W PRESENTS Expands to Latin America: Live Music Experiences Curated by W Hotels

The evening couldn’t be more idyllic. A garden pool in a tropical paradise, surrounded by lush vegetation and warm waters, completes this idea of ​​an immersive soundscape. Of course, all this has a purpose: to give an even more charming setting to experience live electronic music. And the artists who performed couldn’t be more accurate: the brilliant Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana and the always forward-looking producer and music curator Sinego. It’s a unique situation. All this happened very recently, this Sunday, March 24, at W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal, a dream place to start the global W PRESENTS concert series in Latin America.

Launched last year across W Hotels in North America and Asia-Pacific, W PRESENTS is an initiative that further cements the brand’s commitment to inclusion and support of musical talent. “For W, sound it’s very important in its spaces, as a passion point,” explains Sinego, also an active DJ and multi-instrumentalist, who joined the project as music director for CALA – the Caribbean and Latin American region. “In this case, I’m the music director for CALA. And now we’re activating this W PRESENTS. W Hotels has a program of music directors. There’s someone for Asia, someone for Europe, etc…”  Also there’s a global music director, and she’s Leah Chisholm (aka LP Giobbi).

A great opportunity. And an enriching dimension to get involved with the brand. He’s excited by the premise of innovating and bringing together artists who don’t necessarily belong to the world of electronic music. “We need to keep evolving music at W,” he explains. “Thus we don’t want just DJs to represent our brand. Live electronic music and also live music are very important. That’s why Ximena and I were the first. We wanted to be the example that it’s not only house music you can listen to at W but also have other kinds of experiences.”

Born in Bogotá but based in Mexico City, Sinego has always encouraged Latin electronic artists to sample the original sounds from their regions. His role as curator for the region at W PRESENTS seems predestined. This intention to unite the emerging and the established, this search that transcends genres and origins, is also part of his DNA as an artist. He affirms that both tasks are very related: “I have total creative freedom in the project, and I’m just really excited to merge the artists that I want to collaborate with the artists that I want to book for W.” An example? “One of my dreams is to collaborate with Hermanos Gutiérrez. Actually, that was one of the first options that we had for W PRESENTS. They couldn’t come this time, hopefully, we’ll do it in the future.”

“We don’t want the obvious,” Sinego emphasizes. It makes sense when you read the W PRESENTS press release: “It’s is more than just a concert series – it’s a vibrant platform dedicated to celebrating the universal connectivity of music.” So the Colombian DJ and remixer raises his bet: “We love electronica party music, but we don’t want to be focused only on that. We also want spaces to meditate, spaces to suddenly feel other emotions. The curatorship has to be innovative: it involves, above all, asking which artists are going to be the artists of tomorrow, very much in line with Tigre Sounds.

The choice of an artist like Ximena Sariñana reflects the sophisticated look that Sinego seeks for the W PRESENTS stage. Owner of a unique voice, this singer-songwriter combines powerful lyrics and delicate productions in songs nuanced by a fresh indie vibe. She is indeed linked to the world of pop, as happened before with Elsa and Elmar in her collaboration with W Records. “Both Elsa and Ximena have complexity in their productions,” says the music director for CALA. “I mean, yes, they’re pop, but in terms of sound design, they generate interesting things. Their lyrics reach an audience that ends up relating to W, which is why they become very relevant to us.”  It’s also true that neither of them is exactly an emerging artist. “We believe that they represent the best of Latin American music. We’re interested in avant-garde music, but we also want top-notch artists, the best of the best.”

The 2024 itineration of W PRESENTS began on March 21 at W South Beach, during Miami Music Week, and then headed to W Costa Rica. This first stop of the series featured the Turkish singer-songwriter Bora Uzer. He was the first to perform at the renowned WALL Lounge since its 2020 closing, and he’s part of that list of global artists that makes W PRESENTS unique. In the background, as part of W’s usual musical programming, you can see the names of Francis Mercier (a New Yorker born in Haiti), Xinobi (Portuguese) and Awen (half French, half Senegalese). Sinego is also there, of course, although now he’s also looking for new talents. “Music discovery is really important for W,” he points out. “So, doubling down on this idea, we’ve partnered with brands like Cercle that are always booking DJs and artists that are just in the middle between something already super popular and something underground.”

“They are looking for the future, right?” Sinego gives some more clues about how he approaches his new role as music director for W PRESENTS. “Fusion is also really important. For example, Xinobi takes a lot of elements from Portugal and mixes them with electronic music. The same thing happens with Awen and Francis Mercier. It’s music that’s regionally relevant and makes us excited.” Now, how do you find artists like that? “It’s all about going to shows, obviously also staying informed, like reading the Tigre Sounds newsletter… You’ve to be in the music scene, all the time, open to finding new acts.”

“W Costa Rica was our first W PRESENTS in Latin America,” concludes Sinego. “It was very nice for us what we accomplished in the region. And we’re very excited to open new locations in the future.” Of course, this year there are more W PRESENTS locations around the world: Austin, New York, Seattle, Hollywood, Aspen, Toronto, Montreal, Budapest, London, Sydney, Algarve, Dubai, Maldives and Shanghai. And there are plenty of reasons to get excited – to date, W PRESENTS has hosted performances from artists such as Channel Tres, DJ_Dave, Neil Frances, Aluna, HVNLEE, Joshua Lang, Giolì & Assia and DJ Gee Xella, to name a few.

All photos by Arturo Gómez