Pandora Blog

Marcos on #MusicologistMonday

I think it’s important to mention here that Latin music is not actually a genre. Synthesizing the cultures of almost one billion people across two continents and an entire hemisphere into one category is not possible.

Musical expression stands on its own and defies genre; that’s what draws me to the music of Latin America and its far-reaching diaspora. Traditions endlessly reinvent themselves through creativity and drive. Today’s artists and musicians are standing on the shoulders of centuries of innovation and experimentation.
I definitely know what I like. And, by extension, it’s my job to know what our listeners will like. Allowing songs a space to spark nostalgia and distant memories of classic eras and different places. Planting seeds that will grow into lifelong relationships. Giving advice to new and unknown artists. Uncovering music that has been underexposed for whatever reason. I believe that navigating the mainstream is easy; the challenge is representing the marginalized with the same focus.

Here’s a little background. I worked in music retail for 11 years in the Bay Area and have been collecting and consuming Latin music for almost 20 years. I was an on-air DJ and music director at KALX in Berkeley. After studying Latin American history and culture in school, I studied Son Jarocho at a center of the arts. In my spare time I like to DJ with friends in bars and clubs. But I also collaborate with DJ Roger Más on electro-cumbia group, Los Disco Duro.

 I love music. I want to create programming that is intimately relatable to our listeners. I want to create an experience that people can see a piece of themselves reflected in. It’s not about me. It’s about you.