New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Carmelita" by Tom Foti

By Bob Makin

originally published: 11/05/2020

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Carmelita" by Tom Foti

North Jersey-bred, Houston-based singer-songwriter Tom Foti premieres the video for his Latin-spiced rocker “Carmelita” in Makin Waves at New Jersey Stage. PHOTO BY LUCAS HUGHES

When singer-songwriter Tom Foti still was living near his native North Jersey, the Latino culture of New York City influenced a song entitled “Sinorita.” When he moved to Houston, the song further took shape from a Latino inspiration there and transformed into “Carmelita,” one of the 14 tracks on a long-waited sophomore LP, “Through the Night.” 

To promote the 2020 follow-up to Tom’s 2005 debut album, “Anybody’s Guess,” a video for the fun Tex-Mex-flavored “Carmelita” premieres here as the Makin Waves Song of the Week:

The Makin Waves Song of the Week can be heard at 5 and 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and midnight through Thursday at and 6:45 p.m. Friday and Monday on its “Radio Jersey” show. 

“Most of the song ‘Carmelita’ was originally penned in Brooklyn in the Clinton Hill section,” Tom said. “The first two verses and the instrumental were all written in New York, and I feel reflected the vibe of the streets there, the Latin influence and culture. I used to play it often on the subway platforms, and always got a great response from the people there. 

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

“When I moved to Houston, I continsaued to play the song, and as time went on the song came to evolve,” he continued. “The original title was ‘Sinorita,’ but when a monster radio hit came out that was also named ‘Sinorita,’ I decided to change the song title. And about that time, I added a third verse and another instrumental at the end. Somehow the personality of Texas also worked its way into the general vibe of the song. And since it has been completed and released, I have seen the comments vary as to how different folks feel when they listen to it.  For some, it puts them in the mood of a tropical vacation, while others say it brings to mind a Southwestern cantina, and still others see it as a straight country song. However the listener wants to enjoy it, I’m happy that the song sparks a feeling within that they can relate to.”

Other fun numbers on the Tom Meeks-produced “Through the Night” include “Bittersweet,” but most of its tracks focus of someone dealing with a challenge, relying on inner resources to forge their way. A slow jazzy instrumental, “Prospect Park,” soothes the album’s moodiness to finish off the journey.

The video of “Carmelita” had a journey as well, Tom said. 

“I first approached videographer Masaya Tamegai and director-star Lucas Hughes with the idea a few years before the album was made,” he said. “They both liked the basic premise and said it would be an interesting project. However, that idea did not form into a reality until ‘Carmelita’ was chosen as Makin Waves Song of the Week. That’s when everything began to happen.”

Both Masaya and Lucas were excited by the album version of “Carmelita,” Tom said. 

The three of them set on a search for the clip’s title character, he said. But the quest was short-lived when they agreed upon mutual friend Lauryn Holdorff, a budding YouTube personality who specialzies in makeup and beauty tips.

“This was her first time acting as a leading lady in a music video,” Tom said. “The talent that we all had seen in Lauryn came alive on the screen, and she captivates with each subtle glance and infectious smile. The song sets a warm and friendly backdrop to the atmosphere as these two young people find themselves out in a local establishment, and then taking a chance on each other.” 

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Tom said he is hoping to play Jan. 9 at Richmond Arms in Houston. 

Friends from New Jersey may find it easier to watch him in the following videos: 


Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Carmelita" by Tom Foti


Bob Makin is a reporter for USA TODAY NETWORK and the former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him via email and like Makin Waves on Facebook.




Tuesday, February 20, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Count Basie Center for the Arts
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: music

Click here for full description

Richard Shindell

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Lizzie Rose Music Room
217 E. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ 08087
category: music

Click here for full description

Lee Brice: Me & My Guitar

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 8:00pm
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: music

Click here for full description

Click here for more events

Listings are available for $10 and included with our banner ad packages.

Click here for more info.



Woodbridge Township presents Screaming Orphans at The Avenel Performing Arts Center

(AVENEL, NJ) -- Woodbridge Township presents Screaming Orphans at The Avenel Performing Arts Center on Sunday, March 10, 2024. They are known worldwide for their award-winning sound combining original pop songs with a unique take on traditional Irish music. Showtime is 7:00pm.

Danú Takes Audience to Ireland on March 10th

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center presents Chris Ruggiero's "Summer Serenade"

Lucy Wijnands Salutes Sarah Vaughan at March Jersey Jazz LIVE! Concert in Madison

Click here for more event previews

New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms. If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy