Hurricane Season: Latin and Caribbean sounds to take Sónar Barcelona by storm


If the winds have been blowing for a while, 2018 has been the year that Carribean and Latin American artists have truly taken the music world by storm. From dancehall to reggaeton, to new variants drawing on dembow, trap, salsa and merengue, artists from south and central America are changing the way pop and electronic music sounds.

With this in mind, Sónar 2018 foregrounds several artists directly from, or who find their inspiration in Hispanic and Caribbean rhythms and melodies.

More than just tango

You could be forgiven for thinking that Argentina is rather late to the party, when it comes to the Latin American musical revolution, but the country that gave the world tango is more than making up for it with a truly supersized talent.

Although her influences are instantly recognizable, there's nothing traditional about Nathy Peluso. With one of the biggest voices in the game, this force of nature doesn't emulate genres so much as dominate them; veering effortlessly from nu-soul to jazz, to latinx trap to salsa. As well as her solo show at SonarXS, there's a strong possiblility she'll be lending her bars to frequent collaborators Big Menu's set over at SonarDôme by Red Bull Music.

From Kingston to Brooklyn

Dre Skull is the headwind behind Brooklyn Mixpak records, if not a household name, one of the most consistent and critically acclaimed purveyors of dancehall, bashment and leftfield reggaeton of the last few years. Counting Murlo, Florentino and Jubilee amongst his signings, as well as having produced and released tracks by Vybes Cartel and Popcaan (the single two biggest names in Jamaican music), Dre Skull is not just an ambassador but an innovator that Sónar is delighted to welcome to SonarVillage for an outdoor set at Sónar by Day.

Back to basics

No man is an island, a statement that's especially true of music genres. And while ostensibly, trap and reggaeton evolved separately to one another, at their roots, both share an urgency, immediacy and frenetic use of distorted plugins. Mexican DJ Rosa Pistola is at the forefront of a wave of artists bringing reggaeton back to its raw beginnings, to spectacular effect. If you think reggaeton has lost its edge, then definitely drop by her set at SonarXS to be proved wrong.

Old World, new beats

For proof that Latin American and Caribbean sounds and rhythms are changing music around the world, one needs look no further than Europe, and in particular three European artists equally influenced by the other side of the Atlantic, and all pushing the form forward in their own way. At SonarXS don't miss Dinamarca's mutated take on reggaeton - with mutated beats taking the music closer to techno - and Mueveloreina's day-glo and positive Latin Trap, while French artist King DouDou's search for new rhythms everywhere from dancehall to Baile funk, to his infectious and world conquering beats for Bad Gyal, promise to get all of SonarVillage dancing in his set on Thursday 14th June.