Latin Crunk's New Tastemaker

Sito Oner Rock takes a new genre global

Sito's big break came in late 2005, when he temporarily worked for the ultrapopular Spanish TV show Sabado Gigante — which broadcasts in more than 40 countries around the world. His short segment titled "Nuevas Estrellas del Reggaeton" (New Reggaeton Stars) featured Sito performing some reggaeton dance moves and stirred interest in venues outside of Florida, especially the red-hot Latino demographics of California and Texas.

As a lifelong Broward resident, Sito understood the importance of branching out to states more receptive to live performances. "For an artist in this city, it's important to book shows outside of the state," Sito says, in reference to South Florida's thriving but still smallish live music culture. "You have to listen to the market. South Florida is a great home base, but in different states, you get more love from the public." Case in point: Sito played to more than 25,000 fans when he opened for Don Omar last year in San Francisco.

With his debut album almost done — the Diaz Brothers have already produced the tracks "Como se menea" ("How It Moves") and "Dále candela" ("Set It on Fire") — Sito and his managers now hope for some kind of record deal with a major label. Still, Sito is aware that in today's music business, artists needs to work much harder than before. That means getting involved in all aspects of production. "I design my own logo and anything that has to do with graphics on my end," notes Sito, who's a graduate of Miami's International Fine Arts College.

"For my [recent] Colombian tour, I went a few days before the concert so I could see for myself how my single was being promoted," Sito says. "Then I hit the streets and promoted my show the same way that I do when I'm here." For now, Sito is looking at more live shows. He hopes he'll snatch a record deal.

There are upsides and downsides to that. "Depending on what happens with record labels, I may have to move to L.A.," Sito says. "But the truth is that South Florida is my home, I feel at peace when I'm here, and this is where my music comes from."

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