CD release is homecoming for Red Cliff hip hop artist |

CD release is homecoming for Red Cliff hip hop artist

Melanie Wongmwong@vaildaily.comRed Cliff, CO Coloado
Special to the Vail DailyRed Cliff hip-hop artists J Playa (Joey "J" Tafoya) will debut his new CD at Mango's in Red Cliff on Friday

RED CLIFF, Colorado – Of all the things that come out of Red Cliff, hip hop and R&B usually aren’t usually among them.But for two aspiring artists set to release their first CD, titled “Kno My Name,” in Red Cliff on Friday, the launch is a bit of a homecoming. Singer and songwriter JPlaya (Joey “J” Tafoya) and producer and singer ProDOC (Junior Martinez) will play music from their 18-track CD at Mango’s Bar and Grill.Tafoya, 22, is a Red Cliff native, and said the little town has actually produced quite a few Spanish musicians. While he draws from his Latino background as well, he sees his music – an urban combination of hip hop and R&B beats and rap – as “the next generation.””Red Cliff has changed a lot compared to what it used to be,” said Tafoya, who now lives in Denver. “We’d have Spanish dancers and bands from Mexico. That was a different genre, though. And now I feel like I’m the next generation.”Tafoya and Martinez say they’ve come a long way since they met at Battle Mountain High School, where they connected over their love of music. Martinez, originally from Venezuela, recalls spending lunch periods in the video room mixing beats and instrumentals.”We just kind of clicked,” said Martinez, 22. “We didn’t know that one day we would be doing this.”For the past year, they have been working on their CD, touring the West Coast opening for bigger names and competing in hip-hop/rap competitions.The two describe their tracks as “feel-good”, with an “upbeat tempo” and a Spanish flair inspired by musicians like Eminem, Dr. Dre and Usher. It’s a type of sound that hasn’t been as popular in the Vail Valley, they admit.”It’s real mainstream stuff that the Vail Valley hasn’t really heard,” Martinez said. “A lot of the music that comes through here is underground, mellow, hip-hop stuff. I know people don’t expect two guys who grew up in the Vail Valley to make this kind of music.””Kno My Name” throws in a few twists on classics, such as “Take It All Back,” a remix of a Queen song, and “Musta Been Something You Said,” a new take on “Died in Your Arms Tonight.”Tafoya, who has been writing lyrics and poetry since his early teens, said his writing inspirations come from being able to relate to his listeners. In one song, “My Bay-B,” Tafoya sings about his travels around the West Coast and thinking about that “one girl you always have no matter where you are.” The song resonated with many people, he said.”Sometimes it ain’t even my story, but I can relate to a lot of people through a song,” he said.

What: “Kno My Name” release by JPlaya and ProDOC, along with Scrilla Scratch and Code RedWhen: 8 p.m. Friday, June 26Where: Mango’s Mountain GrillHow much? $10 cover chargeMore info: or Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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