Ekelekua: DJ Jigüe & the Sounds of Cuban Afrofuturism

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The press material for DJ Jigüe’s debut six-track album explains: “In popular Cuban slang, Ekelekua is a term used to make it clear this is what it is. And that is exactly what Jigüe demonstrates with his new proposal.” 

The Cuban producer, who began his journey immersed in the country’s hip-hop community, has expanded his passion for global sound experimentation through his indie urban music label—the first of its kind in Cuba—Guampara Music, founded in 2015. Some of the label’s featured releases include Golpe Seko, Sigrid, Kamerum Cuba and Lando Lavarra.

In Ekelekua, Dj Jigüe is determined to take you into the tropical world of Afrofuturism as a joyous celebration of life. 

Across the six tracks you’ll hear a variety of Afro-Cuban/Caribbean percussive elements, electrified, along with rumba, pilón, jazz, folk, trap, house and Middle Eastern influences that evolve into newly formed Jigüe-polyrhythms. Featured guests include Iran Farías El Menor, Julio Rigal and Víctor Benítez.

Renowned music guru Gilles Peterson is a fan of Jigüe’s work and together they produced and released Havana Cultura: ¡Súbelo, Cuba!, a compilation that “speaks to the unique circumstances shaping music-making in Cuba, combining traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms with influences ranging from hip-hop, to kuduro, UK funky and the Caribbean’s ubiquitous dembow beat.”

Jigüe’s new album is available on his label and all digital platforms, and he encourages you to download his music, even if you don’t have the means to buy it. As he states, “The value of music is not defined by a price. You can download it for free or contribute what you consider [fair]. Download, share, and fly with my music, that is really important.” 

ABOUT DJ JIGÜE

Sent from an alternative future to connect different dimensions, Dj Jigüe combines ancestral rhythms with the live energy of Afro-Cuban drums, Afrofuturistic and electronic waves.

His musical path began in the electronic music dj scene of Cuba in the 90’s and then, at the end of that decade, in the growing hip-hop movement where he also found his first voice as a musical creator. 

His wide-ranging musical interests guided his musical wanderings and led him to create Guampara Music, the first independent urban music label on the island, through which he has been able to experiment with new sounds. Currently, Dj Jigüe is recognized within the electronic scene in Cuba where his music and aesthetics are distinguished for being a vibrant journey that crowns him as a guajiro-afroespacial defending his style, Tropical Afrofuturism.

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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