DJ Jose Luis has been burning the candela at both ends bringing Londoners endless club nights, and now Latino London has its own show on Resonance FM featuring cutting-edge Latin sounds including reggaeton of course…
What is the idea behind your show?
Basically, it is to get Latino music out there, what is new and fresh and also playing the classics, sort of a music magazine, not just reggaeton and Latino hip hop but also Salsa and everything that is good.
Latin DJs (who are mostly not Latino by the way) don’t like reggaeton because they cannot claim they discovered it! Had one of these posh worldmusic DJs traveling around the world “discovered” reggaeton a couple of years ago, it would be a lot bigger now
There is not a single program for Latino music on FM in the UK, and we are a big community, it does not make sense to me and to most Latinos. Hopefully, this program will get us noticed and we’ll get more airplay. Also we want to support the local talent, that is very important for me. Acts like Cultura Londres and La Maquina need airplay, those guys are doing good stuff and they work hard, so they deserve exposure.
How does it fit with other shows on Resonance FM?
I am not too sure about this. Resonance is very experimental and I was the last one to come on board, my partner Karlo and our producer Guille were the ones who got the program, but Resonance is about supporting local musicians and bringing new sounds to the airwaves and we fit perfectly with that. They are giving us a chance and we will get the results.
Reggaeton seems to have shifted the whole Latin scene off its comfortable axis…
Depending on your viewpoint. The thing is reggaeton is fresh and it is party music. In the UK reggaeton has not been as popular as in other countries. HIp hop DJs here are very close-minded, they are either into the whole 50 Cents gansta hip hop or 100% british hip hop, so it’s hard to find support from them.
Latin DJs (who are mostly not Latino by the way) don’t like reggaeton because they cannot claim they discovered it! Had one of these posh worldmusic DJs traveling around the world “discovered” reggaeton a couple of years ago, it would be a lot bigger now, but as they did not discover it, so they don’t support it, and they keep saying all this crap about reggaeton fading out.
On the salsa side of things, which is sort of natural environment for reggaeton, the response has not been too different. The salsa scene was killed by salsa teachers and dancers so people who were into the whole “stylish” side of the dance felt left out. Those teachers and dancers took the sensuality and the fun out of the whole Latino party experience.
Reggaeton is coming directly from the Caribbean and people who are not into Latino music, can have a great time in a reggaeton night, it puts the sensuality back into the club experience, so the reggaeton-Latino movement is still underground, getting out day by day, but still underground.
Reggaeton is shaking off the world music tag from Latino music. Reggaeton is urban music but it’s still an uphill battle to get it into the mainstream.
What is going on in Londres Latino?
Many things man! Now the first generation of Latinos born in the UK are demanding more attention, on all fronts. Latinos are getting more organized, there is even a Colombian woman running to be an MP. I don’t know whether she will win but that is a starting point. On other fronts, it is all looking good, i guess we are just part of the “melting pot”.
Tell us about some of your other activities (clubs etc)
At the moment Candela, is involved in 3 monthly parties, Latin Flow at Cargo, which is coming back on June 22 (free party is also showing Brazil playing Japan, so it is going to be MAD), Puerto Rico at the Yacht Club and the new one called Fuego at Fire, a great club in Vauxhall which will be incredible as we have 2 massive rooms and we’ll have it the last Saturday of every month.
Also our website www.reggaeton.co.uk is getting better, with interviews with top reggaeton and Latin hip hop artists, new sections and other surprises coming up.
Also we starting a record label, in association with Flow Music (DJ Nelson’s record label), the first release will be out very soon. We have some bigger events for the summer, bringing back DJ Nelson and some of his artists, summer is good for latin music.
We are also trying to open a internet music channel, the project is just starting but we have some people with the experience helping us, so I hope to get that up and running for the end of the year.
What else…? Cartel magazine, a little guide for Latino events in London coming out next month. This year we have a reggaeton and Latin hip hop festival, plenty of things, but one by one, we don’t want to burn ourselves out. On my DJ side of things, I am working on a soundsystem now, myself another DJ, percussion player and dancers. We play latino music and fusions, very unique music that we are getting from all over the world, with a Latino edge of course, but from the reception we got at Cargo the future is bright. We are trying to get some gigs in the summer festival season too.
Jose-Luis traces the evolution of reggaeton