Countown to Freestyle Invasion II: Q&A with Judy Torres
Judy Torres is the singer of the freestyle hits "No Reason to Cry" and "Please Stay Tonight." She is currently a radio host on WKTU 103.5 in New York City. And there is no doubt that she is the Queen of freestyle!
José el Rey: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me, you must be the hardest working woman in show business!
Judy Torres: I'm super busy, I have lot of shows this weekend, and the radio show on WKTU 103.5 in New York. I've been on the air for 12 years. I hosted a Freestyle free for all Sundays!
You still get to play freestyle on the radio, that is super cool! Are you still making freestyle music?
My main thing is singing and freestyle is like my family. You always love your family.
Did you realize you were part of something special when you were performing in the late 1980s?
Anytime a certain sound comes alive, it's a movement. Everyone was addicted and excited about it. And when they don't what it is, they have to label it. At first they called it Latin Hip Hop then it was named Freestyle.
Do you think freestyle will come back strong in the near future?
It is still strong! The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and Flo Rida's song have Freestyle in them. Freestyle has something very magical to it. The 1980s were a lot of fun and so vibrant. You could express your self in a way that you can't today! No drama. No bills. No responsibilities.
That excitement comes across in the music. We were young. We were vulnerable. We had our hearts broken, fell in love, broke our hearts again.I like to think freestyle lyrics speak directly to our inner 12-year-old.
Freestyle lyrics express things simply and honestly. Like, Cynthia's "Change On Me." A line as simple as "Why did you have to change on me?" In a relationship we think, is this the same person? Did they change or did you finally get to really know them?
Did you write your own songs?
I started writing songs from fifth grade on, I have a huge book of songs. My manager is encouraging me to write my songs.
Why wasn't freestyle the biggest thing in the world?
All of a sudden, in New York there was a meeting at the radio stations, they changed their frequency from Hot 103 to Hot 97, and they told us, "We are now playing hip-hop." And dropped freestyle completely. People at the club still wanted to hear it, though.
In the club, freestyle is still on top! How do you feel about the upcoming concert?
I'm grateful to the fans, it still amazes me how people come out and swarm to these shows. It's mind blowing. We're keeping this music alive. It's our legacy.
Freestyle Invasion. Featuring Taylor Dayne, Debbie Deb, Johnny O, Judy Torres, Erotic Exotic, David of Nice & Wild, Company B, Reinaldo, Freestyle Evolution, Timmy T, Corina, Sa-fire, Rockell, Sequal, and Voice in Fashion. Saturday, May 30. BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., tickets cost $28 to $58. 305-284-8244; bankunitedcenter.com