Music of the past, present, and future. The 9 essential albums that have shaped the sound of Locos por Juana.
Music and color are linked as far as I’m concerned. Certain tones resonate best with certain hues. When I want to get a quick sense of what a new band will sound like, I always check out what they look like. What colors do they surround themselves with?
Take Locos por Juana for example. They are about to release their 5th studio album and even if you know nothing about them, you can see that this album is filled with bright bold music. You just know that this album will make you move. You’re primed to dance.
What the cover art doesn’t tell you is that Locos por Juana have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and that their sound combines influences from all over South America and the Caribbean including Cumbia, Champeta, Reggae, Raggamuffin, Dub, Hip-Hop, Funk, and Rock. The L.A. Times calls Locos por Juana “a funky, pan-Latin amalgam,” that “pulls listeners into a reverse Gulf Stream churning through the Straits of Florida south to Jamaica, Venezuela and Colombia, and over to Puerto Rico.”
As for the band themselves, they just call their style and music a “Latin Urban Orchestra.” Take a listen their first single, Afro Sound (Remix) feat. Palenke Soultribe, and you’ll hear why. Just try and count all the influences that you hear and all the colors that you see.
I bet you started nodding your head or tapping your feet within the first 3 seconds of the video, no? Their beats are infectious. When I saw Locos por Juana last year at an outdoor festival, their performance was literally a dance tractor-beam. They pulled in everyone from all around. I saw a 2 year old shaking and shimmying. I saw an 80 year old woman dancing salsa. I even thought I saw a few people in wheelchairs get up and dance.
Locos por Juana are masters of the groove. They are emcees of the party. And their horn section is out of this world. Their combination of sounds is fresh, current, and utterly relatable. It is Latin music for everybody. It’s no wonder that The Miami Herald dubbed them “Miami’s beloved Latin-Reggae-Hip-Hop mashup master.” And so, in wanting to gain a bit more insight into the roots of their style, I asked the band to share with us their favorite music recommendations.
Since Locos por Juana represents a modern interpretation of all the genres and artists that came before them, I wanted to know more about their influences. Who do they listen to and who shaped their sound?
Here are the top 9 albums that have influenced the Locos por Juana sound. Since there are 3 core musicians in the band, each artist took turns at sharing their personal favorites and they also mentioned the most relevant track and talked about their thoughts and feelings as to why the album was important to them. If you'd like to learn more about each album or to listen, just click on the album cover image.
Bonito que Canta by Petrona Martinez
You have to hear: Bonito Que Canta. “This is the traditional music from the coast of Colombia, and Petrona is one of the best” Javier "Lakambra" Delgado - Drummer
Poeta Del Pueblo by Ruben Blades
Beast of No Nation by Fela Kuti
Favorite Track: Beast of No Nation
“Music is the Weapon and Fela knew how to use it. This track is a perfect example of Afro Beat; from African Drums to Jazz Guitars and Funky Horns to revolutionary lyrics.” "Mr Mark" Kondrat - Guitar
Bari by Ojos de Brujo
Exodus by Bob Marley
Favorite song: Natural Mystic
"(World Reggae ) pure soul from the legend" Itagui Correa - Lead Vocals
Animal by Pink Floyd
Mute Math by Mute Math
"I love the Production, the recording and especially the Drum Sounds" Javier "Lakambra" Delgado - Drummer
Las Penas Alegres by Petrona Martinez
Proxima Estacion, Esperanza by Manu Chao
Check out the video for Revolution Ska (la musica) and see which of the above influences can you hear? I'd love to hear your thoughts and to continue this conversation.
If you liked what you heard above, then dig a little deeper:
- Watch Locos por Juana talk about their roots and history:
- Listen to Fela's entire Beasts of No Nation:
- Watch live performances from Petrona Martínez. Simply amazing!
- Grab Somos de la Calle on iTunes:
Want more in-depth music reviews? Check out these other music features:
- The Road Less Taken To The Top OF The World: A Review Of The New Album From Slightly Stoopid
- Bäverstam/Finehouse — The complete Brahms Sonata No. 1 for piano and cello in E Minor, op. 38
- A Review Of The "Essential Albums: Isaac Hayes" Bo Set. The Best Organ Solo Ever Laid Down On Wax
- Chasing The Frolic. A Review Of "Leaving Eden" By The Carolina Chocolate Drops
- Some People Are Destined To Sing: A Review of Fatoumata Diaware
Mike Dias is a huge fan of music, of telling stories, and of laughing. And lucky for him, he’s somehow managed to make somewhat of living from this. He designs funny and creative apps for the iPhone. He is the music supervisor for Ultimate Ears and he writes about music and the music industry. He’s always happy to talk about artists, apps, and headphones so feel free to reach out about any of those topics. Email him directly.
If you enjoyed this piece, you’ll probably like some of the other things Mike does too. Get more music recommendations at @michael_a_dias or read more interviews and artist profiles on his Facebook Page. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, download Mike’s latest free app, Mad Lips, and make all of your photos come to life. And if you’ve ever thought about owning custom Ultimate Ears, talk to Mike first. He’ll answer all your questions in an honest and funny way.