Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, who is not only among a group of artists I first wrote about when I started things here, he is also one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout the past six years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — Lopez has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM you may recall that I’ve written about Lopez’s “Heavy, Baby Heavy” and “Trouble Lovin’ Lady,” the first and third singles of his continuing Jam of the Month Series. Interestingly, monthly single series allows artists to be incredibly creative without concerning themselves with the strict thematic and lyrical structures of an album — while having firmly set deadlines to complete and release material. The latest single in the series “Watch Me Turn It Up” is a warm, strutting and marching New Orleans meets Parliament Funkadelic and The Meters funk that features Lopez teaming up with the legendary George Porter, Jr. and Ivan Neville, and a ridiculous horn section. If it doesn’t make you want to get up and shout from your seat, nothing in this life will.