If you live in Mexico City and are a nightlife enthusiast, there is a chance you have already heard about the new music collective in town, Onda Mundial. Since they kicked off their residency back in August 2019 at Galera, the freshest, ever-growing cultural hub in the limits of neighborhoods Doctores and Roma, once a month to throw sweaty, unforgettable free-access parties mostly centered on Latin American club acts.
The residency’s latest installment, which also served as the Onda Mundial’s official launch party, was a true reflection of this mentality. The event gathered the likes of techno instigator Debit, Lechuga Zafiro and Afro-Uruguayan trio Cuareim 1080’s joint adventure F5, Ecuadorian dance producer Quixosis, Latin American music explorer Tropicaza and drag folklorist La Bruja de Texcoco, with the addition of Lisbon kuduro star DJ Marfox. Split between a cocktail area, delightfully decorated as a surreal dinner party, and the main dancefloor area adorned with visuals inspired by Oaxacan town parties, the event was a celebration of the diversity of Latin American music and its creators.
But Onda Mundial is much more than a monthly party. In fact, it contains so many aspects it can be hard to boil it down to one definition. Lucía Anaya, co-founded and A&R of Onda Mundial, created the collective with Distrito Global’s Íñigo Villamil with the original idea of simply making an online radio. “But then it mutated into a broader model,” she tells Remezcla via email. “It has now become an infrastructure that connects [the members of] the artistic community who want to develop their projects, and where we can project these new likeminded Latin American talents who can change the global perception of Latino culture.” The collective already includes over 25 producers from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay and more.
Apart from being a chance to party and to support artists with its curation, Onda Mundial’s residency is also an excuse for encouraging collaborations between its guests and local artists. “[The residency idea] came about so we could connect producers who come from different places and background to experiment together.” Anaya explains. “Many improvised and spontaneous things happen, and those very moments are the best to develop organic, unplanned collaboration.”
Concurrently with the residency, Onda Mundial has also been functioning as a label and publishing house, with aid from Michael Rucker, former chief marketing officer at Fania Records. Just in January 2020, they released new music from F5, Exz, Quixosis and Rubinskee. They also shared the first volume of their Desorden y Progreso compilation series, which highlights music from up-and-coming Brazilian artists. “Michael Rucker felt it was important to build a catalogue of music made in Latin America that reflects its current panorama,” Anaya says. “I think in 10 years we’ll look at our past productions and have a musical picture of what happened [back then] and how things evolved.”
In the end, Anaya and Villamil’s dreams of an online radio did crystalize, as the collective now has its own Onda Radio. Broadcast on Facebook Live, it focuses on live DJ sets and performances from a growing list of guests, but it now also features recurrent live radio shows with interviews and selections from a variety of hosts. Most these transmissions are later archived on Onda Mundial’s YouTube channel, alongside original audio-visual material they produce.
The next step is to take Onda Mundial out of Mexico City, and they began to do so with an event in São Paulo back in December 2019 to launch Onda Mundial Brasil. They also had a special participation at this year’s Carnaval de Bahidorá, and they’re aiming to land in the U.S. and Europe later this year. With their shared experience, Anaya, Villamil, Rucker and their team believe in the power of uplifting a community, and this project is all about working together to grow together.