Travelling full circle through Latin music old and new, North Rock 360 are an essential new hip-hop duo

Welcome to 52 Songs Of Happiness, a collection of unique music from around the world brought to you by Coca-Cola. Each of these amazing new acts has crafted a one-off song based around a treasured location, as well as a Placelist with the music that makes that place so special.

We’re delighted to introduce our next act North Rock 360, who hail from the Logan Square and Humboldt Park communities in Chicago, Illinois, and make music that bridges the gap between traditional Latin sounds and modern hip-hop. We met the pair to find out about their song ‘Let Fun Take Control’ and their choice of Placelist.

Hi guys, good to meet you! Introduce North Rock 360 and tell us about your music?

Hey everyone! Our names are Jorge Soto AKA U-N-I and Daniel Martinez AKA OutBreak. It’s hard to categorise the exact style of music we do. We fuse a blend of Latin roots, hip-hop and pop culture, with a positive outlook every step of the way. If you had to place a genre on us, it would be Latin-urban pop.

Your music is very eclectic - who have been your musical heroes?

As musicians, all types of song have influenced us, and we listen to all different kinds of music; including hip-hop, pop, country, house, r’n’b, salsa, merengue, and bachata. As far as heroes go, we can narrow it down to LL Cool J, Big Pun and Pitbull. LL Cool J for the simple fact he’s timeless. His longevity and ability to grow as the music changes is like no one else. He can do a love record one moment and a hardcore hip-hop record the next, then act on television - that’s an amazing trait! Big Pun has an entirely different meaning. He gave us belief that an inner city Latin kid could make it in hip-hop. His first album was the first by a Puerto Rican hip-hop artist to go Platinum and win multiple awards, and for that, he’s an epic inspiration. And finally Pitbull, what can’t we say about Pit? He is the reason we are as far along as we are. Had he not opened up so many doors for us and broke into so many genres, NorthRock wouldn’t be what it is today. He continues to defy the norm and what was once a longshot is now an attainable reality, and opening on his tours doesn’t hurt either. When we have been on the same bill we have received so much love, so thank you Pitbull!

We’re guessing you’d love to collaborate with the man himself?

Definitely! A musical fusion of ours would be an epic, amazing collaboration. We’d be excited to get into the studio and see where the record would go. We all have such lively personalities and would work till something the world would love would be created!

Outside of music, which people have inspired you?

U-N-I: Family has been my ultimate inspiration. I’ve been blessed to have some amazing people in my immediate family who have helped mold me to become the person I am today. My brother, one of Chicago’s first Puerto Rican hip-house artists (M.C. Rapski) and my wonderful parents who instilled the music bug in me from an early age and raised me so well. 

OutBreak: My parents always set the bar high for me. They taught me to always do the right thing and to work hard, in order to achieve success. How they raised me has impacted the way I conduct my business and myself on a daily basis. For that I will forever be grateful.

Tell us about the music you've chosen for your Placelist?

We wanted to celebrate being young and having fun. We also wanted to remember the days of close friends, beautiful days and the memories we created. Some of the best memories we have are from carnivals and our favourite theme park, just hanging with our friends at neighborhood carnivals. Cotton candy, games, thrill rides and not a care in the world!