Words by Bobbito Garcia as told to Jessica Freites, photo by Joe Conzo.
DJ, writer, baller and all-around personality Bobbito Garcia is world-famous for his contributions to the spheres of sports, street-style and independent hiphop. But those who know him well know he has also been a tireless ambassador of salsa music, latin funk and sounds of the Spanish Caribbean in general and has been closely associated with the recent revival of interest in the classic salsa label Fania in particular. When we asked him about the influence of Caribbean culture on the wide spectrum of music he Fs with, here’s what he said:
I’ve been fortunate to have spun in over 40 countries throughout five different continents, and anywhere I go, no matter whether I’m throwing on an Afro-Cuban/Boricua/Dominican record, a Jamaican roots tune, or a jazz/dance banger from the Bahamas, it’s guaranteed to make people smile and get down on the dancefloor. I can specifically remember rocking in Rio de Janiero in front of 1,000 youth from the favelas, and biggest reaction of my set? Celia Cruz’ “Cucala”–a 7″ released before all of them were born, but it spoke to their core as people of spirit. Here’s a starter kit to open your mind up to some wonderful Latin music which I’ve played recently in my DJ sets!