Despite its flaws, the city of Miami is often viewed by outsiders as an oasis — a little humid slice of heaven. The locals, on the other hand, know it's more complicated than that and learn to either love it or simply tolerate it. But one group of young entrepreneurs simply couldn't accept Miami’s faults when it comes to local music.
Taking the idealized version of the city and running with it, Ruben Cordoba (Mean Pugging) and Daniel “Triangles” Mendez (Ear Problems), both managers of their own local labels, came together to create Miami Paradise, a new monthly concert happening this weekend at MADE at the Citadel. Together with friend Justin Mangana, they hope to establish a paradise for live electronic acts as well as listeners that want a little more diversity in their nightlife.
We sat down with the trio ahead of the new monthly pop-up party and spoke about their goals for the event, its conception, and what attendees can expect on Saturday night.
New Times: How was Miami Paradise conceived?
Daniel Mendez: Ruben Cordoba and I had been friends for years. He came up with the idea of Miami Paradise, and after a couple of events at MADE, he contacted me [to see] if I wanted to perform, and here we are. Miami Paradise came into fruition through our combined love for music and the city of Miami. Justin Mangana decided to get involved after he was invited to the first iteration of Miami Paradise earlier this year. So, after spending more time with Ruben and me, it just felt natural to get involved and see if we could make some magic.
Is this an extension of Ear Problems and Mean Pugging or something founded in conjunction with the separate labels?
Mendez: It’s in conjunction with the labels. Nowadays, if you want to make money in the music industry, you have to host events. I’ve been wanting to get more involved with the music scene for a while, and Ruben inviting me into Miami Paradise was the perfect opportunity. I can say that the three of us forming the holy trinity just felt natural. Ruben, the visionary; Mangana, the looks; and me, the talent.
What are you trying to achieve with the pop-up party?
Ruben Cordoba: We are trying to give more opportunity for electronic live acts to perform because a lot of places in Miami just want you to DJ. We are trying to give our piece of culture to the city and create a better scene. People that attend Miami Paradise can expect vibes, eargasms, good people, old friends, new friends, and community.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
This is not the first installment of Miami Paradise. Is your goal to outdo yourselves each time?
Cordoba: There’s definitely a goal to outdo the last show. I like the idea of a pop-up party. It inspires a certain degree of fly-by-night vibe that’s reminiscent of a lot of the parties I used to attend when I first started venturing into the city. If anything, I’d like to bring those types of parties back and, in our own humble way, pay homage by keeping that spirit alive. By definition, a pop-up party doesn’t belong to one particular space; it’s not tied down to fixed coordinates, and so you can expect future installments of Miami Paradise to take over different locations.
What is going down at this particular session of the pop-up party?
Justin Mangana: For this particular session, we tried our best to present a show with performers that complement each other so each billed artist builds on each other’s energy instead of throwing on some disjointed rollercoaster of emotions. We brought Ephebe straight from France, who is going to bless us with synths, heavy feels, and a unique voice. Eyezenburg is bringing vaporwave from the deepest parts of the internet for all of us millennials out there. Triangles and Native Youth are going to bring you a wavy look at the future with R&B and heavy bass. We also have live art by MUTA outside and food catered by Banhafide.
Any final comments?
Mangana: It’s free entry and we have limited capacity, so please arrive early and bring your homies.
Miami Paradise with Ephebe, Eyezenburg, Triangles, and Native Youth. 9 p.m. Saturday, September 10, at MADE at the Citadel, 8325 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free. Ages 18 and up.