Hidden Gems: Insights from Estéreo Picnic 2024’s Emerging Artists

By 13 March, 2024

As the month of March unfolds, the countdown to Estéreo Picnic 2024 intensifies, promising an unprecedented celebration of music and entertainment in Bogotá’s Parque Simón Bolívar. Since its inception in 2010, this festival has evolved from humble beginnings to a colossal four day showcase of international and local talent, spanning the genres of rock, electronic, pop, folk and many more.

While headlining acts like the Kings of Leon and Blink-182 command the spotlight in most outlets, it’s the hidden treasures that truly illuminate this event for us, epitomizing the essence of Bogotá’s cultural calendar. Emerging artists from the local scene, often eclipsed by their more established peers, carve out their space on the festival’s stage, embodying its founding ethos of discovery and innovation. As we eagerly await the festivities, we embrace the diversity and dynamism of Latin America and Colombia’s musical landscape, celebrating both the familiar favorites and the newcomers, who are invested in captivating our hearts and minds in the coming days.

Matar Fuma: Harmonizing Tradition and Innovation

After the success of his contribution with Peruvian composer/producer Moncho Berry in 2023, William Ospina’s project has become one of the most refreshing acts coming out of Bogotá’s current alternative scene.

William Ospina, Founder of Matar Fuma:

“The studio project is basically me with an acoustic guitar, in a typical singer-songwriter format. However for this occasion I’ve summoned the entire band that was consolidated during my time in New York. We’re doing more of a band performance of everything I’ve put out thus far. So, it’s going to be a more versatile show, incorporating elements from a wide spectrum of genres, all the way from rock to cumbia.

“I’ve already released two albums as Matar Fuma, the latest one in August of last year. On the week before the festival I’ll be releasing a new single as a teaser of my third album.

As far as influences, I could talk about big names like Jorge Drexler and Soda Stereo. Currently I’m also into a Brazilian artist called Tim Bernardes. He’s a really cool singer-songwriter. In Colombia, there are many bands that I really like. Not so much as proper influences, but they’ve really motivated me to play alongside them. For instance Armenia, and also Volcán from Medellín. They’ll actually be performing at the festival as well.

Lucas Hill: Crafting Melodies from the Heart

In the crowded world of music creation, Lucas Hill emerges as a beacon of authenticity, blending sonic languages with finesse and sincerity. His journey from the New England Conservatory to the stacked streets of Bogotá has shaped his unique sound: a blend of jazz, bolero, and heartfelt lyricism.

Lorenzo Márquez, Founder of the Project:

“Music has been my compass since childhood. From the depths of jazz to the simplicity of a ballad, I’ve always found solace in melodies. After being more of a nerdy kind of musician and pursuing a career as a jazz composer in Boston, I returned to Colombia seeking a new path rooted in storytelling through songwriting.

“Defining my sound is a journey in itself. It’s a balance between electronic ambiance and the raw intimacy of a singer-songwriter. Each song is a narrative, weaving tales of love, life, and longing.

“I have two albums under the Lucas Hill pseudonym, plus another one that’s on the way. The first record was produced in 2020 alongside Pipe Bravo and Pedro Rovetto from Superlitio. The new one was done with Felipe Álvarez at Polen Records. Each track is a reflection of my evolution. From the depths of introspection to the heights of musical exploration, I’m on a constant attempt to push boundaries.

“As I gear up for the festival, my focus is bringing the essence of live performance to the stage. The show at FEP will be in the company of a seasoned trio. So basically it’ll be a jazz-style quartet with which we look forward to propell a captivating performance, create awareness for the project and engage new audiences.”

laurél: A Soaring Debut of Melancholic Pop Tunes

Born in the middle of the pandemic’s haze, laurél officially stepped into the music scene only one year ago, but she’d already been brewing her sound for about three to four years. Her approach to music resonates from the depths of her internal world, where sadness intertwines with a slightly brighter, more active ambiance—transforming existential heartaches into playful pop forms.

Laura Restrepo, laurél’s real identity:

“I’m from Medellín originally, but I’ve been living in Bogotá for quite some time now. So I guess you could say I’m half ‘paisa’ and half… well, just a mix of everything.

“In terms of the live performance at FEP, it’s going to be a full band setup—bass, drums, sequencers, backing vocalists, guitars. I also play the piano, but performing it live gives me a bit of anxiety. Maybe in future gigs, I’ll summon the courage, but for now, it’s a full-band affair. The idea is to get people moving, dancing. Sure, most of the tunes are melancholic, but even those are meant for dancing.

“As for expectations leading up to the festival, this Friday I’m actually dropping the final single from this phase of the project. Then, on March 8th, the first single of a collaborative EP featuring female artists will be released. So, stay tuned for that!

“About other local artists that I’m currently into, Mayra Sánchez is one to look out for. She’s exceptionally talented, with a refreshingly unique approach to her music. Laura Pérez, More and La Pardo are also on my radar. All three of them bring something special to the table.”

Selene: From Bogotá’s Rap Underground to the Main Stage

Selene delves into her journey through Bogotá’s rap landscape, an odyssey marked by seven mixtapes and a steadfast dedication to her roots in the city’s Kennedy locality. Her music reflects the city’s pulse, intertwining personal narratives with the urban rhythms that define rap culture.

Laura Valentina Burgos, better known as Selene:

“Collaborations with heavyweights from Bogotá’s rap scene such as Realidad Mental, Todo Copas, Penyair and many others, have been instrumental in shaping my artistic identity and expanding my reach. It’s not just about the music; it’s about the collective energy that I bring to each track.

“In the midst of Colombian rap’s renaissance, I’ve also found inspiration in contributing with artists outside of rap such as Briela Ojeda. These are artists who transcend genres and push the boundaries of creativity, and whose audiences might be interested in my work, just like mine can be interested in hers. It’s a testament to the diversity and vitality of our music scene.

“As the festival draws near, my focus remains on honing my craft and delivering a performance that resonates with new audiences. It’s a culmination of years of dedication, and I’m eager to share my artistry on a world-class stage. I look forward to showcase my music on a prestigious platform like this one, and connect with fans who share my passion for rap.”

Volcán: Rumbling Echoes of Medellín’s Rock Scene

For around five years now, Volcán has emerged as a seismic force in the heart of Medellín’s vibrant musical landscape. I briefly caught up with them to delve into their electrifying sound and vibrant presence.

Rodrigo Canal, drummer of the band:

“I’m the drummer, but I also handle the band’s logistics and business matters. It’s all about keeping the rhythm both on and off the stage. We’ll be dropping a new track tomorrow, as part of our upcoming album. It’s crucial to be present at these sort of happenings, to showcase what we’re all about, and especially with such a big show coming up.

“Our sound draws inspiration from diverse influences, including bands like The Last Shadow Puppets. We infuse British rock vibes with our Colombian essence, creating something truly unique. Most of our tracks feature acoustic guitars, but we’re not afraid to crank up the electric guitars every now and then for that extra punch.

“At our shows, you’ll see us in colorful overalls, each member wearing a different hue. We’ve got a psychedelic visual setup that adds another dimension to our performance. Expect an immersive experience that blends raw energy with mesmerizing visuals.

“Medellín’s indie rock scene is still in its infancy, but it’s growing fast. There’re great bands such as Higuita en Chanclas and Margarita Siempre Viva leading the charge. We’re all friends, supporting each other, sharing stages, and making waves together.

“As a promoter, I’m always keeping an eye on international acts. For instance I’m keeping an eye on the Limp Bizkit nostalgia phenomenon right now. I think they’ve never been here in Colombia, and I think their appearance at the FEP will be one to look out for. Timing is everything in a band’s career, from the small beginnings to the heyday to the nostalgic peaks.

“With Estéreo Picnic on the horizon, we’re gearing up to deliver our best performance yet. Stay tuned for our new release, and catch us live at the festival. It’s going to be legendary.”

With the festival just around the corner, the anticipation is at fever pitch. The lineup is stacked with incredible talent, electrifying performances and unforgettable experiences. From avant-garde outfits to seasoned veterans, there’s something for everyone at Colombia’s premier music festival.

Stay tuned to this radar in the coming weeks, as we gear up for an epic weekend of live music, good vibes, and unforgettable memories. Get ready to delve into this year’s edition, which promises to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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