Digital Portrait // Picó Picante ft. Isa GT, Los Rakas / by Spirited Magazine

Pico? Picante flyer .jpg

Text by Sara Skolnick

Picó Picante returns to Good Life this Friday, February 15th to crossbreed Bay Area turfing, bilingual hip-hop lyricism, and the punch of East London's electronic underground under one precious roof. Vamos, winter babies!

[ Event invite

 Isa GT

Isa GT

Isa GT joins Picó Picante for her first-ever Boston appearance in the midst of her Mexico–US tour. The poderosa Colombian producer, vocalist, DJ, filmmaker, and co-founder of party-turned-magazine Girlcore blends elements of her background with the soundscape of her new home in East London. With collaborations with pioneering producers like Toy Selectah, Dutch Rhythm Combo and Joao Brasil under her belt, her DJ/live vocal sets grab a cross-section of sounds spanning cumbia, house, Baltimore, champeta, kuduro and everything in between. Also an organizer and a movement-builder, Isa's established a space to nurture creative freedom for herself and her collaborators with the launch of her label, Etoro Records, featuring releases by Douster, Lido Pimienta and Jumping Back Slash. 

What inspired you to launch Etoro Records?

"The main inspiration for starting a label was to have total control over what I release, so I don't have to ask anybody what to put out or wait for anyone. I just decide and I do it. I look for artists that make things I respect; things that don't sound like they took a sample from an already amazing song and put a beat underneath it. Or, if they do that, they take it to an amazing new level. Basically I look for things that somehow shows originality, that captivates me in some way."

You recently finished your Tu Hermana en Bikini tour through Mexico with Kumbia Queers' DJ Guaguis. How do these travels inspire you musically?

"Mexico was so good that right now my friends are doing a FUN raiser to bring me back. They can't get enough and neither can I. I think Mexico Part II is coming very soon.

Just being in different places than London inspires me greatly. Meeting new artists I didn't know about, playing new parties, listening to new music. It's always good not to stay still in one place."

What can we expect from your set at Picó Picante?

"Don't expect anything and just let yourself be taken to hopefully some really fun places. I like to see what people are into and go that way– it's a two way thing. Expect some love. Always."

Check out Isa's most recent release on Etoro Records, Leyenda:

 Los Rakas

Los Rakas

Our second February headliner brings Los Rakas. Comprised of Panamanian duo Raka Rich and Raka Dun by way of the Bay Area, Rakas are on frontier of a new Latin urban sound with their fresh mix of hip-hop, plena, reggae and dancehall. Taking their name from the Panamanian word "Rakataka"– a negative slur used to describe someone from the ghetto– Los Rakas have set out to both inspire fellow "Rakas" by empowering them to become successful despite their circumstances, turning the word's original meaning upside down. They are part of a growing movement of DIY artists opening new spaces for true urban music to flourish in the Internet era.

In their anthemic track "Soy Raka," Rakas provide their own take on Bay Area turfing style, with its earliest origins in the territory-claiming dances of 1960s Oakland Boogaloo. As Spanish/English lyricists they delve into the personal, straddling their own hybridized identities to create a sound self-described as “born of migration and tradition,” or "Panamanian Jamaican Californian music."

Check out a video of Los Rakas live at The Independent in San Francisco to get a sense of the energy and sabor they’ll bring to our home at Good Life Friday.

Meet you on the dancefloor.