The eighteenth edition of the Latin Alternative Music Conference took over New York City last week from July 11th to 15th. LAMC presents the more daring side latin music, mostly rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. As in years past, LAMC presented panel discussions, exhibitions, and concerts.
LAMC's mission is to promote alternative music artists from the US Latino Community, Latin America, and Spain. The four day event is an opportunity to meet the musicians, music industry executives, journalists and radio programmers of the genre. The numerous panel discussions are also a bootcamp for emerging artists on all aspects of building a sustainable career.
Networking aside, it's the concerts that give the conference life. The musical highlight of this year's event was the Quantic set (pictured at top) that headlined the LAMC Celebrate Brooklyn show on Friday night, an evening that also featured performances by Chilean emo-rocker Alex Anwandter and Argentina born and Brooklyn based songstress Tei Shi (pictured bottom right). Originally from the UK, musician and producer Will Holland took his Quantic project on the road and relocated to Colombia several years ago. From his new home base, he's produced an ever expanding list of musical projects exploring the roots of Latin music. The Quantic set at Celebrate Brooklyn was a primer on the many ways Latin music can make a crowd get up and dance. In both biography and basslines, Mr. Holland proved the music's universal appeal.
The Highline Ballroom in Manhattan was also at the center of the conferences' musical action. Things kicked off on Wednesday night with the LAMC Sounds From Spain Showcase featuring performances by Amaral, C. Tangana, Nunatak, Nora Norman and Los Nastys. On Thursday the Highline hosted the LAMC Indie Showcase with performances that included Audri Nix from Puerto Rico (pictured at right), Javiera Mena from Chile, and both Juan Ingaramo and Indios from Buenos Aires.
LAMC concluded on Saturday evening with a show at Central Park's SummerStage featuring Argentine reggae pioneers Los Pericos, Los Angeles' funky groovers Chicano Batman and Venezuelan alt rockers La Vida Boheme.
New Voices Show the Genre's Diversity and Global Reach
During the Indie Showcase show on Thursday night, LAMC announced two winners for this year’s "Discovery Award:" A.CHAL (pictured at right) and Jesse Baez. Previous LAMC "Discovery Award" winners include Kinky, Carla Morrison, Astro, Los Rakas, ILE, and AJ Davila. The award has proven to be a springboard to established careers in both recording and international touring.
Since his 2013 debut EP and Billboard hit, Ballroom Riots, Peruvian-born, Queens, New York raised, and Los Angeles based singer, songwriter, and producer A.CHAL has been patiently building his fan base. With support and coverage from the likes of The Fader and Noisey, his impressive debut album Welcome to GAZI, the noteworthy video for "Round Whipping," and his growing touring schedule, A.CHAL is delivering on the promise of his early breakthrough efforts.
Jesse Baez is an R&B enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Guatemala, and currently living in Mexico City, who, at an early age, was exposed to the sounds of Motown. He found his voice through collaborations with different artists and producers. In early 2016, Jesse released his debut EP B A E Z, a collection of seven songs that has positioned him as one of the most promising of Latin Alternative's new artists.
While the music industry continues to change, the 18th edition of LAMC made one thing clear. Latin Alternative music is a big part of the current musical landscape and, as it's audience continues to expand, it will be an even bigger part of the industry's future.
Photo Credit: All photos James Klein (KPRENSA)