A 14 year-old Passaic, New Jersey Latina single mother of a baby boy she named Carlos Sindrid Morera left her son to be raised by her mother while she went away to find her destiny. The boy's father would surface occasionally and that always meant trouble. Whenever his mother returned to visit her child, the boy felt only anger at her absence. In school, he was an outsider who was beat up daily, and even his art teacher told him he just wasn't any good.
If this sounds like a Dickensian recipe for a disastrous life, you will be surprised when you jump ahead 20 years to the day the handsome young poet, Sin Morera, escorts his mother to an elegant Manhattan venue for a party thrown by Patrick Conseil, the VP of Creative at Warner Music, to celebrate Sin's signing with Warner.
Sin Morera, song writer, producer, re-mixer and now an internationally in-demand DJ, will be playing at The Manor (Wilton Manors, FL) on Saturday, September 17, where we may get a hint of his new soon-to-be-released single on Nervous records, "Heartbeat". The song is about a toxic relationship and will tell you that Sin's life has not been a simple rags-to-riches story, but rather a fast rollercoaster ride with more dangerous spirals than seem possible for a 37 year-old who has in his short life transformed his strong doses of love, loss, abuse, sorrow, success, romance and loneliness into poetry and music.
I first fell victim to his heart-stopping Peruvian/Dominican good looks and penetrating green eyes three years ago when we were introduced by friends. I immediately made some wrong assumptions about this hot guy whose friends and associates in the music business include Junior Vasquez, Frankie Knuckles, Shep Pettibone, Patrick Conseil, Rick Shoemaker and Christine W, and who has danced with Madonna and was discovered at a party on Fire Island. I wrongly guessed he would be a vacuous and A-listed Chelsea boy with nothing to say. I discovered that Sin Morera guards his privacy, and while he offers you his music, his life is not for sale. No matter how close you get to the DJ booth at The Manor, you will not know the man.
Sin Morera tells me about his past with the vivid imagery of a born artist. (That dismissive art teacher was an idiot.) He loved his grandmother who daily packed his Voltron-Thundercats lunch box and eventually moved to a safer town near Jersey City for her grandson's well-being. When he took advantage of his new proximity to NYC by sneaking - at the age of 13 - into Manhattan and hanging out at clubs like The Building, Mars, Red Zone, Disco 2000 and the original Sound Factory on West 27th Street, and coming home at 10am, she somehow knew he would survive, and she silently endured it.
It would take Sin many years, many helpful friends, lovers and many hours of therapy to learn how to connect the dots between his Hispanic home and his English schooling, between New Jersey and his club life across the Hudson River, between poverty and wealth, between the love of his grandmother and the absence of his parents and his awakening realization that he wanted more from a man than just sex.
Morera intends to write his story, he says. "Maybe when I am 50. I have been able to find myself through other people who saw something beautiful in this angry little punk kid. They saw me as a diamond in the rough. Even after I fell apart, they got me back into music."
Morera is referring to the fact that when Warner signed him, they dispatched him to songwriters around the globe. Alone and cold in Aalborg, Denmark, he had a dream that his grandmother died. In the studio the next day, he poured that dream into his first hit, "Watching You." When Warner decided that the song would be recorded by singer Christina Undhjem, Morera protested.
"I didn't want anyone else doing that song. Finally my lawyer, Fred Davis, who is the son of Clive Davis, convinced me. It went gold in Europe. A few months later my grandmother died and I had a bad time with it. I dropped out of the music business entirely for a few years."
Morera's ex-lover, a New York City cop who remains his close friend, talked him back into the business by giving him his first set of turntables and suggesting he become a DJ. His friends in the business are glad he is back, and he has a strong friendship with his mother. His life is again full of promise but when he gets started on the subject of bad boyfriends, the anger flashes in his eyes and you remind yourself never to cross a passionate poet who knows when he is loved or not. There is much more to Morera's fascinating story, most of which I am not at liberty to disclose. Waiting 13 years to read it seems unfair. Meanwhile, you will find him in his music.
(A version of this profile appears in this week's South Florida Gay News)