El Chávez is one of the real pioneers of Argentina’s ñu-cumbia scene, one that unfortunately doesn’t get the international exposure he deserves maybe because he’s not associated to the ZZK fam, or because when you google his name, trying to find about his music, another much more popular (and populist) Chávez tends to pop up.
Originally from Morón, the hip-hop Mecca of Buenos Aires’ western outskirts, Chávez started in the ’90s with mestizo rock band Árbol. Legend tells that Árbol got picked up by über-producer Gustavo Santaolalla who force-exited founding member El Chávez (back then still Matías Méndez) because he didn’t like how he played drums. Turns out, nobody is talking about Árbol now, but its expelled alumni is gaining more and more fame thanks to his contagious brand of cumbia/reggae.
Following the local success of his debut album Monterrey (2010), he recently released a free-to-download EP titled Casanova Style (DL button below) and this is the first single out of it, also the soundtrack for an Argentine TV show about life in the cumbia-ridden slums.