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How Some Musicians Are Reshaping the Image of Latin America's Music Scene (Part I)

Screenshot from the series “LiveYourMusic” made by online Chilean media outlet Pousta in collaboration with the beer brand Heineken. In the shot, electronic musician and producer Valesuchi shows her workplace. Available on Youtube.

The internet has become a way to explore and experience new music from different parts of the world. In Latin America, an online series is shedding light on musicians who are proposing new ways to look at the region's music scene.

These new musicians are at the center of the series “Live Your Music” made by the Chilean media outlet Pousta in collaboration with Heineken. Each episode focuses on different musicians as they reflect on the difficulties of making electronic music in Chile, the explosion of online media and images around the genre that need to change.

The first episode, titled “Internet”, collects these testimonies and introduces us to the colorful landscape of the new Chilean electronic music scene. It also exposes us to the difficulties that exist in the music world, such as economic limitations and rapid changes that are taking place in this emerging scene.

According to Leo Prieto:

No es que la tecnología creó un nuevo tipo de artista o de músico, sino que ellos siempre habían estado. La tecnología simplemente era lo que hacía falta para que pudieran llegar a la audiencia que hace rato los estaba esperando.

Technology didn't create this new kind of artist or musician, they've always been there. These technologies were just what was missing so they could reach an audience that had been waiting for them for a while.

“Anyone with a computer and good ideas can do this”

Machines” looks at the different ways that musicians explore their own sound. We learn about the complexities that can be found in different systems of sound and discover that sounds can be mined from many sources — even Game Boys.

According to Vicente Sanfuentes:

Falta reescribir un poco la imagen de lo que es el músico electrónico. Estamos acostumbrados a que el músico electrónico sea hombre, lampiño, tecnológico, medio gringo, con tufo alemán […] No estamos interesados en que la música siempre sea creada por una parte de la sociedad, creemos que la voz artística le pertenece a todos. Creemos que cualquiera en su casa que tenga un computador y que tenga buenas ideas puede hacer esto. […] Es importante que se abra la imagen [de la música electrónica] que se cambie un poco de lugares, también, y que deje de tener ese tufo mecánico clase alta que tiene y que pase a ser vehículo de otras ideas.

We still need to re-create the image of the electronic musician. We're used to electronic musicians being men, hairless, technological, a bit of a white foreigner with a German smell […] We're not interested in music being created by just one part of society, we believe that the artistic voice belongs to everyone. We believe that anyone with a computer and good ideas can do this […] it is important to open the image [of electronic music] and to change places also, so it stops having that hight class smell and starts transmitting other kinds of ideas.

“Stage” explores the shared dimension of music. It sheds light on the experiences coming out of festivals, bars or even illegal parties. Pia Sotomayor underlines the special magic inside electronic parties in Chile:

Nosotros antes de ser productores de música somos fanáticos de la música en un 100%. Lo he dicho mil veces y lo digo muy honestamente, las fiestas en Chile logran un nivel de éxtasis demasiado importante.

Before being music producers, we're 100% music fans. I've said this a thousand times and I say it in full honesty — [electronic] parties in Chile achieve an incredible level of ecstasy.

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