WMC is a time of year when Miami gets to experience an influx of talent from the international dance community. Unfortunately, barring the occasional resident DJ set, it usually doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the 305’s local heroes — until now. Carving a niche for themselves in this year’s festivities are three members of two-time Latin Grammy-nominated Locos por Juana, in their newest incarnation, Afro Kumbe.
The side project is an effort to delve into their Colombian roots, blending them with electronic sounds and making them more accessible. “We’ve been jamming with electronics for a long time, but the idea came from wanting to do a Locos DJ set,” says vocalist Itagui, who, along with LPJ bandmates Mark Kondrat and Javier “Lakambra” Delgado, makes up Afro Kumbe. “It’s something cool and different, and a chance for us to experiment with different instruments.”
The energetic singer claims his vocals will comprise primarily chants and tantra; meanwhile, he’s looking forward to playing instruments he doesn’t normally get to touch while fronting the band — such as the congas. “We want to revive those traditional Colombian sounds by giving them an electronic vibe,” he says. “L.A.’s got it with Palenke [Soultribe], and we want Miami to have that too. And this is an opportunity to share our music with people who prefer electro to live bands.”