Before the bright lights of the stage, adoring fans and a nomination for the Tejano Music Awards, he was just a guy from a small town in the Midwest, where Tejano music is not exactly a first choice for many. Now Braulio Rodriguez, lead vocalist and song writer for Braulio y Fuzzion, is a local boy who is making waves through his music all over Texas.
Braulio was born in Silvis, IL. Quad Cities is his home where he grew up, fell in love with Tejano music and made his first steps as a song writer. The house on 5th Street in Silvis is not just Braulio’s home, but it is a place that is very dear to his heart.
“You truly never forget the neighborhood friends you grew up with. There’s that bond that can’t be broken,” Braulio shared.
Vey Rodriguez, Braulio’s cousin, who is only a few months younger than Braulio, lived across the street.
“We were part of a group of neighborhood kids who rode our bikes to Hero Street everyday and he had a larger than life character.” Vey remembered Braulio as a child.
Braulio had always been interested in music. A love for music led him to join his first Tejano band La Nueva Generacion when he was only 14 years old. This was when Braulio realized that Tejano music is the type of music he wanted to create and play.
“We started playing Tejano music rather young. We were about 13 or 14 and a friend of mine and I already had a group. He wanted to audition and that’s how he started performing.” Vey shared his memories of Braulio’s beginnings in the Tejano music scene.
“My older sister Isa got me hooked on Tejano music and watching a very popular show at the time called ‘The Johnny Canales Show’,” Braulio remembered. “I began to be heavily influenced by groups such as Mazz, La Mafia, Intocable, La Fiebre and the incomparable Selena. It was around that time the dream truly began.”
While he was going to United Township High School in East Moline he started to dabble in song writing. Unlike most impressionable teenagers who turn to poetry or music to free up their feelings, Braulio took seriously his songwriting. The young man went to Best Buy and got himself a cheap Casio keyboard, the only one he could afford at that time. With that keyboard he spent hours and hours practicing, playing and writing songs. He was 16 and many brutally criticized his voice, but he was strong enough to keep on working towards his dream. He was not going to let anything or anybody put him down or get to him. In fact, instead of zoning in on the all the negative comments he was getting, Braulio took them as a pointers to improve his musical self. The negativity of others simply added more fuel to his desire to go after his dream.
“He’s never been bound by boundaries and has always let his critics fuel his fire.” Vey Rodriguez told about Braulio’s determination.
“I remember constantly rehearsing and praying to God to better my voice for I, one day, wanted to be taken seriously as a true vocalist. I knew deep inside, even if others didn’t see it at the time, that God had a plan for me,” Braulio told us.
As they say, don’t just rely on God, but get off your bum and start making it happen. And that was what Braulio exactly did. After finishing Black Hawk College with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting he gathered up his courage and moved to Texas to pursue his dream of singing on stage in front of thousands of people.
“In my heart I knew that I couldn’t remain living in Silvis if I ever wanted my dreams to come true,” he explained. “I moved to Texas and never looked back.”
Braulio does not think of himself as someone very successful but he knows with time and hard work he will get there he wants to be. And as he says himself at least he is someone who can say that he is not just full of useless talk, but rather he is someone who is actually doing something and in the end this is what matters.
Getting to the Mecca of the Tejano music was just a first step on his way towards his dream. The next step was in the making and in the fall of 2010 Braulio y Fuzzion was created. With Braulio being the only one from the Midwest and most of the band mates who never played Tejano music before, it was truly a fusion of different styles of music and even people. Because members of Braulio y Fuzzion come influenced by many different musical styles, like Rock, R&B, Pop, Salsa, Hip Hop, Mariachi and even Reggae, the band started to incorporate them creating their own unique Braulio y Fuzzion sound.
The voice of Braulio accompanied by the perfect blend of musical styles that make up one mean Tejano song was what landed them a nomination in the most prestigious music awards show in Tejano music. In 2013 Braulio was nominated for the Best New Male Artist category in the Tejano Music Awards, and although he did not win, the sheer thought of being on the same stage as other very successful Tejano artists was exhilarating.
“I grew up always wanting to attend the award show and to actually not only be present, but to be a final nominee was a great feeling,” Braulio shared his first success of many to come. “I will never forget that moment when I saw my name on the big screen and heard my name being announced while a song I wrote was playing in the background. It’s the moment in time that I will cherish forever.”
Look out Tejano music world, Braulio y Fuzzion are not to be taken lightly.
And before they reach the very top of their success, Braulio y Fuzzion are scheduled to perform during VIVA Quad Cities in Bettendorf, IA on September 19. That’s right, the local boy turned successful singer and song writer is coming home!
Being from Silvis, of course, he wanted to perform for everyone in his home town.
“I’m extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity and can’t wait for the day to get here,” Braulio shared his emotions about coming home. “I’m overjoyed and looking forward to performing in front of my family and friends. Thank you God for answered prayers and for making it happen. I’m finally coming home!”
Braulio y Fuzzion is in a process of recording their sophomore album called “A Mi Manera” which is scheduled to release in 2016. Check out their latest single “Nadie.” The song is available to download on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other major online retailers. Also, go to their Facebook page and website www.reverbnation.com/braulioyfuzzion where you can sample their music and become a fan. VIVA Quad Cities is on September 19 from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM at the Isle of Capri Casino parking lot in Bettendorf, IA.