Volume 19 • Issue 11 | July 28- - August 3, 2006


Wednesday, August 2nd
BMI Showcase at SOB’s
204 Varick St.
(212-243-4940; sobs.com)

Matthew Kristall

Argentine pop singer Coral

Don’t cry for her, Argentina

Latin pop star is on the rise in NY

By Andrew Leahey

In 2001, Coral Campopiano was a rising star in Argentina. The young singer had recently inked a deal with BMG Records, who saw promise in her danceable brand of Latin American pop. Coral, who goes by her first name, quickly became disenchanted with the label’s slow pace, however, and eventually left the label to release an album on her own. It was a lot of pressure for the 19-year-old to handle, and Coral decided that a relaxing vacation was in order. She packed her bags, left Buenos Aires, and headed to Miami with another musician friend.

In the States, Coral soon realized that a whole new market existed for her music. Impromptu gigs in the Miami streets led to scheduled shows in South Beach clubs, and Coral’s “relaxing” vacation was quickly extended to four, music-filled months. When a local producer suggested she test the waters in New York, Coral was sold. She returned home, said goodbye to her parents and seven brothers, and promptly moved to Midtown Manhattan. Four years later, she has no plans to permanently leave the city.

“I have a lot of freedom as an independent artist here,” she says. “I’m doing what I love.”

Apparently, being extremely busy is what Coral loves. Argentina’s musical climate is different than New York’s, and the singer has worked hard to release material in both markets. She’s currently signed to Pop Art in Argentina, and Coral often flies home to tour and promote her Spanish material. She also plays regular shows in New York, where traces of rock ‘n’ roll acts like Blondie and the Rolling Stones are starting to play bigger roles in her music. Coral, who plays guitar and writes her own music, has encouraged this evolving style by assembling a tight touring quartet. She’s also assembled a renowned group of producers, including the Grammy-winning Itaal Shur, to record her new songs. The result is a bilingual mish-mash of dub reggae, folk, and driving pop, with Coral’s elastic vocals wailing atop the mix.

“When I first came here,” Coral explains, “I went to school to study the performing arts. I had to do this for three years in a different language. I studied Shakespeare and all kinds of stuff. That puts your brain in a race, you know? And if you like that feeling, it gives you adrenalin that you can’t compete with. I couldn’t go back home and listen to things that I already knew.”

Coral is still better known in her homeland, but she has traded in a successful life in Argentina for the uphill struggle of a working musician in New York. Her apartment isn’t huge, her wardrobe isn’t extensive, and her rehearsal space isn’t free, but she plays regular gigs at SOB’s, Piano’s, and Joe’s Pub. She’s also been busy approaching various labels about representation in the U.S. And as of late, she’s seen her star rising in the States. Her latest Spanish release, “La Tercera,” has spawned a popular video for MTV Espanol.

“I don’t have MTV,” she laughs, “so I didn’t know anything. But a month later, everyone is calling me saying, “I saw you on MTV!” and screaming out loud. So I called MTV up, and they said, “Your video has been buzzworthy.” And this is MTV Espanol in America, not Argentina.”

Coral is also generating buzz on the local Latin American pop charts, where a song she co-wrote for another musician has cracked the Top Ten. “Abril” and “Running,” two tracks from “La Tercera,” have also made the charts. She has other projects in the works (a song for an important movie soundtrack, an upcoming video shoot for her next single, more co-writing credits) but seems reluctant to speak about them. Coral knows how fickle the music business can be, and she’s decided to playing her cards closely.

How professional. Maybe Coral’s not that far from American success after all.


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