Latinidad in NYC is a living, breathing reality we live day by day, and Latin music (the scene, culture and industry) is no exception to this rule. Still, there are certain times of year when the city explodes with Latin culture. Last week was one of them.
With the annual LAMC festival and all the unofficial events that pop up around it, it felt like pretty much the whole independent music scene had converged in NY for a tornado of events. From big name shows at SummerStage to intimate DJ sets in Bed-Stuy, the city emanated music from every corner. Among the many offerings was the seventh edition of the Solo Dame Indie Pop showcase. This year, Supercrush took a leap and teamed up with independent festivals Epicentro (Costa Rica), NRMAL (Mexico) and Remezcla. The goal? Join curatorial forces and present artists (local and international) redefining what “latin alternative” truly means.
A three day showcase, featuring Empress Of, Los Walters, Buscabulla, Dënver, Salt Cathedral, Los Manglers and many more, demonstrated that what we were really hearing was now, not alternative.
Our friends at Supercrush, Epicentro and NRMAL, shared a few thoughts on what last week meant. Check them out below and if you missed the showcases, check out some amazing shots of three epic nights.
For NRMAL, collaboration is very important. We’re always looking for international allies to join the community that surrounds our platform, and joining forces with Supercrush Studios and Epicentro seemed like an amazing opportunity. The goal was to take Hispanic music to new audiences, and for people from different backgrounds to realize the level these artists are producing at. What better place to showcase them than NY?
There’s an existing audience coming together the week of LAMC ,and we shared a few artists on the line-up, but we also aimed to present new projects that are just as interesting and not quite the usual suspects. In the end, we are another platform with a different approach to curation but with the same goal to serve the Latin/Hispanic music scene.
Even though we do this with a very small budget, we try for this to be a great experience for all bands. Just like everything we do, this stems from passion for music and to support new talent, emerging and independent. It’s very satisfying to do it and to put some blips on the international radar.
For Supercrush Studio, it’s been an amazing experience to work with such notable names in the Latino Music Industry. The “Solo Dame Indie Pop!” Showcase has been going on in NYC for the past 6 years, from its humble beginnings at the now-defunct Zebulon to this three-day showcase experience in North Brooklyn.
The artists and partners involved this year were particularly amazing in many respects. They’re all strong representatives of the music culture in their respective homes, where their art is not called “Latin Music”, it’s just called “Music”. I’ve lived in New York City for nearly 10 years now, and there have been many changes in demographics, both socio-economically, as well as culturally. But one thing that never changes, is that it’s still considered a hub for all things new. Whether that be music or new media, people are always looking to New York for the “next big thing”.
Since its beginnings, Supercrush Studio’s mission has always been to promote new and interesting proposals in the entertainment industries, whether it be music, art, literature or films. With the “Solo Dame Indie Pop!” showcases, the goal was to do the same, but focusing on the new and emerging Latino/Hispanic Music Scene. This year was no different.
We definitely try to make the most of the time around LAMC week. A lot of talent comes through the city during that week, and everyone’s trying to make the best of their time in NYC. There are a lot of different bands looking for a chance to showcase their talent and we’ve worked very hard to provide that platform.
I think these events showed the NYC public that “Latino/Hispanic Bands” don’t just make “Latino” music. Sounds obvious, but A LOT of people don’t expect this from Latin America or Spain, and are always surprised to see these groups as not only “Latin American Music” but as just “good music”. Seeing the artists support each other at these events was one of the biggest highlights of these showcases. I think these events proved that there is a strong community of promoters, artists and fans out there that are hungry for something new and exciting, and that people support it if they feel it’s good, regardless of the language. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will be repeated!
– Gabo Rodríguez
We had our very first experience curating emerging Iberoamerican music outside of our hometown of San José, Costa Rica this year, during SXSW. Thankfully, our showcase was a huge success, and we quickly realized that this was something we could do more of, and that people are taking notice. New York seemed like a great idea all around. Not only could we replicate what we started during SXSW, but it was also a great excuse to collaborate with like-minded promoters like SuperCrush and Nrmal. For us, collaborating with Nrmal has become a big part of our plans; we’ll be co-producing their first festival outside of Mexico this November as part of our Latin Indie Summit.
Right now, we live in a multi-cultural society, and the barriers between cultures are being torn down by new generations who are eager to discover and enjoy good music no matter where it comes from. We wanted to take Latin Indie not only to people in the business but promote it in clubs and make it relevant for consumers as well. Cool shows with cool bands who just happened to be Latin. The LAMC has brought a spotlight to Latin Alternative for the past 16 years, we wanted to complement that effort by showcasing bands that have a buzz from the bottom up and catering to the local NYC crowd. It is a week for celebrating the good place the Latin indie scene is in – in our particular case, it’s the whole reason Epicentro exists and the focus of our summit this November.
I have this vivid memory of people shazaming during Buscabulla’s set at Baby’s All Right. That is the true impact: giving these acts the right context for them to thrive. We are connecting like-minded audiences to music acts that happen to be Latino, and we are giving another perspective on what’s trending in other parts of the world. New York has always been a meeting point, and it was awesome for Nrmal( a festival at the forefront of music trends) and Epicentro (a noteworthy platform for the promotion of the Latin Indie scene) to come together with two local staples like Super Crush and Remezcla to make some magic! 😀
– Roberto Montero