“I am from Puerto Rico, born and raised. Outside of music collecting I DJ, sing, write, and advocate for public musicology.”
“My connection to music is heavily linked with my upbringing. I was always surrounded by music as a child, having family members who were musicians and were obsessed with music. Therefore, I started my music education formally from a very early age. I am a believer in the power of music, and how it is in many ways a reflection of society through time. You can catch me the fourth Sunday of every month at 9pm at Voices Radio in London, with my one hour show Masacote, where I advocate for the preservation, creation, and promotion of music from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America and its diaspora.”
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What are your first memories of collecting records?
“I started to collect records when I was in my third year of university in Puerto Rico. At the time, I was studying western classical music and remember one of the first records I bought was Italian opera recordings fromMaria Callas.”
What were your earliest musical influences?
“My earliest musical influences are linked to my grandad and dad, who are also music collectors.
Being raised between both households I was exposed to my grandad’s bohemian influence where a lot of boleros were played from Puerto Rican artists like Santos Colón and other Latin American singers and orchestras, among a lot of salsa from Ismael Rivera and Héctor Lavoe. Then, from my dad’s side, I was exposed to a lot of the latest FANIA records, from Willie Colón to Rubén Blades, Ray Barretto, and Puerto Rican plena.”
Strangest place you found a Name one record that sums up your happiest memories and where does it take you back to?….
“This would have to be Joe Cuba Sextet’s album Breakin’ Out. This record takes me back to my early university years in San Juan, Puerto Rico while living in la Ponce de León, near El Boricua, sharing music and chillin’ with good friends like Patricia who introduced me to this album.”
Number 1 guilty pleasure record …
“Joe Cuba Sextet- El Alma Del Barrio
This record has everything I love about the connection between Puerto Rico and the Nuyorican musical culture. With the great José ‘Cheo’ Feliciano on vocals to the dreamy sound of the vibraphone, it has everything from the romantic boleros, to guaguancó, mambo and cha-cha. It is definitely a journey of sounds and emotions between the island and NYC. An album full of sonic nostalgia and lyrics reflecting Puerto Rican culture. Definitely, a Joe Cuba fan.”
Where is your crate-digging Mecca and why?
“My digging Meccas will be, Puerto Rico and New York City. Puerto Rico because is the place to find old records from local labels that existed at the time usually for a short period therefore not many were released, and NYC because that’s the place where Nuyorican music was born therefore it is easier to find salsa records from labels like FANIA, who I am a fan of.”