# 102 / World Premiere: Max Capote’s $25 “It Was Me” Video

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Uruguayan, Latin Grammy-nominated artist Max Capote (who “lost” the Best New Artist gramophone to Puerto Rico’s Sie7e in 2011) has released the music video for “It Was Me,” one of the best tracks of the ill-promoted Aperitivo de Moda (2014), the follow-up to his acclaimed Chicle (2008), which earned him the Latin Grammy nom and a mention among Billboard‘s “10 Latin Artists to Watch in 2013.” (Max and Sie7e became friends during Latin Grammy week, and the Puerto Rican sang in the new album’s first single, “Sin mentirte.”)

The song is a cover of the cult hit by Uruguay’s Los Mockers, a legendary band of the ’60s (they were the Stones answer to the Beatles-oriented Los Shakers). Here’s the video, in a Kamikaze exclusive (thanks, Max).

I must confess: I thought Max was just another interesting retro novelty, but I didn’t go nuts about him (as many had done already) until I saw him and his band burning down Speakeasy during South by Southwest 2013. He’ll be back at SXSW this year as well, performing on March 19 at a yet to be determined place and time. If you’ve never seen him live, I recommend you do so.

But what about the video? It was directed by Andrés Silvera Jasquin at Montevideo’s legendary Elepé studios on a $25 budget. Literally.

“That was the cost of [lead guitarist] Leroy’s hairdo,” Max told me in Spanish in an email from Montevideo yesterday. “What a hairdo can do! Dude wanted a quiff for the video, so I broke the piggy bank.”

The voice at the end of the video (“Your English is horrible!”) is by Nicolás Almada, who had introduced the band on the video of Chicle‘s “Tema 11.” The idea for the video started with second guitarist El Gavilán, who, Max says, “broke my balls for six months to make a video for this song and in this way” (good call by El Gavilán, I say). El Gavilán and director Andrés Silvera work together as bartenders at Bluzz Live, a famous local nightclub.

“Andrés is not really a cameraman, but he’s a great photographer and that’s why he was able to get good shots,” said Max. “You saw us live: I wanted to capture the band in a fresh, dynamic state. I edited the whole thing myself, pure cut and paste. For me, there’s no greater capital than ideas, and that’s the only thing that can overcome the lack of resources so common in South America. And about my English… My English sucks and I wanted to address that. I didn’t want to come across as a wannabe, as if trying to play gringo. What can I do? That’s my English.”

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# 103 / Kat Dahlia: The Kamikaze Q & A

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You may have heard “I think I’m in Love” on Grey’s Anatomy recently. Or perhaps you saw the “Gangsta” video (if you didn’t, you can watch it below). Chances are you remember the 24-year-old Cuban-American with a voice like thunder and gorgeous morenaza looks (Kat: never, ever dye your hair blonde).

The long-awaited My Garden (released January 9 by Vested in Culture/Epic) is one of my favorite albums of the year and one of the best debuts I’ve ever heard. I’ve dug her stuff ever since I saw her on video, but after speaking with her on the phone a few weeks ago, I confirmed she was for real.

Key word: Cuba. When I asked her about the recent developments in the US-Cuba relations, instead of going all Miami/Pitbull on me, she spoke like what she is: a young, second-generation Cuban who, no matter what her family may think, understands that the embargo was useless then and is useless now.

“I’m dying to go to Cuba,” she told me on the phone from New Jersey (our full conversation on the second page of this blog). The times they are a-changin’.

If you ask me where to start with Kat Dahlia, I’ll tell you to start here:

It was this song that made me want to have her full album back in 2013, but a pseudocyst in her vocal cord (and other problems) delayed her debut, which is a solid display of playfulness…

…daring choices for an album opener…

…and pure Afro Cuban explosion.

But perhaps the album’s greatest gem is an acoustic studio accident she “nailed in one take.”

Full conversation on the following page.