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Exploring the Rhythms of Latin America: Patagonia Latin Sound's Musical Journey

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Patagonia Latin Sound is an eight-person band based in Edinburgh, comprising musicians from Chile, Perú, Puerto Rico, and England. They extend a warm invitation to its audience, encouraging them to embark on a cultural and historical journey through the vibrant and diverse landscape of Latin American lyrics and sounds. It's a musical voyage, and we invite you to join it on the 30th of September in Saughton Park. More information here.

1. How did your band start?

Our band started in September 2022 for the celebration of Chile's independence day. There, some of us from the Chilean community played a couple of tunes, and then Jorge (lead guitarist and one of the lead vocals) wanted to create a Bolero band, so he started inviting more people.

At first, we had a smaller configuration (guitar, bass, cajón, and vocals), but little by little, we have become this 7-8 person band with wind instruments, cool vocal harmonies, and lots of rhythm :D. We started as a Boleros band but then began expanding the styles of music we play, all Latin American of course, but we like to mix it up.

We have also had so many names! We started with "Radio Uno" which was the name of a radio station in Chile, then we tried "Ferrocarriles Ñandú" (to be honest, we were just kidding with that one because of all the difficult sounds), "Boleros Ramazzotti" which was a lovely wordplay between "boleros" and the Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, but also difficult to say.

Finally, we had a poll and "Patagonia Latin Sound" won (which was a suggestion by our percussionist Stefanie). Now we have a seven-people configuration with Jorge on lead guitar, tiple, and lead vocals; Tere on lead vocals, sharing second guitar, ukulele, and melodica; Gian on vocal harmonies, cajón, bongoes, and other percussions; Ceci on vocals, sharing second guitar and tiple; Helena on flute; Stefy on percussions, and Frank on bass and occasionally sax. We now have people from Chile, Perú, Puerto Rico, and England. And we are in search for a sax player!

2. Tell us about your music/albums/next events.

Our next gig is Thursday, October 5th at Homebar! You can find the info on our Instagram @patagonia_latin_sound. We are receiving some invitations for gigs for October and November, so stay tuned to our social media. And we are planning to record professional videos soon with some of our covers, which will be posted on our YouTube channel. We are also planning to start writing original music, we feel it's important to create new authentic Latin American music with compelling and current topics so we can combine joy with important messages.

3. What do you like/find challenging about the Edinburgh music scene? We love that the music scene is so respectful of different styles. We usually find a lot of curiosity when we play live, people are interested in listening to Latin American music and curious about the different styles we play.

We have never found someone who has been rude about it if they don't like it, people are just happy to see and hear new music and we love to see people dance and have fun with what we play. There is a lot of joy in musical spaces and after a while, you start meeting people and knowing them from the scene, and this is good for collaborations or word of mouth. Overall, musicians are very supportive of other musicians and the venues and organisations are always very welcoming (like you folx!).

Maybe what would be challenging would be that, being foreigners we don't all know how the industry works or how to apply to festivals, grants, etc. Bear in mind that we are a relatively new band and we are still figuring out some things, but the fact that almost all of us have come from other countries makes it more difficult to know how things work here, very easy to miss deadlines as well! Especially when organizing a 7-person band is usually done by the band members (although we have the help of our 8th honorary member who helps us manage the band, Adele). We'll figure it out with time though, and there are lots of resources in Scotland and the UK that we can refer to, like Creative Scotland, Help Musicians, and others.

6. Who inspires you?

We each have our own inspirations which are many! But we would say as a band that we are very inspired by Natalia Lafourcade, a Mexican and fantastic artist (we cover 3 of her tunes), we are also inspired by Chilean folk artists like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, groups like Inti Illimani, Los Tres and El Bloque Depresivo, Bobby Capó, Los Panchos, Ismael Rivera, Eva Ayllón, Mercedes Sosa, among many other magnificent Latin American musicians. But we also get inspiration from bands like The Beatles (for example, in our harmonies) and we all listen to different kinds of music from different parts of the world.

For example, Gian, our cajonista, has the best Indie playlists for when we are chilling out and we are definitely influenced by music from the Northern Hemisphere in how we approach our interpretation. Lastly, we are inspired by Latin American culture, and how we can put so much pain, depth, and love into music that is so joyful and makes you want to dance to the rhythm!

7. What advice would you give a musician at the start of the road?

In our case, inspiration comes from the rhythms of salsa, the melodies of bolero, or the energy of cumbia. Your cultural heritage can be a unique selling point. Embrace it, incorporate it into your music, and let it set you apart. Explore a wide range of musical influences from around the world. The fusion of genres can lead to innovative and exciting sounds that captivate a global audience.

Dedicate time to mastering your instrument(s). Whether it's guitar, percussion, or vocals, improving your skills will make you a stronger and more versatile musician. Seek opportunities to work with other musicians, both within and outside your genre. Collaborations can open doors to new audiences and creative possibilities. Authenticity is often what resonates most with listeners. Utilize platforms like YouTube, Instagram and social media to share your music. Don't underestimate the power of live performances. Whether it's local gigs, festivals, or even busking, connecting with an audience in person can create lasting connections and build a 'fanbase'.

Attend music events, workshops, and connect with other musicians, producers, and managers. Networking can open doors to opportunities you might not have discovered otherwise. Be prepared for setbacks, rejection, and criticism. Stay perseverant and resilient, learning from every experience to grow as a band. And remember that success may take time and has many faces! But it is important that the journey is fulfilling.

Lastly, good communication and respect between band members is one of the most important thing.

Talk about what needs to improve in the dynamics, don't keep it to yourself, this is the way things get resolved. Not only that, but care for each other: you will do lots of things and spend lots of time together, it's important that you acknowledge each other's efforts and work and that you are kind to each other, because being in a band can be like a family and contrary to what many people think, it's a lot of work!

8. What do you like about Music in the Community?

We love how Music in the Community is making the joy and fun of live music more accessible for people across Edinburgh, celebrating different cultural backgrounds and putting on free events in different parts of the city - as well as giving bands like us a chance to reach new audiences and connect with other musicians at these events. We can't wait to play for you!



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