Music Business

Chingo Bling: The Tamale King's Whirlwind L.A. Media Blitz

Fresh off the heels of his sold out show at Houston's House of Blues, Chingo Bling was booked to perform at Hollywood's world-famous Key Club.

The Tamale Kingpin invited Rocks Off to tag along and document the concert and his surrounding media blitz.


LATV Studios, Los Angeles, 4 p.m.

Chingo Bling needs a moment to collect himself. This fun little interview has suddenly turned into a full-blown Barbara Walters tearjerker. He recalls how he lost most of the proceeds from his album The Tamale Kingpin, due to his being either overeager or over-trusting.

It's not losing the money that hurts the most, he says, but rather the time and effort he and his family devoted to the project, only to be robbed of the glory in the end. An expensive lesson, but a mistake that will not be repeated.

Loteria Grill, Hollywood, 7 p.m.

After a quick rest at the hotel, Chingo meets with his manager Kevin Benson for dinner. Conversation topics include tomorrow's TV and radio interviews, and the finalization of the guest list for the show. A gentleman named John, who works with APA Talent & Literary Agency, is working on booking Chingo as an opener on a major tour scheduled for September.

A last-minute interview request is sent by text message to Chingo's phone. It's gonna be a long night.

Busby's East, Hollywood, 11 p.m.

The Cinco de Mayo celebration is in full swing thanks to radio personality and VJ Chuey Martinez. He leads Chingo down to the basement of the club, and interviews him for his MTV Tr3s show Musica y Mas. It's impressive to see Chingo turn on his character as soon as the video starts recording - he seems to be having fun, but he's been awake for almost 24 hours at this point, and is desperate to go back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep before his early-morning interviews.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Houston Press contributor Marco both writes and points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond.