If You Love Global Groove, You’ll Love These Artists


Formed in Buenos Aires in 2016, NAFTA became the flagship of Argentine neo-soul. Led by Magamo, an alias derived from Matías García Molinari, this super band is inspired by urban music in general. However, its basic source is the contemporary R&B that emerged in the late 90s and the glories of soul from the 60s and 70s. They began with some loose singles until embarking on their self-titled, audiovisual and conceptual full-length, released in early 2020. With this album as their cover letter, it didn’t take long until they began to stand out at the best festivals. A few months later, they released an acoustic session, in a charming and intimate format (“Vivo en el sillón”).


The starting point is the singer, guitarist and main songwriter Magamo, always escorted by the sirens An Espil and Abril Olivera who captivate everything with their voices. The solid base is supported by Tomás Sánchez on drums, Bryan Vainberg on bass and Simón G on keyboards. From there, NAFTA’s journey was nothing more than a path of ascent and expansion. They sold out larger and larger venues. They went from 6 to 10 members, in addition to other guest musicians depending on the occasion. And last year they crowned their second album, Nafta II, with a new audiovisual story. They celebrated it last November with a consecrating concert at the Luna Park stadium.



Formed in Paris in 2012, L’Impératrice is a French pop and nu-disco band. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reach them later. Actually, their singer Flore Benguigui joined them in 2015. The line-up is completed by Charles Dugros de Boisseguin (keyboards), Hagni Gwon (keyboards), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar) and Tom Daveau (drums). They’re also often linked to Parcels – since the Australians made a remix for their 2017 EP Séquences. Their discography is filled with releases in shorter formats, with two full-length albums so far, 2018’s Matahari and 2021’s Tako Tsubo (a Japanese title that means “to experience intense emotions”).


L’Impératrice found in Tako Tsubo the change they needed to renew themselves. They were encouraged to write more freely without losing their essence and challenge the typical verse-chorus song’s structure. They also addressed new topics, inspired by today’s society and its margins. There’s their hit “Hématome”, with its animated clip and Flore singing about how we cannot escape from the invasion of social networks. Or their previous single, “Peur des Filles”, where the stereotypes of feminism are joyfully addressed. Last year they released collaborations with Irish rapper Rejjie Snow (“Everything Eventually Ends”) and Chicano singer-songwriter Cuco (“Heartquake”). And just a few days ago they released a new single with the Spanish title “Me Da Igual”.



Released in mid-2018, Clubz’s single “Palmeras” is gold. A due formed in 2013, the historical context of this Mexican project is very different: Clubz emerged in Monterrey at a difficult time when the city had just gone through strong waves of violence. So there were no places to show up and play. For this reason, its members Coco Santos and Orlando Fernández turned to the internet and social networks to share their music. This is how they moved to release their 2014 debut EP Texturas, fully enveloped by the dark and nostalgic sound of eighties electro-pop. The following year the EP Épocas arrived to leave the guitars aside and approach the dance floor. 


Clubz‘s definitive takeoff came with their 2018 debut album Destellos. There appears precisely that groove that places them here. There they manage to bring their retro synth-pop into communion with funk and nu-disco. From this album came the songs “El Rollo”, “Popscuro”, “Áfrika”, “Templos”, “Réplica” and “Palmeras”. From there also came the pretexts to collaborate with Ela Minus (“Nagano”) and Buscabullas (“Cáile”). In 2020, they added saxophone, clavinet and fatter basses for their hit “Pronto!”. In 2021, the duo expanded as a band for the single “Meteoro” and uploaded six documentary episodes. At the end of last year, they released “Fútbol Rock” featuring Little Jesus,  preceded some months before by another single that says it all with its title: “Discomanía”.


Jeangu Macrooy

Born in Paramaribo, Suriname, but resident in the Netherlands since 2014, there can be no better example of a global artist in modern soul than Jeangu Macrooy. Of course, he isn’t a stranger: this singer-songwriter represented the European country in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. His love for music began at 13 when his parents gave him a guitar for his birthday. Still a teenager, he formed the duo Between Towers with his twin brother Xillan (they released Stars on My Radio in 2013). Already settled in Enschede, a city in the region of Twente, he started the conservatory and met music producer Perquisite, who didn’t hesitate to sign him to his label Unexpected Records. His debut came in 2016 with the EP Brave Enough, and since then he has released three albums: 2017’s High On You, 2019’s Horizon, and 2022’s Summer Moon.


Over the years, Jeangu Macrooy has gained experience in festivals, opening concerts and small tours that began in the Netherlands and gradually moved to Belgium, Germany and France. Some of his songs have also been very successful in his native Suriname, as happened with his single “High on You” topping the Top 40. He’s also spoken about the importance of being an openly gay role model for young people in the South American country where gay culture is often considered a taboo subject. His most recent singles were “A Little Greener” (feat. Pete Philly), “Worship”, “Admit It”, “Paris” and “Space”.


Cover: NAFTA via NAFTA press