qvRhythms


Voices of TheoryFive Voices, One Theory

Guy groups are definitely "in" right now. To prove it, all you have to do is look at the success of groups like the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, and Boyz II Men. Latinos have not been lost in this trend as the Puerto Rican quintet, Voices of Theory, emerged in 1998 with two Top 40 hits, including the Top 10 smash "Say It." Made up of Mechi, Hector, Eric, James and David , five talented young men who met at their Philadelphia high school, Voices of Theory has grabbed the nation's attention with their distinct R&B sounds and attractive image. qvMagazine sat down with three of the V.O.T. members and found out that they had plenty to say to about music, Latinos, and familia.

What does the name "Voices of Theory" mean?

Hector: Voices of Theory means "Voices of an Idea." Basically, we try to say music has no color. Just because we're Latino doesn't necessarily mean we have to sing Salsa or Merengue. We got love for that kind of music and love for our culture, but we're just trying to show people another side of us.

Who or what inspired you guys to pursue your singing talents?
Mechi: Our manager, Melvin Wallace. He was basically the father of the group. He gave us the spirit to go out there against all odds and do everything. He'd tell us, "You can do this, you can make it. All you've gotta do is believe in yourself."

Your single, "Say It" was a Top 10 hit across the country. How did the song come about?
Mechi: Actually, somebody else (Steve Morales) wrote the song. As soon as we heard it, we knew it was a hit, and we were like, "We have to do this song."

Eric: Steve's really good. He's really young, and he's really talented. He's done stuff for LSG, Brandy, and remixes for Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.

When can we expect the next single?
Eric: The next single ("Wherever You Go") is out now! Go out and buy it! It's definitely off the hook. It was written and produced by Michael McCary of Boyz II Men. Plus, the video is HOT! It was shot by Mark Gerard.

Hector: Yeah, the way they shot this video has never been done before. They used a "Motion Control Camera," which is being used in the new Star Wars movie.

Do you plan to sing in Spanish?
Mechi: Yes. Actually, our first two singles were both released in Spanish. We have "Dímelo" which is the Spanish version of "Say It," and "Si Acaso (Te Vas)," the Spanish version of "Where Ever You Go." Also, we plan to put together a whole Latin album.

Tell me some of the things that make you different from other groups-aside from being Latino.
Mechi: We're trying to take music back to being divine and not too wild. We're trying to be debonair and take it back to real, orchestrated pieces. We stay away from samples as much as possible. We don't down any samples-we think sampling is off the hook-we're just trying to do something different.

Are there any issues would you like to talk about concerning young Latinos?
Eric: One issue that we definitely want to talk about is AIDS. AIDS, especially in the Latino community, is growing at a really high rate. It's out there-protect yourself.

Mechi: Also, we want to inspire minorities who come from the ghettos. We're from badlands-north Philadelphia-and we want to let them know that the world is bigger than their blocks. Expand your mind and go for what you want. If you believe in yourself and in what you do, success will happen as long as you put hard work into it.

Do you think being Latino and coming from low-income areas makes you work a little bit harder?
Hector: When you're Latino, you've already got a strike against you. One of our biggest goals is to make the other Latinos realize that just because you're Latino doesn't mean you can't make it.

How do you plan to break down stereotypes of Latinos?
Hector: I think every time that someone looks at the group and says, "You guys sing that song?" we've broken down a barrier. They're like, "Latino kids sang that song like Boyz II Men?" That's breaking a barrier.

This issue of qvMagazine is about familia. How important is family to you?
Eric: I'm like the religious one of the group. I make sure that I make these guys pray 4-5 times a day. Like they say, "The family that prays together, stays together." We're very family-oriented. Me, I'm a really huge mama's boy! I love my mom to death. This group is built on family and that's one thing that I love about these guys.

Do you guys have any advice to others who are trying to build their own music career?
Hector: Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do anything. When we started, that's what people told us. We took all that negative energy and turned it around. If you can dream it, you can do it.

Interview by Howard Perez


 

Dope-Ass Flyer!

qvPROPS go to Escuelita, a Latino nightclub in New York City, for putting out this flyer for their "Thumpin' Thursdays." For more information about this popular club, please call 212-631-0588 or check out their website at: www.escuelita.com

 


 

More qvRhythms appear in the print version of qvMagazine, including interviews with superstar deejays Richard "Humpty" Vission & Bad Boy Bill and Argetinian jazz singer Gabriela Anders.

 


 

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