The importance, cultural relevance, and influential impact of Dallas' Latin music scene can not be stressed enough. Though often written off as a niche in the local market, tejano, cumbia, rock en espanol, and other Latin-centric genres are alive and thriving in Dallas. Which isn't all that surprising, considering that almost 40% of Dallas county's population is Hispanic. In order you get you more familiar, we have compiled a field guide to your 2013 Dallas Observer Music Awards nominees for Best Latin/Tejano Act.
Mayta For brothers Victor, Ivan, and Renato Rimach, music is a family affair. Together, they formed Mayta in 1998, while living in their native Lima, Peru. Regular Sunday gatherings kept the Rimach house full of the traditional Latin music, enriching the brothers with a fierce passion and drive for their art. In 2001, they relocated to Dallas. In 2005, Victor returned stateside after studying audio engineering, and Mayta dedicated themselves to building their fan base, acquiring notable Dallas musicians like Johnathan Merla, Bryan Gonzalez, Mauricio Barroso, and Sofia Weir. Mayta blends elements of rock and roll, psychedelia, and Latin groove into a sound all their own, making for a high energy live show. Check it out for yourself at Prophet Bar for the 2013 DOMA showcase this weekend.
Orbinuatas Fronting the Latin indie rock outfit Orbinuatas is ingenue Dulce Esperanza Villaran. As beautiful as she is talented, the way Villaran croons sweetly over lush and languid pop melodies has an almost trance-like effect on the listener. Fans of Beach House and Mazzy Star will likely find themselves drawn to the romantic hum of Jose Alfaro's reverberating guitars against Villaran's starry-eyed and amorous lyrics. Their first album Infinito, released last April, is the perfect soundtrack to an intimate date night with tu amor.
Parranda Venezuela Parranda is the popular Afro-Venezuelan folk music of the Venezuelan coastal states and Trinidad, the word itself loosely translates to Christmas music. Dallas' Parranda Venezuela is a collective of over 20 Venezuelan natives who perform their native Christmas music together. Their live show is a fun and colorful celebration of South American culture for any occasion. Founded by Ricardo Weir (father of Mayta's Sofia Weir), Parranda Venezuela has been a performance fixture at community events like the Dallas International Film Festival and Addison's WorldFest for almost fifteen years now. Naturally, they were a fool-proof pick for this year's Showcase.
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Quimikoz Del Son Quimikoz Del Son (which loosely translates to "chemists of son, sound, and rhythm") are Fort Worth's go-to kings of cumbia music. With their particular brand of latin fusion- they blend distorted rock guitars, Afro-Cuban percussion, and a punchy horn section. The result is an dance party that embraces all the sounds and traditions of the barrio. Formed under the moniker, Amiztad (which they lost to their former label), QDS has been a driving force in the DFW Latin scene for almost five years now.
SuperSonic Lips Tossing out the rule book for genre norms, Super Sonic Lips tests the limits of Latin music. With danceable synths, fuzzy guitars, and brooding bass lines- Super Sonic Lips appeals to the new wave of Latin electro pop. The group draws influence from bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, and Muse- featuring mostly English lyrics. Lead singer Yaya Lion's seductive cooing is compelling, yet understated, and could give a lot of Dallas' most prominent pop songstresses a run for their money. They will fit perfectly into their DOMA showcase bill this year, following Fort Worth indie-rock sweetheart, Son Of Stan, on Dada's inside stage.