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The State Of Reggae En Espanol - An Interview With Eric Vidal

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 15, 2008 12:53am | Post a Comment

Last year around this time we were asked to make predictions for the upcoming year. One of my predictions had to do with Spanish Reggae. The popularity of Spanish Reggae in 2007 led me to believe that 2008 would be its year. Sadly, to fans of the genre, more of the same happened. Good Spanish Reggae releases went under the radar with poor distribution and very little press. However, Spanish Reggae still boils in the underground. There were some solid releases by some groups and last summer witnessed one of the biggest Spanish Reggae and Ska festivals ever to hit Los Angeles, with groups coming all over Latin America to perform at it.

I spoke with Amoeba employee Eric Vidal, who works in Amoeba’s Reggae section, about what he thought about the current state of Spanish Reggae and where it’s heading.

So was this the year for Spanish Reggae?

EV: Yeah, more people are into it, not huge amounts of people, but more people than before.

What are the new people like?

EV: Definitely more Raza is into it, especially the younger conscious crowd. Older Spanish rock heads are into it, coming from artists like Manu Chao and Todos Tus Muertos, and Raza who are into hip-hop and obviously people who are into Jamaican Reggae.

Who were your favorite Spanish Reggae artists this year?

EV: Alika, for sure. The new Gondwana was pretty tight. I also like the CD from Riddim. Locally, bands like Quinto Sol, Pachamama and Umoverde held it together, mixing Reggae with like Cumbia and Salsa. It makes it easier for people who cannot identify with roots music unless it’s fused with music that Raza is familiar with.

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2008, The Year Reggae En Español Broke

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 2, 2008 01:07am | Post a Comment

One of my predictions in the beginning of this year was that this would be the year Reggae En Español would come into the forefront. Reggae En Español has been around since the early 80's but with a few exceptions it has never become popular with the mainstream Latino audience. However, late last year, one of the biggest songs on Latin Pop Radio has been DJ Flex's (formerly know as Nigga but changed his name for obvious reasons) "Te Queiro." Other artists such as Eddy Lover w/ La Factoria ("Perdoname") and El Rookie from Panama and have been rocking Reggae clubs all over Latin America since the 90's. However, the trend has been to change these artist's style to "romantic Reggaeton" to accommodate the audience that listens to Latin Pop radio.

A much different take comes from Alika from Argentina. Alika comes from Dancehall, Roots Reggae and Hip-Hop background with little compromise to current trends. Each of her releases shows tremendous growth and her lyrics deal with female empowerment and her beliefs in natural living. Alika has been playing all over the L.A. area over the last week with East L.A. legends Quinto Sol as her back-up band. This is a must see for anyone who wants to check out what Latin Americans are bringing to the Reggae table!

LITTLE TEMPLE
4519 SANTA MONICA BLVD
(On the corner of Virgil & Santa Monica)
Cost: $10
21 and Over/Starts @ 10