Trenton’s aspiring filmmaker and hip-hop artist Josue Lora sits down at his desk in a studio above the Trenton Social, where he edits his music and videos. Known throughout the city of Trenton, Lora creates his own music and videos before releasing his work.

“So what inspired the music, I think, [was when] I used to go to church with my grandma and I always saw them playing music; and then I said: ‘oh that’s cool,'” Lora expressed. “I would come home and would watch movies with my uncle, and I guess [that] inspired the filmmaking side and then I mixed the two together and I started creating my own music videos.” 

Lora has released multiple albums over the last 10 years. Throughout those years, his music has grown and changed with him.  “I would say the sounds are like a mix of Afro Caribbean sounds with Dominican lingo and like hip-hop and like a touch of jazz, here and there, ” Lora said.

Although his music progressed, Lora noted that he did have some push back from his fan base about going too mainstream. “Some people say it’s more commercial music or whatever, but it’s still the same subject matter… it’s just like different rhythms, but it’s still like Afro Caribbean rhythms, it’s kind of like playing with people’s ears… As I got older, I think the subject matter stayed the same, I just said it differently.” 

Trenton plays a pivotal role in the kind of sound Lora creates. His music has become a way to describe the city he stays in . “[The people in Trenton] contributed different things because Trenton has a very diverse set of people,” Lora said. “Meeting those people, learning about their cultures, their sounds, learning what they like, what they eat, what they listened to, is definitely playing a role.” 

Josue Lora