Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, bilingual cultural journalist, music curator

boogat 2

“I do a lot of song sketches, and then I check out what goes together. So those 10 songs, the main subject was the reconquest of our dignity and our pride as vencidos (a people overcome). Then I moved to Mexico, and I realized that basically, it’s also about the reconquest of my own origins!”

The acclaimed MC Daniel Russo Garrido, aka Boogat, is sharing how his latest album, “Neo Reconquista”, became what he calls an “omen” of his at the time unpredicted move to Mexico City, a city he as been in now for just three weeks. So far, Boogat is thrilled about the experience so far, and exclaims, “People say the center of Latin music’s L.A., or New York, but really, everything is happening here!”

Boogat continues to explain the title of his album: “It has lots of layers. On the one hand, the reconquista of our dignity but also it has something to do with technological world we live in. I love Anglo Saxon culture, music, the people, the fashion, but with the internet and everything, it’s kind of the only model of what is cool or what is supposed to be human and hip in 2015, and that’s dangerous for other cultures. In Latin America, everybody watches ads, and in the ads, everybody is white, but it’s like 10 percent of the population that is white. Scarlet Johanssen is a beautiful woman, but why can’t the Oaxaqueña who looks like a Oaxaqueña be beautiful too?”

The new recording has also functioned as a revelation of his roots, says Boogat: “My second show [In Mexico City] I presented myself like a Canadian, and after the show a girl came to me, she scolded me! ‘Hey, stop saying you are Canadian, you are not Canadian, you are completely Latin, you are ours, so, shut up, introduce yourself like someone normal, Latin American, please!'”

Boogat also considers Mexico City the next new epicenter of music: “Cities die down and light up again. Like, Seattle is a super city, but since grunge, nothing else has happened.  I feel Mexico is going to have an international level boom. What’s happening with electro, it’s amazing! What’s happening with rock, it’s amazing! What’s happening with rap, it’s amazing! What’s happening with tropical bass, it’s amazing! In a very disorganized way, Mexico is getting organized. It’s a magical place, and beautiful things are going to happen with Mexico soon!”

Boogat will perform as part of the World Music Festival Friday at Mayne Stage, opening for the legendary Orlando Julius & the AfroSoundz and Saturday at the Inaugural Global Peace Picnic in Humboldt Park. Check his newest album, Neo Reconquista.

Check Catalina’s show Beat Latino! Also airs Fridays at 1pm and Sundays at 11am on Vocalo.