CuCu Diamantes | CuCuLand
Fun Machine / Tommy Boy Distribution
Digital Album out now; CD out September 1, 2009
MEET CUCU FIERCE
From growing up in Cuba, studying art in Rome, moving to the Lower East Side, go-go dancing with club queens Amanda Lepore and Sofia Lamar, fronting bad-assed Cuban funk band Yerba Buena, swinging with the fashion pack and releasing her own solo album, this is a lady who knows how to live! Meet Cucu Diamantes (or as we call her, after one look at her glam press photos,“Cucu Fierce”)
1. Your live shows are like being at house party, albeit a very glamorous one: from the stage to the floor, everybody’s smiling, laughing, flirting and seriously getting their cha-cha on. What’s your secret? I like to be as spontaneous as possible during my performances; i think sexiness and laughter are the only things you need for a long full life, which is part of my message.
2. Your shows are so sexy, and just in case anyone’s not paying attention, you’re up there pairing up audience members and encouraging them–as well as the entire room–to go home make love! Are you a matchmaker/troublemaker offstage as well? Thanks did it work for you? [Laughs] Indeed I have introduced several couples that ended up getting married (for a little while at least). Offstage, I’m just a little more reserved when I don't have a mic in my hand, but being from Cuba you can imagine everything I do, I do with passion and drama!
3. On arriving in NYC, you famously go-go danced with queens of the night, Amanda Lepore and Sophia Lamar (a fellow Cubana), performing as a pre-opp transsexual. How did this come about? Sofia introduced me as her younger brother, who’d just arrived from Cuba. I had to pretend my small breasts where the result of a small doses of hormones. And you know, my voice when I've been partying is really low and, of course, my tiny penis was easy to hide [laughs]. So I did it – I was a total drag queen show! We had a fabulous time and way too much alcohol. I have always reinvented myself and, in a way, my doing so is the backbone of the stories I tell in my record, CuCuLand.
4. You run with the fashionistas and certainly know how to work an outfit, Sweetie. Any fashion icons you adore, designers you favor? So many. Here are some of my faves: Halston, Thierry Mugler, Charles Jordan, Balenciaga, Giambattista Bally, Yves Saint Laurent, Selima Optique, Catherine Malandrino. Plus, I love vintage pieces and anything that makes me look fierce and fearless.
5. Lots of gay boys and girls at your shows (and sure to be more). Wanna give a shout-out to your gay fans? "Vengo vengo a sacarte lo que llevas dentro!" from my song “Vengo,” means: I'm coming, I'm coming to get everything you have inside to come out!” Be free, release yourself! Dance! Much amor forever, Cucu.
Born of Spanish, African, Chinese and French heritage, CuCuDiamantes is a fascinating singer-songwriter and actress from Cuba. Together with producer and guitarrist Andres Levin, Diamantes co-founded the sizzling-hot Latin fusion band, Yerba Buena, and was directly responsible for garnering major recognition and popularity for the band, including a Grammy nomination, special request performances with artists such as Dave Matthews, Ray Charles, Juanes and Celia Cruz, as well as critical media praise.
After 8 years as Yerba Buena's principal vocalist and songwriter, Diamantes is now releasing her first solo record, “CuCuLand” to much anticipation. Smart, sexy and fierce, CuCu Diamantes' music is an intoxicating mix of NYC downtown funk and old school Cuban glamour and passion–a dynamite combination which drives audiences to dance with joyful abandon. Diamantes' talented band is comprised of a full range of horns, percussion and guitar, giving a big, electric sound to her live performances.
"We're cuckoo for CuCu Diamantes." – The NY Post
"Sizzling hot!!!!!!!" – Perez Hilton
"Catlike and acrobatic on vertigo-inducing heels, CuCu [is] fast talking and hyper-sexy."
– The Washington Post
The fiery cantante Cubana from cult funk banda Yerba Buena.
– MTV Latino TR3’s Artist of the Week
In advance of her solo LP debut, “CuCuLand,” Diamantes has made several major appearances as a individual artist, collaborating with music stars such as Fatboy Slim, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Dead Presidents, Orishas, Beto Cuevas, Voltio and others on original recordings. She had a song included on the soundtrack for the NBC hit show “Heroes” (joining David Bowie, The Chemical Brothers, Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop), collaborated with Los Tucanes de Tijuana on the film soundtrack for “Ladron que Roba Ladron,” and worked with Vico C and Praz on the “Feel the Noize” film soundtrack.
Diamantes' sassy, hilarious personality and natural talent as as an actress has put her in front of the camera for appearances in the films “El Cantante” and “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” as well as the TV series “Third Watch” and a recent MTV Latin America tribute to The Cure. An urban muse and a darling of the New York City fashion and art world, Diamantes is often featured in the social and entertainment press and has caught the eye of artistic insiders such as legendary photographer Mark Seliger (GQ, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair), who is creating the cover artwork for “CuCuLand.”
CuCu Diamantes is a socially conscious artist. She was a creative force behind the benefit albums “Red Hot + Latin” and “Red Hot + Riot,” and has donated her time to charitable causes such as Cielo Latino and other efforts to combat AIDS and cancer in the Latino community.
Diamantes was a key collaborator in an immensely popular Spanish language video, “Podemos Con Obama” in support of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, collaborating with artists such as Alejandro Sanz, John Leguizamo, Paulina Rubio, Don Omar, Jessica Alba and George Lopez. Most recently, CuCu Diamantes participated in Amnesty International's forthcoming music video and track, “The Price of Silence” featuring music stars from around the world such as Natalie Merchant, Stephen Marley, Hugh Masekala and others to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nation's Universal Declaration on Human Rights. CuCu Diamantes is also a spokesperson for Amnesty International's “Protect the Human” and “Stop Violence Against Women” campaigns. •
Grab the FREE MP3 of CuCu's first single, “Mas Fuerte” here. (You may have clocked the song in "Another Gay Sequel.") Watch the gorgeous "Mas Fuerte" video, here. It is the first video ever shot at NYC's fab The Box nightclub, where CuCu will be doing a series of must-see shows throughout the summer. •
Check the live dates above. Cucu's been jetting around, taking her memorable show everywhere from Spain, Miami, Cannes (to perform at Pedro Almodovar's party), the recent People En Español bash (photo at left), to upcoming gigs in the Hamptons, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and NYC.
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MAINSTREAM PRESS CLIPS (NYTimes, AP, Miami Herald, Latina + Latino Inaugural Gala)
LGBT PRESS CLIPS
EdgeUnitedStates.com | + 16 city portals | June 6, 2009
Frontiers | Los Angeles/SoCal | June 15, 2009
Frontierspublishing.com | Los Angeles/SoCal | June 15, 2009
Revista Adelante | Latino/USA | September 2009