Q&A with EL Dusty


TropicalBass: Dusty has been more than a decade around. representing Corpus and latino community from the south west of the USA, but we have seen that in the last 3 years there has been a spike in your career, even though you have not change your demographic.Do you think now Americans are more open to cumbia than they were in (let’s say 2009-10)?

El Dusty: YA MAN! Cumbia sound is definately spreading, the producers are catching on to its catchy rythem and using it in their beats. Djs are playing out tracks and u can def feel the vibe when a cumbia track is dropped and the heavy bassline is shaking things up..

TropicalBass: A lot has to do that your style blends hip-hop with cumbia aesthetics which is still considered having a ghetto appeal, a “cholo appeal” if we can say so. Are “cholos” in the US also open to new styles of music like moombahton, or trap or even 3ball?

El Dusty: HELL YEA, we got cholo family all over the globe, most recently linked with Dave from PRAYERS and he took me out to San Diego and Tijuana where all the dj’s were mixing in cumbia with all other genres.. nothing is safe!

TropicalBass: You have a close relationship with Toy Selectah and Milkman, Erick Rincon, the first one is considered the forefather of digital mexican cumbia while the others, the freshest faces of the tex-mex latino scene. Are you or do you consider yourself the link between the toy selectah generation and rincon-milkman’s?

El Dusty: Absolutely, not only that but we are the link to the Cumbia underground! I am from the US, i don’t even speak spanish and i ride with my mexican brothers everywhere. We are working on tracks all together and the shows and brands are coming out to us..

TropicalBass: Most of people outside of your circle, do not know you have Portuguese roots and Spanish isnt necessarily your mother tongue, that being said, it doesn’t make you less latino, so, why did you choose to keep a tight identity with this community when easily you could have done what baauer, or many other have done which is to appeal but not attach to a specific demographic?

El Dusty: I love the rhythm of the cumbia. It’s not necessarily that i am trying to tie myself to my roots but i am very proud of what i represent and what comes out from me without even trying. When i make rap beats the records i dig in are spanish, it has an eerie flavor that I don’t get from the old english soul music.

TropicalBass: One thing we have seen is you are one of the few cumbia heads who actually have videos, and many of them have a substantial amount of views. Do you think the fact that digital cumbieros cant really afford to make videos plays a crucial role with a generation whose first choice for finding music is YouTube?

El Dusty: Maybe, I can’t necessarily afford them either but we all have friends and we all stick together and use what we have to make the best videos we can. K Le Pasa was filmed in my living room on my birthday and all my friends who had cameras brought them over. You can see guys with cameras eveywhere in the video.. we just threw a party last minute and decided to film it.. My homies are also talented artists in their own right and the video came together perfect!

TropicalBass: You landed on a contract with Universal for trapanera, and probably few more. Does it really change when you have the support from a corporate label, or you still have to do a lot of your promo?

El Dusty: DEFINITELY. It’s not easy to get songs out that use samples and when u have to go thru a chain of command to get anything cleared.. however, once it does happen and the songs are released, its nice to have a little help marketing and tracking what the song is doing while i get to focus more on making music.

TropicalBass: Now you released Cumbia Anthem with Happy Colors which has been killing it everywhere.

You sampled also one of the most incredible cumbia originators, Andres Landero, how that idea came. Were you aware of the significance of Landero, or more than you’d loved the track regardless and it was more a coincidence it was him?

El Dusty: I have been sampling Andres Landero tunes since i first started messing with cumbia.. i use alot of his samples in a bunch of tunes.. I also work closely with Discos Fuentes and they sent me a pack of songs to dig into and i found Bailando Cumbia in their with the rest.. i brought it out to Miami one day and hit up Happy Colors on Facebook and invited him over to MLKMN’s place. we hammered out that and about 3 other tracks that night that have yet to see the light of day! It was very important to me to have Landero as a tune that would be the ANTHEM, it only felt right..

TropicalBass: We both (Caballo and Dusty) were at the Mad Decent Block Party – Toronto- and even though you dropped one of the most amazing sets of the tour, people responded more to your trap-oriented rather than the cumbia-latino inspired. Do you believe Cumbia and all these genres like 3ball, or tuki, or champeta still have a long way to go in order to become a familiar sound for these sort of audiences?

El Dusty: Yes, it’s going to take some hits and some major marketing to crossover to that side of the spectrum.. having diplo or skrillex do some cumbia tracks wouldn’t exactly hurt either..

TropicalBass: What is next in el dusty’s catalog? Assuming Cumbia Anthem remixes EP, and perhaps new video.. anything else?
Where people can get your music..

El Dusty: Up next im releasing a track called ORALE ft my buddies Royal Highness.. The video was directed by some homies out in LA that do a YouTube puppet series called HEY VATO. It’s a full on episode and the guys travel to Planet Corpus to party with me.. its pretty rad! You can find me on Spotify or Apple Music, also check out Vevo and Youtube for all my videos… i also have my netlabel, AMERICANO on americanolabel.com