*Cynthia Torres, a.k.a. Cynthia, was excited to talk about her upcoming show as part of the Forever Freestyle 13 concert celebrating 13 years of Latin Freestyle music on Saturday, March 16 at 8pm at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd West in the Bronx where 14 Latin Freestyle artists will come together for their 13th year anniversary show produced by Lehman Center and Sal Abbatiello who will also serve as host with Speedy.
All the rage in the 1990s, Freestyle blended together the rhythms of Latin hip hop with disco. Shannon came out with her pop song “Let The Music Play,” but it was Nayobe’s “Please Don’t Go,” that some say were the true beginnings of Latin hip hop.
“I can’t believe Forever Freestyle is entering its 13th year at Lehman,” remarked Cynthia. “I think I personally have done the show for 7 years. I love performing with my fellow Freestyle artists. This year, TKA, Judy Torres, Rob Base, Johnny O, Noel, Coro, Nayobe, Strafe, Aly-US, Fascination, Tonasia, Sammy Zone, George Lamond, as well as DJ Lucho and Whiteboy DJ Kys will share the stage with me,” continued the artist who has been singing Latin Freestyle for over 32 years.
For her first album, Cynthia co-wrote some of the songs like Change On Me, Endless Night and Thief of Hearts plus a song she wrote for Johnny O who shared her label. “I should have wrote for my second album Cynthia II, but I just didn’t feel the same vibe I did when writing the first album. Everything just flowed in my first album and song after song just popped into my mind. It’s interesting that I oftentimes feel inspired when driving. I have my tape recorder nearby and if inspired start humming the melody. I record it and then revisit it later on,” explained the singer. “Also, one of my greatest hits came out on Cynthia II. We had good writers that gave us a song entitled Dream Boy/Dream Girl which the label felt could be done as a duet between Johnny O and myself. It was a big success and made the Top 100 chart.”
Dream Boy/Dream Girl was a big hit for both Johnny O and Cynthia. Their duet became unofficially gold. “Johnny O and I will be singing it at Lehman. I do not think fans will let us off the stage if we do not sing Dream Boy/Dream Girl. Here we are 32 years later still performing and able to bring the song Dream Boy/Dream Girl before a huge audience. The fans come out every year and support the show and we feel very blessed, stated the hitmaker.
Cynthia also did a duet with Lisette Melendez entitled “I Cant Change Your Mind,” and another duet remake with Safire of “Cant Stand the Rain.” And another song entitled “How I Love Him” which featured a cameo appearance by TKT7.
Cynthia hasn’t been in the studio in awhile. However, fans are urging her to put out some new songs so she may be busy writing and recording new material in the future. “I am nearly working every weekend. I recently did a wedding in Miami, and I have been getting booked to do birthday and Sweet 16 parties plus performing in the clubs.”
Cynthia did mention that Latin Freestyle music is having a resurgence. “If I compare my schedule now with when I was performing in 1988, I’m busy. Back then there was a time the radio stations stopped playing Freestyle. I went from performing 3 or 4 shows a week to almost nothing. However, these days, promoters are booking the artists again and radio has started playing Freestyle music. I have been going nonstop. I am grateful that I am still able to perform and have been busy meeting engagements in NY, NJ, Long Island, Staten island, Connecticut, Chicago, Florida, Texas and even Canada. It is good positive music that brings back good memories for a lot of fans and they show up to support our shows. It is a win/win situation.”
Cynthia was trying to determine what direction to take her music so experimented with the song Starlight. It didn’t get the attention she hoped for so she decided to stay within the familiar genre of Freestyle. She has been working the clubs as part of the Freestyle Divas 2 with Judy Torres and Lisette Melendez. Also, helping her 21 year old son realize his dream of being a DJ and music promoter. In her spare time she works with the American Cancer Society making strides for breast cancer as well as spends time with her younger son who is a typical teenager contenting himself with his video games.
For fans who want tickets to Forever Freestyle 13, Lehman Center can be accessed by the D and #4 trains. Interested parties can call for tickets at 718-960-8833 or go on line at www.LehmanCenter.org
Deardra Shuler has experience in theatre, music, concert promotion, television and publishing. She was affiliated with the Negro Ensemble Company and is a former manager of the children’s theatre,”TADA.” She has produced and promoted concerts in Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall. Ms. Shuler is the former Editor and Managing Editor of three New York City minority newspapers. Presently, she is the Entertainment Editor of The Black Star News. As a freelance writer she writes for several New York City newspapers; including the Examiner, Amsterdam News and Eurweb.
Deardra had a column in Sweden and freelances for Afrocentricnews in California. She is the former PR chairman for the FESPACO film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa, and is presently program manager for BlakeRadio.com where she also hosts her own show “Topically Yours.”