community from everyone else. You can't separate yourself like that. It's kind of like saying you want to empower yourself and yourself only. Both the Latin and African-American communities need to research and be like "What's your motive for having me go over here away from my brothers and sisters?" We have to come together and make things work.

In the past you hosted Club Papi. Will you be hosting any more or any other QV Latin clubs? When the QV Latin community calls, I'm there! Latinos know how to party. But it depends on if the promoters ask me to.

Do you have any upcoming projects planned? Yeah, just keep your ears open.

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