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Meet Karina Nistal of L.O.V.E. Records in Central

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karina Nistal.

Karina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started off as a fly girl dancer. That was the term after “go-go dancer” that we started using after we saw female hip hop dancers on the show “In Living Color”. I used to dance for a monthly party called “Starlight” which coincidentally turned out to be the name of the first label that signed me “StarlightBeats & Breaks” under Rebel Crew in Houston, TX.

For a few years leading up to this release, I was featured on numerous dance singles with different producers and DJs. I finally convinced Rebel Crew to take me on. It was a very successful release. We had national notoriety and even toured through Armed Forces Entertainment to perform for the troops in the Middle East.

Following that release, I broke ties with Starlightbeats and started learning how to record, publish, and release my own music. With the help of crowdfunding, I have been able to release four albums since. The music ranges from Latin to House, Hip Hop to Soul, and Dub to Electronic.

For a few years, I’d even relocated to Los Angeles and featured on some great television segments doing background work, music videos, network shows, and even a few short films.

My heart was still in music and after living the dream in LA, I decided to return to Houston to have more time with family. I continue to write and record music while also managing my new band, the KNQRS. With several collaborations and video projects still in the works, I’m excited about the opportunities that continue to arise and what’s still ahead.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I left the label, I thought it was over. I had been managing my then band, but I had no idea how to release music. Becoming my own independent entity was the best thing that could’ve happened. I was now the owner of all my own masters and I was able to collect on my own royalties.

There were many challenges along the way. I needed help funding every album, which meant I needed to crowdfund. I mostly did this work by myself and there were times when I was filled with a lot of doubt that I would reach my funding goal. Other times I just lacked the motivation or inspiration to keep creating. I was reminded how much you always need to motivate yourself, even if you’re the only one believing in yourself.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My business is entertainment. I am a self-released artist, actor, and personality that has worked on my brand for the past two decades. I’m not sure if we stand out, but what makes me proud of my label is that there are no limits on what kind of music is released. I have creative freedom and release multi-dimensional bilingual music. I make music to dance to, listen to, for healing, relief, and to show others how much we relate as human beings.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Houston has always been a great place for rising talent. Compared to other big cities, most people wouldn’t imagine that Houston has had so many great emerging artists, but we do. Since H-town has so many thriving industries (none of them being entertainment), it can be tough to market yourself as an artist here. You really have to grow, network, and really establish yourself. You have to have some solid contacts.

I have had very great seasons here then I’ve had some dry seasons as well. Sometimes it seems like the only way to keep attracting the right opportunities is to travel and play outside of the city or state. It is super nice to get that hometown love.

Pricing:

  • Solo showcase with DJ on tracks – 1 hour starting $150
  • Full band 6-7 musicians – 1-3 hours starting $600

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Prayer image- Chase Bartels
Band performance – Laurette Canizares
Wood background black dress – Cloudy Lopez
Bottom three photos- John Cruz Photography

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