Friday, December 27, 2013

LOS FICOS

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LOS FICOS BIOGRAPHY

What you are about to read shows the struggle of one person, his team, and a dream that they all shared. It depicts the ups and downs ones take, as well as the devotion in not quitting or giving up until a final ultimatum is reached. Can working with another person and being devoted to your dream, help you succeed in life? Well, it does, but in my case I have a story to tell…

THE BEGINNING(1987-2003)

Donzell Rodriguez was born in the upper side of Manhattan “Washington Heights”, on July 29, 1987. He is the son of two Dominican immigrates who settled in the United States in the early eighties. Although he is an American, he is constantly surrounded by and expressing support to his rich ethnic musical culture. L Snipe currently hold a Bachelors degree in Education and Pschycology. L snipe grew up in a working family. His passion for art started at a young age. L Snipe received an electronic piano as a gift at the age of seven. L Snipe would later move from Harlem, to the South Bronx. By the time he was twelve, Snipe started producing and composing on various compilations with his long time friend Vinny. The year was 1997, Donzell Rodriguez and Vincent Outerbridge attended KIPP Academy (Knowledge Is Power Program) co-founded by David Levin. It was while attending Kipp Academy, that both scholars became passionate in music productions. The two friends quickly joined the orchestral and learned the basics of performing and playing the keyboard. Both scholars would borrow the famous “Korg Triton” and take it home in order to produce their first songs. After long hours of production and “saving” to floppy disc, they were ready to show off their first “Demo”. By 2001 the team was showing off their talent on burnt Compact Disc. Vinny and Snipe received their first downfall in 2003 when one of their track was sampled and featured in Reggaeton’s artist Don Omar song “Dale Don Dale”. The Duo quickly learned the importance of copyrighting. The team’s original melody was turned into a Reggeaton song without consent. It was at this point, that Snipe and Vinny became very interested in the musical world of Reggaeton.

MUSIC PRODUCTION (2003-2005)

While in high school, Snipe stayed in New York City, while Vinny traveled abroad. The team adapted the production program called “Fruity loops” currently known as “FL Studios”. The team collaborated with a middle school friend named Nick Notes who worked with radio station personal named “Dj Cream”. The team received their first Reggaeton library pack, which was a rare gem at the time. With the library sound pack in their hands, Vinny and Snipe composed hundreds of Reggaeton instrumental tracks. Many of the tracks were featured on “Soundcloud” and “Myspace”. The track received great admiration. The team took advantage of the promotional stage that social media had to offer and started to promote their tracks. During the summer of 2005, Snipe decided to experiment with recording music and voice over comedies. Snipe’s first track was a Merengue track called “Dame tu Cri Cri” which featured the famous Nextel “bleep” sound. The recording featured his cousin’s “Jin Tambora and Johnny” known as “Cri Cri Man”. The track was promoted by “DJ Guabo and R Luna” and reached # 1 in the Latin charts of New Zealand and Australia. During this time Snipe began pursing a degree in Education/Psychology at the City College of New York. The company Snipeproductions Inc, would also be formed. Snipeproductions would receive world wide recognition mainly through the comedy videos. The team will use the comedies to promote all of their musical productions. Snipeproduction’s Youtube page would receive 4.5 million views. The original Snipeproductions members would include Snipe, Dennis, Alejandro and Goldo.

JINO & ROYCE (2006-2008)

In the early year of 2006, L snipe & Vinny started working with Reggaeton artists Jino and Royce. Royce would later be known as Prince Royce. L Snipe met up with the Duo Jino & Royce (Geoffrey Rojas & Jose Chusan). The three quickly became close friends. L Snipe met the duo via Myspace.com, while they were currently struggling back and fourth with law suits implemented by their former producer. Tension aroused when Snipe found out that their former producer actually lived two blocks away. L snipe had a coincidental confrontation with the producer while traveling home from school in the same subway cart. The court case was featured in the show “Peoples Court”. After the court cleared the situation, the duo quickly started working. The first two tracks that Snipe produced were named “Mi Hija” and “Dime Porque”. Snipe would spend hundreds of hour’s often breaking nights in order to finish many songs. The group produced a total of fifteen tracks, which were later mixed and master by composer and engineer Winston De Jesus. The team participated in a contest held by one of the most popular urban Latin music station called “La Kalle”. The duo won second place. The duo also participated in a contest held by Sconnex.com, a popular college and high school website and won first place. The main prize allowed the Duo to meet up with an A&R of Atlantic Records. The A&R Luis Ramos (Dmingo) enjoyed what he heard and gave the team an opportunity to finish up a small eight track compilation. Doors were quickly opening up. In 2008, the team entered a contest held by the longest aired televised show in history “Sabado Gigante” staring Don Francisco. The duo ended up becoming finalist in the contest, in which they imitated artist “Wisin & Yandel” as well as promoted their own songs. In the summer of 2008, everything took a sour turn, when the duo started to have conflicts with one another. Time consumption and family affairs, prevented one of the artist from finishing the Atlantic record Demo. The group eventually decided to work on their own separate project. The group created a “pact” in which members would return for one another if success in their future musical career arrived. Unfortunately, holding on to that promise never happened.

TEN TRACK DEMO BELOW

[Left to Right; Jino, L Snipe, Royce (2006) Location: Winston De Jesus Studio]

ROYCE-SOLO PROJECT (2008-2009)

In Late 2008, L snipe decided to lend a helping hand to Royce. Royce had an idea to begin a solo project. L snipe gave Royce the name “Prince Royce” which he quickly adopted. Instead of working on Reggaeton music, they decided to start experimenting with Bachata, Pop, R&B, and Trance. The music involved the use of English and Spanish lyrics. L snipe and Prince Royce worked on a solo compilation of twenty to thirty five tracks, most of them half way. The group used various promotional programs to acquire 20,000 followers on myspace, which would play a significant role in royce future successes. The solo project caught the attention of “Kanelo” who would later introduce Prince Royce to Andres Hidalgo also known as “Dre” from “Two Strong Ent”. Dre had previously worked with artist such as “Aventura” and “xtreme”. Dre supported the idea of creating a demo utilizing “Snipe & Vinny’s” tracks as well as tracks produced by multi-platinum producer “Vinlyz”. The team collaborated with “Kanelo Studios” as well as “Calpio Studios” owned by Merengue Artist “Mala Fe”. Everything was going smooth until mid 2009, when contract issues and conflicts emerged between Dre and Kanelo. Even though Prince Royce signed with both managers, L Snipe refused to get intertwined in their contracts. Royce had to take the ultimate decision of choosing who to part ways. At the end, Royce decided to leave with Andre Hidalgo and finish his solo demo. The final Demo included tracks produced by Snipe, Vinny, Shu "Beatz Academy", Vinlyz, and D’Lesly “Dice”. In late 2009 the solo project was introduced to “Marc Anthony’s Manager” known as “Sergio George”. Sergio George enjoyed what he heard and signed Royce on the spot. Prince Royce would go on to become one of the best selling artists of all time, with an investment of 2.7 million dollars behind him. Direct contact between Royce and L Snipe slowly diminished. L snipe would later send Prince Royce various instrumental demo via postal-mail, which would later be sent back.

[Left to Right; Dennis, Royce, L Snipe (2009) Location: South Bronx]

[Left to Right; Vinylz, L Snipe (2009) Location: Kanelo Studio Session]

L SNIPE (2010-2012)

In 2010, L snipe had no choice but to focus on his own projects. L Snipe would later produce for various underground artist such as "Gery Done" as well as finish his college studies. During this time, Snipe worked from paycheck to paycheck in order to purchase thousands of dollars worth of studio equipments. L snipe acquired the following equipment: Audio Technica 40/50 Mic, SE Filter, MAC G5 (2.66 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon), Mbox 2 Pro, Protools 8, KRK 5 Studio Monitors, and the M-Audio Axiom Air 49 Keyboard. L Snipe would record various artists for the next two years, as well as polish his productions skills. Snipe and his cousin Alejandro would later-on, master the Protools system, as well as various third party plugins. The team would also team up with brother’s “Dj Lil Cris and 3men2” (ZeroCoro), in order to push their promotional level to a greater extent. L Snipe and his new team started up a league of Deejay in the summer of 2011. The newly form team, would be part of Snipeproductions as well as promote in various known clubs in the New York City area. In 2012, Snipe started recording once again, as an artist. Snipe decided to give the Merengue industry another shot. After producing and recording various tracks, a group was born. “LOS FICOS” was formed in 2012, and it’s members included Donzell Rodriguez (L Snipe), Luis Alejandro Rodriguez (Alex), and Elias Rodriguez (elias). The Merengue group ‘Los Ficos” would later reside as a duo dropping one of its member.

LOS FICOS (2012-2016)

The “Merengue” music group “LOS FICOS” was originated by Composer & Producer Donzell Rodriguez musically known as “L Snipe”. “Los Ficos” officially originated in the South Bronx in the early month of 2012. The Duo is composed of Donzell Rodriguez known as “L Snipe”, and Luis Alejandro Rodriguez known as “Alex”. The duo decided to push their musical career as an all around “Merengue” artist focusing mainly in the introduction of a new style of music. The music is a unique mixture R & B and Rap, which breaks the barrier of the rich but strict traditional Merengue rhythm. L snipe would spent hours producing and learning the different type of sounds, that Merengue has to offer. L Snipe would later link up with the talented guitarist “Dennis Vargas” in order to “lay-down” or record three different types of guitars on top of his Merengue Beats. During the year 2012 and 2013, L Snipe would meet Mentor’s Alberto Flash and Fragancia. Alberto Flash would give Snipe various production advices, while Fragancia will teach Snipe the proper way of getting the right sound in the mix. One of the biggest issues that emerged while recording the first version of the demo was the fact that the team utilized a weak saturated Mic Pre amp. L Snipe and Alejandro was faced with a problem that can only be corrected by re-recording all of their songs over, which was time consuming. Dj Fragancia believed in the project so much that he actually sold his personal Pre amp to L Snipe so that he can finally achieve a solid sound. The Duo acquired The Liquid Channel PreAmp (Avalon Silver 737) modulator, which allowed the team to achieve a pristine sound. Los Ficos would later be faced with the challenge of laying down brand new percussions. The team decided to integrated “live sound”. Dj Fragancia brought in his long time friends “CheChe” and “Flakush” to lay down the Tamboras, Congas, and Guiras. Los Ficos also collaborates with a long time friend named Richie. With the proper sound in place, Los Ficos were ready and determined to create a modernized master piece.

CONCLUSION (PRESENT)

As a young adult Snipe and Alex finished their college studies, and hope to one day become inspirational legendary artist taking their music to an international level. With Snipeproductions under their belt the group plans on continuing their movement. Los Ficos are determined to set an example for the youth, and the other adults that are facing obstacles and trying to survive. Despite the hard work you must face in life, if you chase your goals everything is possible. It takes mind, ambition and dedication and Los Ficos are ready to make it all happen.

[FRAGANCIA STUDIOS: RECORDING PERCUSSION'S (Late 2014) Location: QUEENS, NYC]

[Left to Right; L Snipe & Vinny (2009) Location: Early Home Studio]

[Center: Bullet Hole (2007) Location: L Snipe's Old Apt; South Bronx]