In most Latin American cities, listening to “metal” was not uncommon, but it was a different story during the 80's and 90's when this musical genre really took off. Last February, I had the opportunity to visit Cuba to produce an audio story about this music scene, and what I discovered was a powerful and vital movement, along with a long history of agreements and dsagreements with the revolution.
The outcome of that particular visit is the piece “Cuando La Habana era friki” or “When Havana was Freaky.” It is a radio chronicle in collaboration with Radio Ambulante, a radio project which highlights stories throughout Latin America and Latin American immigrants in the United States. Made up of an international production team, Radio Ambulante relies on the leadership of Peruvian novelist Daniel Alarcón and Carolina Guerrero.
What emerged from this process was the history of the “freaks,” Havana's biggest metal and punk fans. During this process, we discovered that the soundtrack to the city goes far beyond the son, trova and the rumba rhythms. This is the music of an entire generation who pushed aside the values of socialism in order to play the music that they desired, and to dress as they pleased, regardless of the consequences.
Listen to the story in Spanish here: “When Havana was freaky”
Daniel Alarcón, Camila Segura and I managed the production and sound design, Camila Segura and Daniel Alarcón took care of editing.