By David Rolland
By David Von Bader
By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
Locos por Juana, Miami's self-described "Latin urban orchestra," just banged out another classic album, Somos de la Calle, packed with smoked-out Afro-reggae/dub-clash/hip-hop fusion.
So we called the Grammy-nominated outfit's Itagüí Correa for the inside track. He told us about his crew's new album, their love for the Dave Matthews Band, and kicking it with the Cuban maestros of Conjunto Progreso.
New Times: How long did it take to make Somos de la Calle? And where did you record it?
Itagüí Correa: We've been in the studio for the past three years. Most of the album was done on the road and by ourselves in our own studio. This is the first album that we produced entirely ourselves. We did it out of necessity. We even mixed everything ourselves.
You got some nice features on the album. How was it working with everybody?
We were honored to work with Conjunto. They're like the new Buena Vista Social Club, with all these amazing Cubans. The song "Somos de la Calle" talks about the whole story of my coming to Miami in 1992 and now considering myself 100 percent from here, but also being a Colombian too.
Yeah, you don't have to be born here to be from here.
We're proud of repping this town everywhere in the world. Every time we get introduced and they say, "Here's Locos por Juana from Miami, Florida," we get goose bumps. It's an amazing feeling.
Is it just three of you on the road?
On the road, it's all seven of us. There's five onstage and two extra guys. The road band is me singing, Mark Kondrat on guitar, Javier Delgado on drums, Carlos Pal on percussion, Lasim Richards on trombone, Carlos Arellano on sound, and Ramon is our tech.
I think I even hear some Haitian compas sounds, not just straight Latin, on Somos de la Calle.
Because it's a mix of Caribbean. Champeta is a rhythm that was born in Cartagena that got inspired by compas. It's all this music of the Caribbean. The dance is almost the same and it's got the same vibe.
What do you think about being part of a greater scene in Miami?
We're proud of all the bands, like ¡Mayday!, like Suénalo, like Spam Allstars, like ArtOfficial. We all grew our roots here; we all know and love each other. We're happy for each other and all our achievements.
What are your lyrics about?
The lyrics are a little bit of social commentary, a little bit political in a way, because we sing about human rights and humanity and we talk about preservation of the Earth. We talk a little bit, pero always making people dance.
What is something you're pissed off about?
It's not that we're pissed off. But we want people to conserve and be happy. We recently found out about the mining in the Appalachians in the North Carolina region. We had a gig and learned about that firsthand. Most of the time you learn about what's happening by reading about it. But when you see it in real life, it really gets a fire started in you.
What about all the business criminals out there?
There's a lot of people running around with crimes in their hands. And they're wearing a tie every day.
What band do you most want to play with?
We wanna jam with the Dave Matthews Band. Another band we love is this band from Germany called Seeed, with three e's. Those are the two we would love to jam with one day.
What would you say to Dave Matthews?
Ey, amazing music, man — amazing vibe. We admire your music from the soul, from the heart.
Let's make it real. Next year, Dave Matthews Band and Locos por Juana live at Bayfront Park.
That would be badass.
Shout out to the city.