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IAmChino is best known as Pitbull's canny and crowd-pleasing DJ. But Cuban Jose Garcia (his real name), based in Miami, has been a professional musician since he was 13. He got his first big break in 2005, after he met Pitbull's manager, Mike Calderón. The pair got on; Calderón was impressed by IamChino's skills, which included not only the requisite ability to get the crowd on its feet, but his accessibility, taste, and athletic mixing skills.
For his part, IamChino expressed his own desire to be part of Calderón's team. The meeting led to the youngster's DJ'ing at high-profile private events and he started getting attention. Soon thereafter, he was being booked to run the decks at large parties, festivals, and concerts, and began collaborating with several artists. He officially joined Pitbull's crew in 2011, and has been prominently featured both live and on record. His work on the 2015 chart-topping and Grammy-winning album Dale was especially noted by critics. IamChino was officially signed to Pitbull's Mr. 305 label even before that, and dropped the club single "Amor" (feat. Wisin & Yandel). In mid-February of the following year, he released the single "Ay Mi Dios" (feat. Pitbull, Yandel, and Chacal (the latter co-wrote the tune) through Mr. 305. The track was instantly popular in clubs, and had legs; it spread not only in Miami -- where it gained the attention of savvy radio programmers -- but throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. A second single, "Otra" (feat. Fuego), was released that summer and placed on club charts, but "Ay Mi Dios" remained dominant; so much so that in mid-September, it hit the top spot on the Latin Airplay chart and placed in the Top Ten of four other Latin music charts -- including Hot Latin Songs, Tropical Songs, and Latin Pop Songs. IAmChino followed it immediately with "Chemicals (feat. Matilda Thompson). His work with Pitbull and his singles solidified his rep, leading to production and DJ work with top-tier artists Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, and Becky G. In early 2017, he was heard all over Pitbull's hit album Climate Change, and announced that his own solo album would be issued in 2017. ~ Thom Jurek