GRAMMYs 2019: COASTCITY on Representing a New Generation of Bi-Cultural Artists (Exclusive)

Jean Rodriguez and Danny Flores stopped by ET to talk about their first GRAMMY nom and the importance of highlighting Latinx voices.

It’s going to be a big year for COASTCITY. 

The dynamic duo, composed of Jean Rodriguez and Danny Flores, is rejoicing in their first GRAMMY nomination and plan to use this momentum to share their music with the masses. 

“This is our first ever GRAMMY nomination, American GRAMMY. We're so excited with what this little album has done. It’s been amazing, we're so thankful,” Rodriguez told ET’s Denny Directo of their GRAMMY nod for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. “It's a crazy category because it mixes urban, rock, and alternative music all into one, which is perfect for us because we have all of those elements but there's a lot of friends in there so it's going to be cool.”

Rodriguez and Flores, who stopped by ET to perform their new song, “Pa La Calle,” have been making a name for themselves in the business for over a decade. Flores is an established producer and music director. He’s worked with Ricky Martin, Yandel, Prince Royce, Jordin Sparks and CNCO among others. 

Rodriguez is a singer-songwriter with two albums under his belt, ON and Out the Box. He’s also worked with big names in the music industry, including Luis Fonsi (his older brother), Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, Trey Songz, Pitbull and Shakira. He also got to work with Beyonce as her Spanish vocal coach for J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” remix.

Together their sound is a fusion of alternative pop, urban, R&B and tropical music.

“[Our sound is] Caribbean soul,” Flores explained. “We're very soulful, we love la clave, we love all the percussive elements of tropical music, so it incorporates a little bit of both.”

“We were born in Puerto Rico but we grew up in the States so it's a very bi-cultural project,” Rodriguez added. “I think that's what we're really representing, a new generation of Latinos that [listen to] Juan Luis Guerra but listen to Drake and Post Malone as well.”

The duo recently released their single, “Pa La Calle,” featuring Fonsi, which marks the first time Rodriguez has recorded a song with his brother. 

“Man, that was really cool because we've been asked for so long, 'When are you guys finally going to do something together?' And, we were kind of waiting for that perfect time and it happened last year. We were having a moment with COASTCITY and my brother kind of crossed a little more into the urban Latin world, which is more where we live so it just felt right, it felt perfect. We called him up, we were like, ‘I think this is the time, let's do it,’ and he's like, ‘Bro, count on me.’”

The collab came fresh off Fonsi’s success with “Despacito,” a song Flores says changed the music industry landscape.

“It really globalized [Latin music],” Flores said. “So, we were really excited about that and, of course, even ‘Mi Gente’ from J Balvin, those two songs really did great things for the Latin community.”

Rodriguez also opened up about working with Beyonce

"That was a highlight of my career to work with Queen B," he said. "I got the call from Balvin's assist the vocal production and be there present when Beyonce was doing her thing so I was just like in the studio just helping her out with the accent and it was surreal, it was amazing."

"She is such a pro," he added. "I work with a lot of artists and you can tell part of vocal producing is you gotta know how much to push somebody. I would be okay with some of the takes like yo that sounds great and she would be like 'No, no, I can do it better.'" 

The group says fans are in for a treat this year as they produce new music. Their goal is to create music that unifies.

"Music is meant to be combined with the cultures and unify us. At the end of the day, it's just un sentimiento, a sentiment," Rodriguez said.

Watch COASTCITY's intimate performance of "Pa La Calle," in the video below. 

The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards air Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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