Josh Norek is the co-host of the new weekly radio show, “The Latin Alternative,” debuting on WEXT at 8pm on Saturday, July 4.
He’s also the director of the JN Media Group (a bilingual music public relations company), the co-founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and a founding member of the Latino-Jewish rap group Hip Hop Hoodios.
While Norek lives and works in Los Angeles these days, his roots are right here in Nippertown.
NIPPERTOWN: How does a kid from Delmar get into Latin alternative music? What was it about the music that first attracted you?
NOREK: I grew up in Slingerlands, or as I call it “Slingerlandia.” My family is Jewish, but I have extended family from Colombia and always embraced español. When I was 14 years old, I started translating Tom Petty and John Mellencamp songs into Spanish for fun. My Spanish teacher at Bethlehem High School, Marta Meacham, encouraged me to mix my love of music with Spanish, but I never thought it would lead to an entire career as a Latin music executive, political activist (I also serve as deputy director of Voto Latino, the Latino youth civic engagement organization co-founded by the actress Rosario Dawson) and recording artist.
Believe it or not, I owe part of my music industry career to growing up in Bethlehem. When I was in 9th grade, I founded a ‘fanzine’ that was a parody of Rolling Stone. It was called ZedNosh, and I somehow conned Bethlehem Central High School to pay for its production. Spin Magazine publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. became a big fan of ZedNosh and I wound up becoming his personal intern at age 17.
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