Latin alternative duo Pacha Massive has been lauded for seamlessly fusing English and Spanish language with electronic beats and traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The former has allowed the duo Nova (founder/producer) and Patricia Lynn (singer) to connect with American-born Latinos and audiences across the globe.
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Take the group’s newest album, for instance. Where We Come From echoes many of Pacha Massive’s cultural influences, like Nova’s upbringing in the Dominican Republic and Patricia’s Mexican background, while offering a collection of personal encounters that resonate with the human experience. But what truly sets Pacha Massive apart from the millennial surplus of “alternative” artists is their desire to be the change they wish to see in the world.
“[We want] to provide material to kids that are growing up under the same circumstances that I did, where genius is being wasted under a system that largely ignores them and a community where the need to survive exceeds the need to nurture the future leaders of this country and the world,” says Nova.
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Who said originality was dead? Get to know more about Pacha Massive below.
VIBE Viva: You’re 10 years in the game. Who was Pacha Massive then and who is Pacha Massive now?
Pacha Massive: Then, Pacha Massive was only dreaming about sharing music with the world. Now, the focus has shifted to making sure every single note and sound on that music makes a positive contribution in a world that needs it more than ever.
If you had to, what would you label your music? Also, what sounds and rhythms go into making it?
We like to call it Global Bass. Global because it is from and for the world, and Bass because it is characteristic of Afro-global culture, which is very prominent in the Caribbean, where I’m from. But also because, to me, the bass as an instrument and the frequency spectrum is almost mystic, it physically grabs and shakes your entire body and every particle within it. The bass, along with a nice drum groove, put you in that dance trance you can’t escape.
Who would you love to collaborate with, American or non-?
So many people, but whenever you’re asked that question your mind goes blank! But off the top of my head? Wizkid from Nigeria. If you haven’t heard of him, do yourself a favor and look him up, I love what he’s doing. Quest Love—he’s a musical genius. I don’t think I need to say much about him. Snoop, because he’s Snoop Dogg/Lion! And Vybz Kartel.
How does your ethnic backgrounds play a role in your musical careers?
It’s the foundation of my music, sometimes more obvious than others. But as a kid, almost literally, I would eat drums for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the Caribbean, we’re blessed enough to have many African traditions thriving, like Palo [music] and Guloya [dances]. These are traditions that have existed much longer than the 500 years of the mixing, blending, and fusing we’ve been doing in this side of the world.
Talk a little about the new album.
It’s been a true labor of love in more ways than one. First is the fact that we do this and sacrifice everything for it because we love the art. I have never in my life wanted to do anything else. And second, because this album was largely inspired by relationships. My own and that of the many people I’ve been lucky to come across in my musical journey.
What has been your biggest achievement thus far, and what do you look forward to accomplishing next?
[Receiving] messages from fans telling me that they are happy to finally have someone with whom they can identify, that they no longer needed to pick one language over another, that they could embrace it all without losing their identity.
That way of thinking is dead.
To provide material to kids that are growing up under the same circumstances that I did, where genius is being wasted under a system that largely ignores them and a community where the need to survive exceeds the need to nurture the future leaders of this country and the world. To setup youth programs here and globally, where kids that can’t go to school because they have to sell peanuts or shine shoes to support their families, can go in at any time and have access to knowledge, encouragement, and communication to the rest of the global village. That’s what I’m pushing for.