Formerly known as the latin artist Jo-l, this eclectic, and exciting performer has Reinvented himself and has become Nino Valentino. Nino comes from humble Beginnings. Growing up between Bronx, New York, and Luquillo, Puerto Rico. His love for the art of singing was awakened at the early age of four, while watching, television appearances of legendary performers like Tom jones, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson
The power and the presence of these great entertainers were crucial and very influential in the development of Nino and his musical career. Nino grew up in a very musical family. His cousin Tito Ramos is one of the biggest names and pioneers of the Boogaloo era in the 60s & 70s; Ramos wrote, composed and sang the Boogaloo classic hit “Boogaloo blues”, for the Johnny Colon Orchestra, which became their trademark song, and is now a classic for the genre. "I remember watching my cousin on television and hearing his songs on the radio, and thinking to myself that’s what I want do when I grow up", says Nino
At 15, Nino was already on a national television show called Putting on the Hits, where he performed songs of one of his mentors Michael Jackson. When he was 16 yrs old the NAACP awarded him a songwriter award, as well as an award for his work as a prolific composer. Since then Nino writes, arranges, composes, and produces his music.
During his school days he decided to get together with two friends and form a group in the style of New Edition, and that’s how Nite & Day became a reality.
The group lasted from 1987 to 2000. In 1989, Nino was casted as a dancer for Club MTV, a popular dance show hosted by Downtown Julie Brown. But his first professional opportunity as a singer took place in Boston, Massachusetts,
when Nite & Day was given the chance to open up for the biggest group at that time, The New Kids On The Block, at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium.
This opportunity led the way to open shows for Brenda K. Starr, Will To Power, The Cover Girls, The Commodores, and the Boston Dance Music Award Show.
They also opened shows for a variety of Latin artists including Domingo Quinones, Millie Quesada, Frankie Negron, The Barrio Boys, T.K.A., Angel Lopez (of Son by Four) and La India. A master in the art of storytelling, Nino began writing at an early age. A vivid imagination and creative energy has allowed Nino to write songs for himself and other artists. When asked about writing for other artists, simply put, Nino said, "I want to reach people's hearts with my lyrics thru whatever path God chooses”.
Now Nino is ready to launch his second production as a solo artist entitled I am… (Nino Valentino). With this album Nino is giving us something new and fresh as he continues to do his own genre of music “Sal-Fuzion,” (a fusion of salsa, reggaeton, r&b with a hip hop swing) and his other musical genre Latin Soul, which is a blend of r&b and hip-hop sung in Spanish.
This is the way that Nino wants to reach the younger generation that normally wouldn’t listen to Latin music. “If you give them what they’re used to hearing from the American market, but add some Latin flavor to it, we can persuade our people to stay in tune with their Latin roots, and we can turn other people on to our music. It’s all in how you blend it”, says Nino.
The album includes 12 songs, most of them in “Spanglish” (a mixture of Spanish and English) in order to appeal to a wider younger audience. “One of the best things about the songs on this album is that you don’t have to know Spanish to enjoy it”, explains the singer. Some of them have a lot of flavor of salsa music while still staying true to today’s street urban sound.”
The driving rhythms and the kicking beats make a big impact, especially on tracks like “Mi Gente” which is a classic made famous by the legendary Hector Lavoe. Nino took the song and added his own twist to it by adding elements of dance hall reggae, r&b, salsa & reggaeton, topped off with a dynamic, powerful vocal performance.
Another highlight is “Sueltate” a Spanish r&b song with some latin jazz influences to it, a dance hall beat and a smooth vocal performance by Nino. The song carries a catchy hook and its a thriving upbeat song that is very contagious on the dance floor.
“Na Na Na Na” is a strong dancehall based song, that has a lot of salsa influence, fused together with some hip hop beats and a singing chant that is hard to get it out of your mind once you’ve heard it.
“Culebra” is a fusion of boogaloo, dancehall, reggaeton, and hiphop, featuring the super star band La Sonora Carruseles of Colombia, and written and composed by Nino…its electrifying!
I am… was partly recorded at Blue Sky studios in Miami, Sonic studios, and Drim studios in Miramar; mastered by Michael Fuller of Fuller Sound (Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, Juan Gabriel).
The production team for this album includes Dante Vargas; the producer of the world famous colombian band Sonora Carruseles; Veteran producer and composer Miles Pena, r&b producer Dj Gus, Angel Lopez (of Son By four) Juan Lozada,(four time Grammy Award nominee) and Ronnie Torres, (seven time Grammy Award winner) and 5 time Grammy winner
With his experience as a dancer Nino completes his talents as a singer with a show that is very visual, dramatic and musical. He wants his public to have the opportunity to see a show involving choreography, dancers, costumes, a female DJ, lighting effects, and a great band, which is the nature of a true performer.” I wanna to take them to places they never been before” says Nino Nino was one of the featured artists during the 2005 Latin Billboard Award Showcase that took place in Miami, FL. By the end of the same year, he started his international career with a performance at the world famous Feria de Cali in Cali Colombia. His success during the event opened the door for him in Panama, where he took his “sal-fuzion” in the beginnings of 2006, with a promotional tour and two shows in the popular Festival La Chorrera.
Nino has also had the honor of opening up the show for the biggest salsa band in the history of Latin music, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and Yomo Toro.
“I have always loved the music of El Gran Combo, and opening up for them was a great moment in my career ( back then knowned as Jo-l) .” MTVtr3 has entered two of Nino’s videos on their top twenty count-down; Wikepedia (the internet’s largest encyclopedia) has crowned Nino as the pioneer and creator of “Sal-fuzion,” a musical style that has currently many musicians and producers implementing in their music. Nino also Had his own television show by the name of “ Da Klick” which aired on MTV INTERNATIONAL, MEGA TV, AND LATV, where He interviewed stars like, Pitbull, Andy Andy, Jean, Lisa M. and much more.
On his second solo album, this dynamic entertainer is ready to deliver. Infusing pop melodies to rich, soulful production with a tropical blend, the album I AM…is sure to score with fans and critics alike. Relying mostly on his own in-house crew, Nino creates both a unique sound and sentiment for his records. Nino has taken salsa, reggaeton, and the hip-hop genre and has given it a refreshingly, new twist. With his new sound of “Sal-fuzion” and Latin Soul, Nino is definitely showing the world that his music has no boundaries!