Jimy Vázquez Lay known artistically as “Balotiano“. He was born on February 10, 1993. He is 28 years old. Balotiano is from Cuba but currently living in Brazil. I started my career as a singer at the very young age of 12 years old.
Despite the lack of resources in my country, Balotiano has always tried his best to keep growing. As a teenager, Balotiano made several songs with friends that turned out to be successful throughout his stay and traveling part of the country. Even though he had the desire to succeed, with the ability to write songs and with a super development on stage.
Balotiano was not doing more than his heart wanted because he did not have the financial resources. The situation in Cuba was very bad. But that didn’t stop him. Then he was allowed to leave his country to be able to fulfill his dream, a dream that he has not yet achieved but he was seeing the result of the effort he makes daily.
We are privileged to do an exclusive interview with Balotiano and here is what he says:
1. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Balotiano: It all started at the age of 12 with some neighborhood friends. We wanted to imitate the great artists, and what I remember the most is that I was the one who made the first song of the little group called “Project A”, we didn’t do anything because we were very young, but I understood that the others only had a whim, but mine was love at first sight. When I realized I was able to make a song I fell in love with the composition.
Then I created my second group called “Los Talentos”. This group was composed of three very poor children. One of the kids was homeless. He had to live in different cities with his mother. The other kid lived alone with his grandmother because his father had mental problems, and his mother had died. I, despite my poor and humble family, was the one that had the most economic resources (unlike theirs).
My mother used to give me 5 pesos (national currency) every day for the afternoon snack. I didn’t use this money to eat, perhaps I started saving it. I was able to raise more money to record a song in a home studio ( not professional). I started seeing the benefits of the sacrifices I made myself for the music and that made me fall in love even more.
This made me realize for this career I would do whatever was necessary. In this small group, we did several concerts to which we started earning the respect of many well-known groups in the city.
Then, I met a very good friend and very good producer who taught me a lot in music and helped us financially. I was able to meet and earned the respect of many well-known exponents. I was able to collaborate with them several songs that were successful in my city. After this, I created a group called “Los Empresarios”.
This time I had more experience on stage and much more ability musically. we did many shows and concerts. Then, I decided to leave and continue my solo career. I was about to give up since it’s really hard to fulfill your dreams in a country like Cuba. That was when I decided to leave my beautiful Cuba, my friends, and my family. These stories were my motivation to have started.
- Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Balotiano: Being with my group “Los Talentos” being around 15 years old. I met my friend, and producer Daniel Bernaldo Martell Alvarez, known as “Dany Santo“. Danny had a group called “DA”. He invited me to do several concerts together allowing me to make myself known. We did a concert that I will never forget. This happened in a high school, where we were guests of another group and as guests, we began to sing first. From the moment we went on stage, the vibe and joy of the public were felt.
The group that invited us cheated on us, and while we were singing they removed the audio so that the concert would go wrong. This happened twice so we decided to end the show because of such a bad action that they were doing to us.
While the other group was singing, then the best happened. All the public including students and professors went outside the school and they started shouted “we want them to sing” (repeatedly).
That was incredible madness because while the other group sang, the public left them alone to go see us in the street and yell at us to sing and they even got us up between several students and they put up with us so that we don’t leave. It was a super incredible and unforgettable day since we weren’t famous but we realized that when good music is made and things are done with humility it reaches hearts. I will never be able to forget that day.
- Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Balotiano: The biggest mistake I made was because I had no experience in the music business. In Cuba, there was barely any access to the internet making this hard to investigate certain things. Living in Cuba I saw music only as my passion, not as a business. I did not know how it worked.
When I arrived in Brazil, Certain people offered me a contract that was aimed at my musical works, where they would be placed on digital platforms. I did not know much about this, But when I saw that I could contribute some money and I could expand my music to the world, I accepted the contract. Luckily it was only for one year and the contract did not say the number of songs that I should send them and I only sent them one job.
In this contract, I was going to receive only the 50%, but I still accepted. it was naive of me not to knowing anything about the industry. Months passed and I never knew about those people. I only knew that they made the same contract with Cuban boys on the island or recently arrived to other countries like me (people who are naive about the business).
When the end of the contract came I wanted to know about them and I was blocked by All the networks. They did not want to confront me to at least tell me how much the song had generated or something else. I wanted to leave that like that since today I can not find a solution on how to recover my work since it is an important song to me.
I think my mistake was not having studied the business before accepting the contract and not having my song registered on a platform. With this, I learned to be more patient and to investigate what’s the contract about. The best thing is that Today I am the one who places my work on digital platforms and who keeps track of how much they generate. I advise those who see this article to grow as an artist and as an entrepreneur so that no one can deceive them in their own business.
- What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Balotiano: I am working on several important projects in my life one of them is to grow as an artist. Working on my compositions and various video clips until reaching the ears of someone who is interested and helps me expand my work.
I am also focused on my family in Cuba. the type of life that Cubans have is very sad and difficult. I would love to be able to give them a decent future. I’m also focusing on being able to help my friends and the family that I created here in Brazil, especially my son.
- Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Balotiano: Good artists usually do not travel to Cuba. It is very difficult for Cubans to visit other countries where well-recognized artists live. Within my country, I was able to meet and interact with Polo montañés for a couple of minutes. I love his music and netting him was very emotional to me. During those couple of minutes, I offered him to sing a little fragment of one of my interpretations. Just being able to do this was very significant to me.
- Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Balotiano: First I would tell you that, if you love what you do, there is no excuse to give up or to hang up your gloves. You have to learn to fail because failure is bad for self-esteem but it is good to learn and be stronger. You should always take two Bags One to win and one to lose. Keep in mind that not everything will work out the way you want, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong, just be patient. Do not be selfish, do not be envious, on the contrary, help yourself, let yourself be helped, and from your heart always wish the good even to your opponent.
I would also tell you to always let yourself be guided by your positive instinct and do not stop sacrificing yourself for what you want, remember that if you love what you do, it would never be a job …
- You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Balotiano: What I could say is that it is better to die fighting than to die without trying, because although the perspective has more percent of failing, it does not mean that you are going to do it. It is better to try and if you fail, continue and continue until you have no strength or until you make it.
- Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
Balotiano: Something very important is to be at peace with our family and with God. If you’re sad or have low self-esteem, remember there’s always someone that loves you. Do physical exercises and sports.
In my case, I live very far from my parents and most of my family, but several things keep me super relaxed and calm. I try to communicate with them every day and I have a baby boy that gives me the necessary strength to continue forward for my dreams
- What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Balotiano: I wish they would tell you these 5 words “Discipline”, “Humility”, “Perseverance”, “Responsibility” and “Intelligence”
Discipline because is a powerful tool to achieve success, for example; a person with discipline respects punctuality and attendance, they fulfill what they promise, among other things.
Humility because is the reflection of the greatness of the heart, for example, someone who recognizes that one always learns from another, someone who serves and helps from the heart to those who need it.
Perseverance because even if you are tired of working so hard and fighting for what you love, you keep working without giving up, for example, having perseverance, is someone who despite how difficult it is, enjoys every obstacle that comes his way, because he knows that he is going straight to your target.
Responsibility because is a value that is in the conscience of the person that allows to value and even criticize the consequences of their actions, for example, if I had to go to a concert and I did not go, I am super irresponsible.
The teacher sends you an assignment and I give it to him the next day, he will be happy, for being responsible for delivering it on time.
Intelligence because is the attitude to acquire, understand and apply knowledge, for example, being intelligent I would try to learn as many things as possible, I would learn marketing strategies for my career, I would learn about the music industry.
- Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Balotiano: “God’s Time is Perfect” …. means a lot to me since it is something more personal that I would like to relieve here. My partner, the mother of my baby live in Brazil while I lived in Cuba. We had a long-distance relationship for almost 2 years. We always dreamed of being together and we said to each other like this to give each other encouragement, “God’s Time is Perfect” and so it was. Today, we are together and it is God’s perfect time. We created a beautiful family and for each goal that I have proposed I wait for it but without haste, I only say that “God’s Timing is Perfect”
- None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Balotiano: Several people have done a lot for me and have put their grain of sand supporting me, but the person I have to thank the most is my mother “Rosaura Lay Capote” for giving me life, for teaching me. I want to tell you that since my love for music was awakened, my mother, despite the poverty we had, bought me a very small cassette recorder. She worked as a seamstress, sewing clothes for people on the street (still does it). With that recorder, I started to listen to the music of all kinds of genres. I did not stop listening to music until it was stolen, it was sad. My mother today is an important engine for my career, she is always giving me advice and supporting me in every idea or project that I have.
- You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Balotiano: It would be several things, first I would like to highlight what my country (Cuba) is going through with the government, the people have no rights, they do not have freedom of expression, they do not even have what to eat, so I could create a movement where I and several influencers do to reach our voices to the whole world so that the world knows the situation. The other thing I would do would be to create a campaign for people in need, for orphaned children, for sick people, from my country and from all over the world.
- We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this.
Balotiano: There are many people that I admire and that I would like to have breakfast with or a meal and of course, I would like to be able to collaborate with everyone one day, but since I was a child I grew up listening to Daddy Yankee’s music. he was always a great inspiration to me and most Of those of my generation. He took the urban genre out of Latin and taught it to the whole world. He is also an example not only as an artist but also as a person and businessman. I admire him a lot and if there is someone I love. I would like to meet him if I would be able to.
14 How can our readers follow you online?
Balotiano: You can follow me on the following platforms:
Facebook Page: “Yimy Balotiano”
My works are available on all Networks and Digital Platforms, you can search for me as “Balotiano”
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