Growing up as a Mexican-American in California, I was exposed to a multitude of sounds and music. I remember my older sister doing her chores while listening to the radio. She pushed our old beat-up stereo to its limits by blasting music like; cumbias, musica norteña, musica de banda, and even the occasional romantica. My dad was the drummer and leader of a Mexican conjunto-norteño that called themselves “Los Chiveros” and held rehearsals with his band in our living room.
Latino music was a big part of my life but as I got older and met new friends through school and my neighborhood, my taste in music started expanding. Suddenly, I was listening to Rap, Hip Hop, RnB, Rock, and anything else my friends and I could download via LimeWire.
This type of exposure to music isn’t unique to myself. I know many people who could sing the lyrics to a Nappy Roots song just as well as the lyrics to something by Ramon Ayala. And, even though it was common to go to a party or family gathering and hear the playlist jump from one type of music to the other, there seemed to be a disconnect between the two. Almost like living in two different worlds.
Then, a movement started happening where a generation of people like me who were exposed to those different sounds started putting them together. A mixture of sounds, a clash of music. A Sonido Clash, which happens to be the name of a group of people who are great at doing just that. Clashing sounds.
It was in 2009 when a group of guys established themselves as a collective of talent as part of the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (NALAC). They called themselves, “Sonido Clash”. It was a more than appropriate name for a group of people who took it upon themselves to weave traditional, modern and futuristic Latin music together and share it with San Jose and the entire Silicon Valley.
The founding members of Sonido Clash include; Roman “Turbo Sonidero Futuristico” Zepeda, Angel “Mex Tape”Luna, and Thomas Ramon “Chatos1013” Aguilar. Together they took on the responsibility of gathering music many of us grew up with and combining it to create a unique sound that describes a generation. For a few years Sonido Clash had a monthly show at The Pagoda located inside The Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. Not only did they perform themselves, but had a steady rotation of featured emerging talent from different locations across the globe. Some of those guests included artists like Mexican Institute of Sound, Los Rakas, Ana Tijoux, Kubia Queers, and many more.
Anyone lucky enough to catch one of their shows knows just how memorable they are. If you’re not familiar with what a Sonido Clash sounds like, below is a taste directly from Sonido Clash Co-founder TurboSonideroFuturistico’s Youtube page. (May contain Explicit Lyrics)
So, who the heck are these people who make up the Sonido Clash collective? Allow us to formally introduce you.
Today the Sonido Clash collective is composed of Roman “Turbo Sonidero Futuristico” Zepeda, a music producer known for blending rap and hip-hop with cumbia-sonidera from Mexico. He calls it “Tumbia”. There’s Elvis “EazyUno” Mendoza from Inglewood, California. He became a part of Sonido Clash in 2012. He is also known for founding Bombilla Party in Southern California where he is also a resident DJ. Another member is Angel “Mex Tape” Luna who connects hip-hop, electronic and cumbia music and adds a dash of his Oaxacan roots. Fernando J. “Tlacoyo” Pérez was involved early on as a community event organizer. If his name is familiar it’s probably because he wasthe Latin alternative music DJ and director at 90.5 FM KSJS. Thomas Ramon “Chatos1013” Aguilar better known for his brand, Universal Grammar, is an event producer. His sound as a DJ is described as having a global groove pallet of soul, funk, hip-hop, and electronic music. Last, but not least is Melinda Chacón. A San jose native who is the newest member of the group. Her specialty being event planning, she has put on numerous large events across the South Bay.
Want to see them in Action?
As you have now seen, this is an extraordinary group of people. I can relate to their work and appreciate that they understand a large portion of San Jose’s culture. Here at Kooltura Marketing, we are happy to help Sonido Clash with branding and design services. Our latest request from them was a poster and flyer for their upcoming and much anticipated event: The INAUGURAL SELENA TRIBUTE PARTY which will take place Saturday, April 18th at the Back Bar SoFA in Downtown San Jose. If you haven’t been to a Sonido Clash event, this is the perfect one.
The event will celebrate the life and legacy of “La Reina De Tejano”, Selena Quintanilla-Perez. There will be two rooms of music featuring guest DJ’s Yo Yolie, Too Tall, DJ Abraham, ThatGirl, Jenicyde, and of course the Sonido Clash Residents. If you’re interested in purchasing presale tickets you can do so here
If it wasn’t yet clear, we are fans of Sonido Clash here at Kooltura and we like working with them and look forward to continue assisting them in their future projects. If you’d like to learn more about Sonido Clash and/or the work we do for them, don’t hesitate to reach out.
In the mean time, dust off those dancing shoes, practice that washing machine dance, and we’ll see you at the Back Bar in Downtown San Jose this Saturday. After all, it’s an #iPledgeSJ selected event.