Blue Note Records
This Sunday, Detroit's next big thing, Jessica Hernandez, will have you saying, "Dios Mio!"
The Mexican-Cuban-American blues rocker has the feel-good soulful chops of an Amy Winehouse minus the in-and-out drug-rehab blues. Hernandez has the work ethic necessary to make it in the music industry. She recently told "Paste" about her passion for being on the road. "My friends and family tell me, 'I don’t know how you tour so much. It must be sad, to be gone all the time and be in a van with six stinky boys, sleeping in hotels and on floors.' But to be honest, I'm happiest when I'm touring, even if we play a small show to five people in some town in Indiana."
Hernandez is a self-taught musician who plays everything from piano to guitar to, most recently drums. So don't question the technique nor her roots. I recently tweeted her, asking if she's a fan a fellow Detroit Mexicano Rodriguez. Hernandez tweeted back, "I most definitely am a big fan. ;)"
Growing up in Detroit's historic Mexicantown district, Hernandez almost settled on the idea of working at her parent's bakery, but a love for fashion (she's a savvy thrift-shop fashionista; see Instagram) took her to Columbia College in Chicago to study design. She changed her major once she realized her heart was in music. Since 2008, the first-generation Mexican-Cubana has been honing her musical craft through lots of trial-and-error and adjusting her songwriting skills for the better.
"I'm first-generation America -- my father came from Havana," Hernandez told Detroit's Metro Times. "There was a lot of Latin music around the house growing up. Michigan's weird, because every Cuban knows every other Cuban. If a new Cuban moved into the area, my grandma's the lady that finds them, brings them to the house and throws parties for them, just because they're Cuban. It's pretty ridiculous. She's always inviting everybody to everything. So I was definitely surrounded by that culture."
Hernandez's upcoming full-length debut, "Secret Evil," is being crafted with Grammy-winning Argentinian producer Milo Froideval, who was hand-picked by Hernandez. It's a savory record filled with blues rock, gypsy and Latin influences, and will be out on Aug. 19, through Instant Records.
Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.