The talking over the music all night long part would get on my nerves, otherwise it’s coolness, amigo:
- In droves, the young Mexican men crowded around Fausto Salazar at the nightclub, whispering softly in his ear or handing him poetic notes, as cumbia melodies whirled in the air around them.
Mr. Salazar, a short, sharp-eyed 40-year-old who is known as Potencia Latina, or Latin Power, is one of New York’s first and best-known sonideros – Mexican D.J.’s who play Colombian-style cumbia music, a mix of Latin melodies and African rhythms, while talking ceaselessly over it to relay messages from audience members to loved ones both near and far.
….As New York City’s Mexican population has grown, organizers have been finding more of an audience for sonidero shows, in which a man (always a man) with a booming voice calls out messages – greetings and poetic dedications – to the audience while using light shows and sound effects to encourage couples to have fun and dance. And to those in the audience spending most of their days toiling unnoticed in the backs of restaurants and groceries, the flash, spectacle and greetings that go with the sonidero scene are especially meaningful.
….Once the sonidero starts to blast the cumbias, his fans jostle around him. As couples spin around the dance floor holding each other close, the young men hold up their notes for the sonidero, or tell him directly what they want said. The next day, the sonidero will sell copies of the set, recorded greetings and all, and those cassettes and compact discs will eventually find their way to families in Mexico. Videotapes are fast coming into vogue as well.
….The sonideros see themselves as helping their audience communicate their true sentiments, whether to a group of friends at the party, relatives in Chicago or a girlfriend in Ciudad Neza outside Mexico City.
“Some people may not like the fact that we talk the whole time, but those people are probably not from Mexico,” Mr. Salazar said. “We are here to cheer people up. To have a good time, you just have to go to the sonidero station and ask for a shout-out, and you will feel nice.” [NY Times]