When you think Puerto Rico, reggae may not be the first thing to spring to mind. More likely it'd be rum, hot girls, and salsa. But if that's the case, then you'd be overlooking one particular reggae band that's managed to sow some deep roots -- Cultura Profética.
A decade and a half since the band got together in P.R., it boasts five studio albums, a live album, and a tribute to the king of reggae himself, Bob Marley. The crew has traveled the globe and earned a serious cult following in Latin America and the U.S. So you'd be wise not to overlook Cultura's set when you head to the Bayside Rocks Festival this Saturday to catch Toots & the Maytals and Steel Pulse at Bayfront Park.
Crossfade recently got a chance to ask bassist/guitarist Omar Silva a few questions as they do a little pre-festival promo for their most recent release La Dulzura.
New Times: You guys are in the midst of a Latin American tour, right? Tell us a bit about it.
Omar Silva: Following the launch of our latest album, La Dulzura, we kicked off a tour of promo and performance dates throughout Latin America and the U.S. We started with two massive sold-out shows in Puerto Rico. And from there, we left for Mexico, where he successfully visited nine cities -- Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, Mexico City, Puebla, Morelia, San Cristobal de las Casas, Ensenada and Cuernavaca. The reception of our new material has far exceeded expectations! Now we're in Miami where we'll be performing in the Bayside Rocks Festival alongside some of international reggae's greatest names. We are proud to be the only Latin musicians in the festival.
Do you guys have any particular stop that you love to hit on tour?
Every country's public challenges us in different ways, making it difficult to pick favorites. However, the reaction from the Argentine audiences never ceased to amaze us. They always sing along with each verse at the top of their lungs and cheer along to the solos, and the band's music dynamic.
Tell us about your new production, La Dulzura.
La Dulzura is the most mature album we've put out to date. We feel that since our name, Cultura Profética, comes with several concepts and ideals that we stated in our previous songs, we wanted to add a sweet and relaxed vibe, celebrating the love that frees us. Hence, the name La Dulzura, which summarizes the general feeling of what the album is saying.
And how do you feel about all the success you've achieved with it so far?
On the one hand, we feel happy and grateful. On the other, we feel a great respoonsibility to our public. Our fans have shown us that in one way or another we have been an influence in their lives. So the way for us to reciprocate that is to push ourselves.
You guys have been at it for 15 years. What's the most important lesson you've learned along the way?
On a musical level, I think the most important has been to understand our reality as young Puerto Ricans, and finding a voice. On a personal level, and as a collective, we attach great importance to respect and diversity of opinions and ideas. We know that everyone is capable of bringing new ideas, and as artists, we must keep our feet on the ground. The stars in the sky.
What can fans headed to Bayside Rocks expect of the show this time around?
High energy and good vibes! We will be stressing the material of La Dulzura, but we always give space to those classics that we know the public expects. There'll be a good representation of our repertoire.