Singer-songwriter, guitarist and drummer Rene Lopez has just released his new single, “Flamingo”. A master of cross-genre work, Lopez’ single features Caribbean roots, rhythmic Jamaican ska drum loops, Cuban son montuno with cha-cha-chá influence. “Flamingo” stands as a direct reflection of Lopez’ multicultural upbringing in New York City, where he resides today.
Son of the famed Puerto Rican salsa musician and trumpet player René López, Rene embraces the traditional roots of his father while incorporating his own unique musical influences, including soul, jazz, funk, and rock.
An audience can audibly hear this melding of genres- with the fusion of Latin rhythms and instruments like timbales, congas, cowbell, flute, trumpet, Cuban tres and melodies similar to the pop musical soundscape today.
It just feels so right to incorporate my roots into my songs.Rene Lopez
Dubbed “a one-man song factory” by Félix Contreras of NPR’s Alt.Latino, Lopez takes a personal approach to songwriting.
There is also a story that I tell in each song that is basically my own way of dealing with stuff going on in my life [and it] helps me face myself when I sing it out loud.Rene Lopez
Lopez’ ability to write a autobiographical discography that melds Latin music, funk, rock, doo-wop, and soul is what keeps him hitting the mark with these catchy songs. Throughout the course of his work, Lopez’ music has only continued to become more Latinized, invoking a thematic otherness as an immigrant or being from a certain urban ethnic neighborhood. Keeping his songs close to home has reflected an authentic, nostalgic sound that shows listeners Lopez is “being completely honest with who I am, and a big part of that is my Latin roots,” as well as telling stories of personal relationships and experiences in an unflinching way.
Written as an ode to a “special woman” Lopez fell in love with after he got divorced, “Flamingo” bears Lopez’ vulnerability. He successfully transformed a situation he dubbed “extremely difficult and heartbreaking” into a beautiful tribute to the experience. Simultaneously graceful and outlandish, the flamingo serves as the perfect metaphor to quantify his unattainable love.
The title of the single then alludes to the doomed romance due to the lovers’ star-crossed circumstances. Beautiful and tragic, the song is a Latin lullaby of love and healing. The poetic lyrics serve as the perfect gateway into Lopez’ self and coupled with the personal roots of his past, “Flamingo” serves as a testament to Lopez’ past. And evidently, the song is yet another incredible hit to add to his collection of singles, keeping his growing audience waiting for the future.
The single is streaming on Soundcloud and does not disappoint!