Last year, we discovered Trinidad Cardona thanks to his viral song “Jennifer.” It wasn’t even meant to be an official release, but a friend of Cardona’s recorded him singing, and the clip went viral. “Once it hit Facebook, that’s when it blew up,” Cardona told us. “I got like seven million views. Literally, I woke up with seven million views, and the fans kept pushing it. They made a four-minute loop of that song, that little cell phone video. And it got a million views. That’s when I knew I had to make it a song. The fans pushed me to make that song.”
Sometimes these viral moments don’t lead to anything other than a flash of hype, but Cardona’s case is different. He’s wise beyond his years, and motivated to make an impact greater than a superficial social media buzz. He’s black and Mexican and grew up with two lesbian mothers and a father in prison, and his personal life experience drives his desire to reach others. “I want people to know that its OK to have tolerance,” he says. “It’s OK for different people to be friends with each other—different religions, different sexual orientations, anything. It’s alright for everybody to be friends with each other. You just have to figure out a way to make things work. That’s the main takeaway I want people to think about when they hear Trinidad Cardona.”
Today, Billboard announced that Island Records has signed Trinidad Cardona, and Island CEO David Massey sees star potential in the young artist. “I heard ‘Jennifer’ first and I was just really impressed with the song and the video and the charm of that,” Massey says. “He’s got incredible energy and is brimming over with talent and just a star in my view. For us it was an undeniable, sign-him-on-the-spot situation where we just wanted to commit to him immediately, which we did. There’s a lot of out-of-the-box success that doesn’t translate to a career all the time but with Island, what we’re very drawn to is long-term, career artists and for us, Trinidad is much more than a one video star.”
Read our interview with Trinidad Cardona here, and see the official video for “Jennifer” below.