CITIES OF ORIGIN: “Individually we originate from the cities of San Bernardino, Palmdale, East Oakland, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). As a group, we are based out of Riverside.”
KINDERED SPIRITS: Anibal Velazques, Jovens do Prenda, Andres Landero and N’gola Ritmos.
RECENT RELEASES: QUITAPENAS 7” (March, 2013)
FREQUENTS: Mission Tobacco Lounge and The Barn at UCR.
“QUITAPENAS means two things, Quita, to remove, and Penas, your worries and sorrows,” and that’s what this Riverside band aims to do. Whether you’re struggling with poverty, inequality or just trying to make it through the day-to-day grind; its music will instantly wipe away your tears with refreshing and traditional sounds you can’t help but sway your hips to. While most talent in the I.E. is overlooked, this emerging band is about to release its debut, QUITAPENAS 7” through White Iris Records. The band was discovered by the record label and recently given the opportunity to bring its danceable songs to the infamous SXSW Music Festival in Texas. With shows already lined up for March 23rd, March 27th, May 8th and more on the way, now is the best time to witness one of the few bands that can has almost as many members as it does influence and talent.
What are your influences?
We are influenced by cultures from around the world; sounds, style, people, language, and art all contribute to how we express ourselves. We also influence each other and continue to grow and develop our flavor as a band. We are influenced by traditional rhythms and tropical sounds (e.g. cumbia, merengue, semba, plena and other styles of ‘world’ music) as well as artists such as; Anibal Velazques, Jovens do Prenda, Andres Landero, N’gola Ritmos.
How did you get involved in music/how did your band form?
After a previous project came to an end, our guitarist (Danny), accordionist (John) and percussionist (Eddie) decided to start a cumbia group, though we ended up exploring the larger genera of Afro-Latin music influenced by tropical music compilations of labels such as Soundway and Analog Africa. We picked up some talented friends along the way, with each member bringing their own unique flavor into the music. As a group we share a combined love for traditional rhythms and tropical sounds, helping us bridge the gap between eras and continents, to produce a unique sound that gets people moving. We just kept jamming; at parties, bars, parks, more parties, street corners and with a positive response we decided to take it as far as we could.
How would you describe the music?
Though it’s difficult to accurately define our music, we consider it to be tropical Afro-Latin music. But to keep it simple, we would describe our sound as “mas tropical!”
What do you love about the IE?
The Inland Empire has its own sense of culture and within that culture you find huge diversity (e.g. culturally, spiritually, politically etc), and that’s what we love most about the Inland Empire. It leaves us feeling free to be who we want, while embracing different perspectives. Geographically we are close to everything in about an hour’s drive: ocean, desert, mountains. All while being surrounded by palm trees and warm Cali weather. (Derek Obregon)
QUITAPENAS w/ Inner Prisms & The Marionette Combo at Division 9 Gallery, 3850 Lemon St., Riverside, (951) 682-5990; www.division9gallery.com, www.quitapenasmusic.com. Fri, Mar. 8. 8PM. $5 suggested donation. All Ages.