FORT LEE, N.J. — Three friends from Fort Lee are using music to show Latin American youth that gang violence, robberies and drug rings don't have to be the answer.
Brothers Brandon and Andre Murillo along with neighbor Juan Correa want to lead by example, altogether as "Los Unicos" — The Unique Ones.
They're hoping that their reggaeton music will resonate with youth back home... but not for the fame and fortune.
"We want to create opportunities for kids in neighborhoods who have nothing," said Correa, 25, who moved to North Bergen from Colombia with his family when he was 9.
"You forget there's another side of the world where people are hungry, homeless and can't get an education."
The three friends met on the soccer field. It wasn't until last year that they got their start as Los Unicos at Murillos' kitchen table, kicking around some beats and scribbling Spanish lyrics on a napkin.
"It was meant to be," said Andre "Dre" Murillo, who has been back and forth between Argentina the U.S. with Brandon since 2010.
Los Unicos is currently waiting on its first single "En Busca De Ti" to be authorized by Apple Music.
Recent trips to Argentina and Colombia have shown The Murillos and Correa a stark contrast in cultures.
"You think you have it bad until you go to other parts of the world," Andre said.
"I see how my family and friends live over there, and that gets to me. It's become normal to them."
"Music or sports are platforms — opportunities to make changes," Correa added. "And Los Unicos has plans."