By Christy Padilla
SYRO is a bilingual band that fuses various genres to make a new and original style of music. With roots from both the Dominican Republic and America, SYRO creates a diverse sound that ultimately unifies cultures in the New York City area.
Music has a unique way of bringing people together, especially in the Bronx where there is a heavy influence of both Hispanic culture and Hip Hop. Today we hear musical genres being mashed together and crossed to make exceptional sub-genres such as pop- rock, Latin-pop, and Meren-house.
SYRO is an up-and-coming Latin fused music group that identifies with the genre of Meren-house. Meren-house has elements of rap, reggae, hip- hop and ultimately blending it with Dominican culture.
Members include Louis Paulino, Jhelsy Paula and Verro Rodriguez.
SYRO uses love, heartbreak, life struggles and obstacles as inspiration for their lyrics, which members say are inspired by personal experiences.
“Our own life stories you know, it’s beautiful when you, when you accept obstacles that you know everyone else goes through the same things and we write about our own stories, our own experiences in life,” says Paulino.
SYRO says that being a bilingual band reflects the increasingly multicultural landscape. “Think about it,” says Paulino. “We live in a world where globalization is taking place. Therefore you know, nowadays people speak more than two languages so it’s definitely good and positive for us to assimilate to what’s going on in the world.”
SYRO’s member Jhelsy Paula says their bilingual music gives the group a wider fan base universally. “Something that I really like about SYRO is that it’s bilingual, so it’s also Spanish and English,” she says. “Each part that you hear us singing. Verro would write his part, Louis would write his part and I would write mine.”
Meren-house is a fusion of merengue, techno and hip- hop and a bit of pop as well. Members of SYRO admit that they are all fans of these genres and adding lyrics to these catchy tunes is what makes their style unique. “We are all fans of all those genres so of course like we gonna fuse them some where some how as much as possible,” says Paulino. “Cause every song is going to sound different and we like to take those catchy instrumentals and throw in lyrics with substance in it you know something that people can dance to and listen to at the same time.”
Paula, the sole female in the group says this fusion of Dominican and American cultures hits home for her. “I think every Dominican will love merengue,” she says. “Every time they listen to it they go back to the Dominican Republic. So the fusion of merengue with hip hop and also techno, I think is a way of taking our roots here to the United States from the Dominican Republic but also at the same time is taking our new sound with techno which a lot of people listen to right now and hip hop of course.”
SYRO performs at local lounges and universities. Louis Paulino says the group some times performs for a good cause. “A few weeks ago we participated in the Columbia University “Viva tu Vida” event, which you know emphasized a lot on eating healthy.”
Paulino says group members have roles that reflect their personalities. Rodriguez focuses on hip-hop and Paula on ballads.
“He’s like the emperor of the hip- hop and the rapping in the group,” says Paulino. “She is all about the Latin and the ballad.”
After a year together, SYRO has already released a few singles. “Same Girl” and “la Electronica” are on the web, along with a few music videos on their YouTube channel. They are also using influences from other Spanish music such as Bachata to add a new twist to their sound.
“We are finishing our album, but before we finish our album we are now working with Henry Hierro, which is one of the most important singers and artist in the merengue music,” says Paula. “Hewas very, very good and famous, very popular in the ‘80s. So now we are working with him. He’s our mentor. He’s telling us where to go. We are also introducing Bachata to our music, which is very, very good in the Spanish market.
SYRO’s latest single, La Electronica, is a fusion of Spanish, hip hop, techno and pop. In it, SYRO sings about relationships and manipulation.