María Latina: “I think promoters in Madrid should focus more on female talent”

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

María Latina is a DJ and Selector from Bogotá, now based in Madrid for the past three years. Her love for music started at home with her record collecting parents. María has kept herself busy during the lockdowns with her monthly show “Grove Now, Cry Later” at both Radio Relativa in Spain and Radio Alhara in Palestine. The sound she spins includes World, Chicago House, and Disco.

We talked to María about her journey as a DJ, the music scene in Madrid, and her show “Groove Now, Cry Later”.

  • When did your interest in music start?

I can’t really remember a certain period or moment of my life when my interest in music started. I think somehow, it has always been there, at least since I have memory. My dad started playing at parties when he was 15. Years later, he married my mom and they started to collect music together. They were always listening to loud music at home and in the car. The soundsystem and the fidelity were always very important elements in our house, so I grew up with music as a part of my daily life. I think that is what has made me feel it, not as an interest, but as a natural part of my of my life.

  • How would you describe your sound?

I would rather not be pigeonholed just into just one style or genre. It depends on my mood. Maybe today I’m into Chicago House but tomorrow I’ll be diving into Colombian Cumbias and World. So, I would describe it as a truly diverse and eclectic sound.

  • Can you tell us a bit more about your journey as a DJ?

I feel that today I’m more curious than five years ago, and five years ago I was already buying records. And probably in one year I’ll be more curious than I’m today. That’s what evolution means to me: having curiosity and taking it to the next level. Exploring more and more, looking for the unusual, and to keep feeling the sound deep inside of you.

  • What do you like the most about the music scene in Madrid? And the least?

Well, I can’t really speak properly about the music scene in Madrid because I’ve been only living here for three years (take one off because of Covid) but in general terms, I can say that I feel people here don’t try to be pretentious and that’s amazing. When you go clubbing, you can have at your right a 45 year old couple dancing and kissing, and at your left, a group in their 20s dressing like if they just came from Berghain. In other parts of the world, like Colombia, you can’t find a scene like this one. People are always looking at you, most of the time judging (or taking selfies while the DJ is playing) and that’s not cool at all. Here I found a place to be yourself, a place with space for everyone and yeah, probably that’s what I like the most about the music scene here.

I think that what I like the least is that the scene is mostly made up by males, but that happens everywhere I believe! But as one of the European capitals, we should expect more diversity. I think promoters should focus more on female talent. But the thing is that now it really doesn’t depend on promoters. With this new normality, I think that it depends more on the girls, you now? To communicate more, to create more communities and platforms, and to share more spaces, and not only female spaces, but spaces for people that are building a more solid scene.  

  • You host your show “Groove Now, Cry Later” at both Radio Alhara in Palestine and Relativa Radio in Madrid. Can you tell us more about this project?

I’ve been doing radio at different times in my life. Before I moved to Madrid, I had this radio show called Alterlatino with some friends in my hometown Bogotá. Then, I came to Madrid in 2018 and my boyfriend told me he had some friends from an architecture studio that were going to start an independent radio. There I found an opportunity to keep doing radio, but it wasn’t until March of 2020 when I started with my own project at Relativa Radio. Groove Now, Cry Later arises from a continuous autonomous exploration of social and cultural movements, produced in parallel with an insurgent musical landscape. Months later, I got connected with Radio Alhara, where I started a monthly residence six months ago. With my project, I try to explore different musical concepts in each residency. On Relativa Radio is usually more House, clubbing and electronic in general. And on Radio Alhara I try to go more into World music. Each show has a selection that aims to promote a space either for listening or for dancing.

  • Which has been your favorite “Groove Now, Cry Later” show to date? 

Uhhhhh. Hard to pick just one. Probably Groove Now, Cry Later 07: Colombian Gems 

  • Can you name other DJs from Madrid that we should keep an eye for?
  1. DJ Feet (Radio Relativa)
  2. Mari.te (tresydos records)
  3. Arthur More (Glossy Mistakes)
  4. Sr.Melles (Chineurs de Madrid)
  • What are your top three record labels right now?
  1. Glossy Mistakes
  2. Rhythm Section
  3. Llorona Records 
  • What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, I’m not sure about how future will look, but at least, I can tell you to expect more groovy and warm shows on Relativa and Alhara, and more Instagram stories of my records and of my new baby dog called Kodak.

Did you enjoy our interview with María? Have you experienced Madrid’s nightlife? What did you think of her Colombian Gems radio show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow María Latina on Soundcloud and Instagram.

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