2020 Top Florida Latino Lideres Award Recipient
Marcus Hernandez is a Latino Mover N’ Shaker from Tampa, Florida.
Latin Times Magazine: What part of Florida do you live in. Are you from Florida? If not – what brought you to Florida? Where is your family from? Marcus Hernandez: I live in Tampa but grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I moved to Florida basically to get out of the cold! (Laughing out loud) My family is originally from Puerto Rico, so I have hot blood.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it Marcus Hernandez: I am a musician and accountant. I started in the late ’70s to late ’80s as a musician performing all over New York. I performed with some of the great Salsa artists at the time before starting my band called Fuego ’77. In addition, I became an accountant in the late ’80s and serviced many musicians and soap opera actors. I took a long break from music while building my accounting practice. Presently, I own my accounting firm in Florida while also producing and performing original music with Orchestra Fuego.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell me about what organizations you are a part of. Marcus Hernandez: I belong to music organizations such as ASCAP and BMI groups, as well as I am a member of the Grammy and Latin Grammy organizations.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related) Marcus Hernandez: The biggest highlight is when we got nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2016 and was invited to be a guest among the greatest Latin Artists, but a recent highlight was performing for over 2,400 fans at the Orlando House of Blues in Disney Springs. It was an amazing experience!
Latin Times Magazine: What has been your biggest challenge, and how have you been able to overcome it? Marcus Hernandez: The biggest challenge is keeping a balance between being an accountant and a musician. Both keep me very busy. Keeping 12 musicians united and excited about performing with Orchestra Fuego, as well as running a full-service accounting firm, requires lots of energy, organization, and time. I wouldn’t be able to do it all without help. I am very blessed to have an excellent Management Team, Deville Entertainment, to help me with the band, and my wife, Sylvia, to manage my office.
Latin Times Magazine: How important is being a Latino/Hispanic to you? Marcus Hernandez: I am very proud of my heritage as a Puerto Rican. I love Puerto Rican food, music, and culture. When someone performs “Preciosa”, I break out in tears (Laughing out loud). I attribute my passion for creating music to see people dance and sing to my music.
LTM: What is your favorite type of music, and what is your favorite song? Marcus Hernandez: Well, for me, SALSA! I love my music. One of the songs from our latest album, “Vegan Todos a Bailar”, is my new favorite song.
Latin Times Magazine: IF you travel back in time, where/when would you go -and/or what are some of the pivotal decisions that you have made that you would do differently? Marcus Hernandez: I would say the early 90’s; this was when I made the pivotal decision to stop performing and concentrate on my career as an accountant.
My only regret is not continuing to play piano and perform, at least as a hobby. When I returned to performing in 2014, I realize how much I missed playing the piano. God blessed me with a talent for numbers, and he had a different plan for me than only being a musician.
I wouldn’t change a thing!
Latin Times Magazine: Being an Inspiration to others, what wisdom can you give young Latino/Hispanics? Marcus Hernandez: I would say, especially to bands just starting, “Don’t be afraid to get advice but stay true to your vision. Don’t give up and always do your best”.
Latin Times Media : Tell us about what kind of projects you currently have going on. Marcus Hernandez: We are currently working on our 5th album and 4th music video, plus we have plans on touring to NY, NJ, CT, Chicago, Boston, and Virginia.
Latin Times Magazine: What can we expect to see from you in the future Marcus Hernandez: More original music and videos. Also, we have a huge event coming up on May 3rd in Orlando opening for Victor Manuelle and La Sonora Ponceña. Check out our website for other exciting upcoming events. Visit https://orchestrafuego.com/
Latin Times Magazine: What is your comida favorite? Marcus Hernandez: Arroz con gandules and chuletas. For the gringos, rice with chickpeas and pork chops (Laughing out loud).
Latin Times Magazine: What did I miss? Tell me something you want us to know! Marcus Hernandez: I am a firm believer in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the center of my life. I am also a missionary and recently went on a mission trip with my beautiful wife to Cuba, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Many people know me as a performer, but I want to be known as a man after God’s own heart!