Led by park bench philosophers Louwop, Che Uno and (newest member) Afantú,
Vancouver-based producer Vago, supported by DJ Grouch and backed by
smoking salsa band SWA (Salseros with Attitude), Los Poetas represent the
migration of music and poetry brought as gifts from immigrants and refugees to
cities such as Toronto, Canada.
Drawn together by their shared immigrant experience, fuelled by the desire to
celebrate their Latinx heritage, driven by a passion for Hip Hop, and empowered
by their community, Los Poetas bridge the gap between first and second
generation Latinx migrants.
They first unleashed their free-flowing, socially-conscious rhymes on their 2014
self titled debut album Los Poetas. On tracks like “Slaughter”, “Libertad” and
“Silencios,” Los Poetas takes traditional boom bap, but instead of sampling jazz
and funk records producer Vago was chopping salsa, boogaloo and mambo
records. The final product was a lyrical vision as crisp as snow in December.
Where the songs take on a life of their own is in Vago’s 2015 salsa remix of the
album, which turned tracks like “La Situation”, “Rompe Cadena” and “La Lucha”
on their heads, adding lilting beats, soaring horns and traditional rhythms to the
stories of struggle, calls for justice, and flashes of both despair and defiance. It’s
a musical intersection rarely visited, but it’s one that’s immensely rewarding.
2017 marked the release of their latest EP Cartas Vol 1, an even deeper
exploration of the poetic, homespun storytelling style of their homelands, with a
touch of Hip-Hop swagger. Musically, tracks like “Tronco” “Come Together” and
“No Vales” reach street-level, neck-breaking anthem status while still deeply
immersed in hip shaking tropical rhythms and slow burning boleros and Andean
Like the poets whose words first painted the social and political landscape of
Latin American, Los Poetas lyrically capture life’s beauty, intensity, anguish and
hope, from the far-flung street corners of their birth countries to the land where
they found their voices. Theirs is both a personal and universal journey that
resonates no matter your language, location or lineage.
© 2016 Handmade Music