In the seconds before their 20 Year Anniversary Concert in New York, a gentle sigh of nervousness exhales from vocalist, Willy Rodriguez. After all this time, with the same members since its inception, Cultura Profética’s fans still sway with unchangeable euphoria to each note of the band’s distinguishable reggae sound. Their passion for prose and musicality has warranted Cultura Profética (whose name translates to Prophetic Culture) the admiration of loyal fans for two decades.
Mixing reggae, with bossa nova, jazz, rock, and even tango, Cultura Profética’s lyrics cover the gamut from love, to relationships, to social inequality, to government corruption, to the legalization of marijuana. The group’s musical reach is only growing wider, as it recently embarked on a relationship with TIDAL. The music platform is currently live streaming Cultura’s concerts in Latin America. Just days before their New York stop, a surplus of visitors crashed the live stream site of the concert in Colombia.
Harsh critics of failed policies and corrupt governance in their Enchanted Island of Puerto Rico, Cultura Profética does not filter their sentiment toward the current state of affairs of their home. Their latest single, Le Da Igual, is the most difficult song to perform at this very moment as it fully touches on the economic crisis engulfing the island, this according to Willy.
More than a voice of protest, their music can also be considered a call to action. “Our ideas are of mobilization, of doing something more than a simple forward on a Facebook post, and protesting for what belongs to us.” says Omar Silva, guitarist for Cultura. Music has been a vehicle for enlightenment of the masses. “We are Puerto Ricans and want a better future. We give ourselves the task of creating intelligent conversation to bring information where it needs to be heard,” summarized Eliut González on the band’s solidarity with their beloved country.
The band is headlining the Frontera Festival in London this Saturday (May 28), which would be the group’s first-ever appearance in the U.K. When asked if they would record in other languages, drummer and vocalist Boris Bilbraut touched on Cultura’s willingness to take their music to other places: “Although the lyrics are worked on in Spanish, I think we have the capacity to create music in English in a foreseeable future.” —Shakira Taveras