Surfing the blogosphere I came across an incredible sound. Ever so often, you hear something that just floors you. Something with traces of historical reference to stamped and approved sounds, yet pressing the edge of something fresh, something unique and singular. Then, you investigate further and find out the visionaries behind the sound are only teenagers, correction, not only, as if their age were somehow a limitation. Instead, you remember all the lectures on ageism and the non-profit youth arts organizations that you sprang from, and remember that the future of today’s arts and music scene is in the hand of talented and dedicated, ambitious youth. Perhaps, their anxiousness their naivety and newness gives them an audacity, a courage and a fortitude that most adults lack. And their virgin ears add the constant promise of ripe perspective to a witheringly corporatized indie formula. It’s my pleasure to present the future of indie folk from the heart of Coyoacan, México. Amidst the dirt and noise, abject poverty and splintering wealth, el D.F. is really sheltering some gems. Little Ethiopia is the diamond in the rough. Can you imagine what these young guys will be doing in 5, 10 years?
Hola Little Ethiopia. First of all thank you for your time and for producing such a innovative sound.
Hola, thank you for your time! It’s our pleasure to be “here”.
I’d like to get to know a little about you and how the band formed. Who is in the band and how did you all meet?
We are a duo and we met at kindergarden back in the year 1998, and have been friends since then. Yes, we are 17 right now. José Solé plays the keys, sings and triggers the samples. Santiago Gómez plays the guitar and records the bass and the drums. For the gigs we play with a live band formed by our friends.
Where are you from and how do you think your history, your town and your education have played into your work, if at all?
We live in Coyoacan, Mexico City. This neighborhood has always been known for the cultural aspects that occur round here. Actually, Santiago’s neighbor is a member of the now popular band DiscoRuido. It’s thought of as a kind of hippy area… And that could have been the cornerstone for our musical development. When we were 11 we met an excellent guitar player at the main plaza, we become friends with him and he was the one who start burning some CD’s for us and showed us what the life in music was like. He was a huge influence for us… No, he wasn’t a pedophile!
Who are some musical and artistic inspirations?
Everything we have ever listened to… Especially the bands we were into when we started playing (The Parents Association, 2007) like Late of the Pier, Metronomy and some folk. We like everything but right now we’re into Foals, mambo and dubstep.
How is the music scene in México right now? Who should we watch out for? Any friends or family in the industry?
We are 17 so we rarely go to shows… The scene right now is mostly +18. However, we have seen some awesome bands in festivals and things like that. We really like DiscoRuido, Hello Seahorse! and Rey Pila. Some friends of us had a band named Foxtrot… Although they have just broke up.
Who are some labels you wouldn’t mind recording with in the future?
Sub Pop, XL, Fat Possum, 4AD, Matador… Anything would be cool, actually.
You’re sound is varied but exceptional, I’m curious where can people catch a performance by Little Ethiopia?
Right now we have just finished recording our first EP, so we are planing to start playing in the venues across the city on August. For the moment we are just DJing, but check out @littlethiopia for more info.
Finish high school, keep recording, play to bigger audiences, tour the world, become friends with Sir Paul. And be happy 🙂