Our week in Nueva York has come to a close and Raul Campos, Ariana Morgenstern and myself are now back on the Best Coast, debriefing and gathering our thoughts about all the bands we saw during LAMC. We are also still hugely thankful that the weather was perfect this year. In the past, it’s been really hot and muggy, so thanks for being chill this year, NYC!
This year we did LAMC a little differently. While the panels, showcases, and concerts in the park were still a major part of the event, we chose to cover the conference in a really focused way. Instead of banking interviews with every up and coming artist and key panelist, Raul focused on interviewing the major players showcasing at this year’s conference, while Ariana managed to work her magic and get acoustic performances out of nearly all of them.
Mala was the first of the four stellar artists to come through our space. Without much hesitation, she began effortlessly spitting her unique rhymes over some instrumentals she’d brought with her. Mala Rodriguez was one of the first female MCs in the Spanish speaking world to break gender barriers in late 90’s hip-hop, so it was a real treat to have her give us a small ‘private’ show.
Just the night before, we had caught Gabriel’s newly, revamped, live show at SummerStage in Central Park. We were all still reeling from the inspired performance when he came in to chat with Raul the next morning. Gabriel touched on his French & Colombian influences, and even gave us the recipe for his daily breakfast routine. He also teased his upcoming tour with Kali Uchis at the Shrine, and mentioned that new music is on the horizon. His new live show is definitely worth seeing.
This Chilean MC with a deep hip-hop pedigree (she was in the group Makiza in the late 90’s) surprised us all when she strolled into our recording space with two boisterous and energetic string players. We thought she would freestyle over an instrumental beat, but instead she rapped along to a live string version of her classic jam, “1977.”
Her show later in the week at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park was most definitely a highlight as well. Live instrumentation with a full band brought the crowd deep into the night, as she churned out classic after classic. She even played a couple new tracks off her forthcoming album.
The Doctor was in the house! Originally trained as a medical physician, Drexler now focuses on music, and we are all better for it. The impeccably poised Uruguayan born musician and Academy Award-winner was willing to chat about anything and everything. He had with him an acoustic guitar and played us a beautiful stripped down number. He was also captivated by our view of the city, and was not above taking a selfie.
That wraps up our coverage of LAMC’s 19th year. A big thanks to all the artists who rolled through our space. Raul Campos was on Morning Becomes Eclectic this morning to chat with Jason about his other highlights, so be sure to check that out HERE. Also, if you’d like to hear all the interviews, check out Raul’s weekend show HERE.
Artist photos: José Galvan