Article and Photos by Monica Morones
The Coachella Valley is bursting at the seams with raw talent. I had the pleasure of interviewing a unique individual. Meet Camilo Gomez, AKA J. Patron.
He is a local Hip Hop artist, Colombian born, but raised in the valley since the age of four. With his fourth album about to drop later this year and three music videos on MTV Tr3s the show “La Hora Nacional” there is a buzz of excitement around him that is contagious.
Camilo’s parents moved here in 1989 seeking refuge from the war zone of the Cartels and Government in Colombia. Since he has been here he has adopted American culture but still stays true to his Colombian roots as well. In high school he was more about graffiti art than rapping, but in 1999 it began.
So how does one go from being a lover of music to the music maker? “Music has always been with me,” Camilo says. “I grew up listening to Salsa, Cumbia, and Vallento. It wasn’t until I came to the states where I heard Hip Hop for the first time. My dad worked 3 jobs and my mother didn’t understand or speak English so she didn’t trip that I was listening to these records. When I first heard the Wu Tang Forever double disk album, that’s what really changed my life and brought the MC out of me. Every song had a message and the lyrics were filled with knowledge. My brotha Phillie Mills pushed me to write my first official verse in 99, freshman year in high school, and I have been writing ever since.”
After high school Camilo went to school in San Diego where he got a degree in Multimedia and Design. He met many influential people, one of them being a producer called Jonas Ybanez. He learned many things about production from Jonas and started to invest in his own equipment. Being a college student and not having the extra money for beats he felt like why couldn’t he just make his own? He now added producer to his resume.
In 2007, he linked up with a videographer Mauricio Ramirez from Bogota, Colombia. They have done several videos together but my personal favorite is called “Nada/Youngstar.”
It is also very special to Camilo for they shot this video in the town he grew up in as a child. Visually appealing to the eye, it keeps you motivated to continue watching, and mixing the lyrics from Spanish to English adds a flavor to the music that holds your attention. They continued working together, Camilo flying Mauricio out to the states and shooting three more videos here.
So how does one get on MTV you might ask? You submit a video and cross your fingers and hope it gets picked? Not exactly. Watching a music video on T.V. you underestimate what it actually takes to get to that level. Patience is a requirement for a successful musician. Two and half years of dealing with MTV, a label, and providing edited versions, Camilo got his videos “Nada/Youngstar” and “Familia” showcased on the show “La Hora Nacional” on MTV Tr3s and is expecting the video “Breakdown” to appear next.
As a musician sometimes one’s message is not always clear. For J.Patron it is. “My message is simple. One Love, One World, One Blood. All is one and one is all. We are all connected in this universe,” he states. “What my message represents is PURO ORO, which means pure gold. G.O.L.D. Gratitude, Obedience, Loyalty, and Devotion. Live your passion by those four words whether its music, painting, skating-whatever you’re passionate about. Everything will fall into place, let your craft speak for itself and everything else will follow.”
Camilo recently organized his first tour called “The Desert Storm Tour” with himself as the headliner, performing in 5 desert cities, with opening local acts such as the Desert Eagles, Thr3 Strykes, Chylite, Cali Elijah, 22 Don Keylow, Al Ro$$3rd, The Discomfort, Blazing Archer, Era, and Dj Smoke. I went to the show at The Date Shed on May 2nd to photograph the acts and see what this tour was all about and I was not disappointed. The energy in the room was vibrating off the walls. The people were yelling for more. On a night when several other popular shows were happening at the same time, The Date Shed was full of loyal Hip Hop music lovers.
With the new album MI VIDA VOL 2 dropping sometime this year, who’s to say what’s in store for Mr. J. Patron. It’s a mix of Latin samples with Hip Hop beats, all in Spanish with a California flavor. He says it’s his best work yet. Success doesn’t happen overnight. He has been working tirelessly for many years and is a great example to the youth out there that dreams can eventually come true. Be on the lookout for this young star on the rise.