Photo via BandCamp

Song of the Week: “Desconocidos” – Diego Raposo ft. MULA

This week we’re keeping the vibes hot ‘n’ steamy with Dominican artists Diego Raposo and MULA and their irresistibly catchy take on love at first sight: “Desconocidos”.

The Dominican Republic has long been famous for its Merengue and Bachata music, so much so that both genres are considered to be national symbols. With a new wave of producers emerging on the island, many are offering up their contemporary takes on these musical genres, with “Desconocidos” serving the perfect glimpse into this new musical landscape. A collaboration between Dominican multi-instrumentalist and producer, Diego Raposo, and Dominican synth-pop trio MULA’s Rachel Rojas, “Desconocidos” exemplifies both artists dedication to honoring the musical roots of their country in a completely modern way.

With both Diego and MULA sharing the common objective of propelling Latin sounds into the global music space, they have created a beautiful musical hybrid combining a variety of Latin percussions, snares, hi hats, and 808s with a spritz of Trap, Meringue and Funk to create contemporary rhythms of Bachata. The result – pure listening pleasure. The crisp Bachata guitar riffs and punchy Merengue Tambora loops highlight Rachels’ vocal prowess – switching between soft singing and rapping – and give a genuine feel to the songs’ heart-felt subject matter. “We vibed with the song’s predominant Bachata essence from the beginning, which is why the lyrics came so quickly…The results make us think of Bachata’s fantastical, romantic realms and old boleros, mixed with grace, subtlety, and an eagerness to dance and cut loose.”

The inspiration behind “Desconocidos” stemmed from Diego’s exploration of Bachata, with Anthony Santos’ classic 1992 album La Chupadera being a major influence, as well as his desire to produce a modern take on the genre in a way that hadn’t been done before. Reinventing the classic sounds of his native island is something Diego feels passionately about. It inspired him to create MITEL DICO, a collective and label representing young forward-thinking musicians and visual artists from the Dominican Republic. Ensuring the new generation of musicians from the island continues pushing the boundaries, staking out space in the industry.

Photo by José Rozón. Courtesy of Point Records

As the first single on Diego’s debut album, Caribe Express, “Desconocidos” set the stage for the type of music Diego has set out to create. It embodies his effort to carve out a permanent space in the mainstream for Dominican artists. With each song on the album as unique and appealing as “Desconocidos”, it’s understandable why Diego is one of the deemed leaders of this emerging music scene and the ideal person to get it the international spotlight it deserves.