Music insauga: Fito Blanko
From Panama to Miami to Mississauga to having multiple singles on Billboard Magazine's Latin charts in the U.S., Fito Blanko has been spending his formative years touring across the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada to showcase his musical talents."[I've] been working hard for years to be in this position," said Blanko.
Blanko, who was born Roberto E. Testa, has done a great job of honing his craft, since releasing his debut album Higher Level in 2004. Since then he has been able to work with such artists as Pitbull, Beenie Man and fellow Canadian Drake.
Blanko has come a long way since his humble beginnings in Mississauga, where he performed at venues such as Body English, back when it was 108, Sugar Daddy’s and Blue Suede Sues.
While he attended John Cabot Catholic Secondary School, Blanko started writing lyrics n both Spanish and English. Now, he has become a household name to anyone who listens to what he calls "Latin Urbano Pop". This is, of course, a fusion of reggae, hip-hop and techno with traditional Latin American sounds.
To some, this type of music might not seem like the typical Sauga sound. However, the almost 100 000 Latinos who live in the GTA might beg to differ.
"Being Panamanian had a huge influence in my career," said Blanko. "I grew up listening to Spanish reggae artist such as El General, Nando Boom, Renato and Danger Man who are the pioneers of Reggaeton".
Despite all his hard work, the road to successes hasn't always been easy for Blanko. Even with singles like "Me Voy a Marchar" and "By My Side" from his first solo album, Fito and Universal Music Latino, his label at the time, parted ways. Things slowed down until about four years ago when Blanko met Christos Androutsos, aka Don Ella, of Crown Loyalty Entertainment. Crown is an independent music company based in Toronto, where Blanko is now president and chief talent.
"I feel blessed. I owe my current success to the Crown Loyalty Team," said Blanko. "We plan on keeping the momentum going with new releases".
The duo of Ella and Blanko have released 19 singles and are working on Blanko's highly anticipated third album, Amor Y Dinero.
Though Blanko hasn't become a household name in Canada, he has made a big splash in places like Panama, Venezuela and Miami.
In March, he will be traveling to Miami to perform at the Calle 8 Festival before heading to Panama for a trip. If all continues to go well with his singles "VIP" and "Pegadito Suavecito", which were released this January, then perhaps a tour will follow.
The single "VIP" has reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Latin Rhythm and Top 20 Tropical chart, while the song "Pegaito Suavecito" landed him on the Telemundo program Descontrol, so chances are looking good that Fito will be coming back to Mississauga to perform.
This is Fito Blanko's hit "VIP" featuring Fuego and El Cata. Sensei Musica, who has been working with Blanko since his first album Higher Level, produced it. The single has been on Billboard's Latin Rhythm Top 10 and on the Top 20 Tropical chart.
"I always look forward to performing in Mississauga, so perhaps sometime in the summer I will come back to perform in my hometown," said Blanko.
As for all up-and-coming Sauga artists who want to follow in Blanko's success, he says, "there is no right or wrong way to do it, you just have to find your way. Believe in yourself, work hard and keep working on your craft. Be positive and you will attract success".
As for Blanko's future, things are looking bright. He just finished shooting a video with Sensato for the song "Crazy People", which he is featured on. And his new single "Pegadito Suavecito" has just been added to the Mega 94.9 Miami playlist. Blanko says, "[that fans can] expect a lot of interesting collaborations and new music in 2012".
Be sure to check out Fito’s new mixtape www.fitoblankoremix.com mixed by DJ Lokei (Toronto) where u can download it for free and follow Fito at @fitoblanko - Official Twitter