The Wreckage stage at Paradiso was packed to the brim with headbangers early in the day to see the one and only, Boombox Cartel. With hit songs Supernatural, B2U and Jefe, it hasn’t been an easy ride for the duo.
This year, the duo experienced troubles with performing in the U.S. due to issues with visas. However, Boombox Cartel was not going to let that stop them from spreading love with music and performing in the U.S for the fans. Half of Boombox Cartel – Americo – has been touring solo in the U.S. due to these tough circumstances. We had the opportunity to chat with Americo at Paradiso this year after his set to discuss the struggles, the tremendous success, and how the duo came up with their infamous name.
DMNW: So to start off this interview, just while sitting here in the last 10 minutes we have heard three of your songs being dropped on the main stage by Bauuer! What is it like sitting here hearing your music being played by another big artist?
Americo: It’s everyone’s dream as a producer starting off to get your stuff played over and over again. It’s crazy, well what I used to do, and I still do this low key, is I go on YouTube, and I look up my favorite sets from my favorite DJs, and I click the mute button and then I play my track underneath it while I’m on Ableton or Serato and then I see like DJ Snake dropping it. But yeah it’s a dream come true, it’s awesome seeing all of these people that you look up to dropping your music, it’s awesome!
DMNW: How did you and Jorge get started with Boombox Cartel?
Americo: Well we both met up in Monterey, Mexico. I’m originally from south Texas, I moved to Monterey, Mexico when I was 10 years old, Jorge is from Mexico City, he moved to Monterey when he was like two or three. We were sort of mutual friends, I would see him around Facebook here and there, and we went to the same schools but at different times because we were really bad at school and got kicked out, so we were moving around different schools. But I decided to hit up some people that were in the music industry to grill out and do some barbecuing and just hangout, the EDM/music production bubble in Monterey, Mexico was super tiny so we decided to just bring everyone together, and that’s where I met Jorge at that Barbecue!
DMNW: You and Jorge ended up going to the same music school if we’re not mistaken?
Americo: Well what happened was, I was doing so bad in school, it was so difficult for me, and I was like, “Hey dad just give me a chance, I really really want to make it in music.” I was just trying to get my dad to let me do music because it has always been my hobby, my mom got me into classics at a really early age, I was playing the piano, guitar, the bass, I do a little bit of everything but it was convincing my dad to let me go to school in Minneapolis for music. So I ended up going and then I was there for about a year and then Jorge hit me up and was like “Yo tell me about it, like what are you doing over there,” so I told him that he should come through it was pretty nice, and I was learning so much, the technical aspect of music production, mixing mastering and all of that stuff. So yeah, that’s where we started Boombox in Minneapolis in late 2012!
DMNW: So we were talking to some of your fans, and it feels like everyone wants to know, how did you guys get your name, Boombox Cartel?
Americo: Oh, it’s super easy, look it was just a bunch of like music school people in my apartment we were all just like hanging out, I think we were watching Netflix and then Jorge and I had worked on this song together, and I was like “Dude I’ll put it on my SoundCloud,” and he was like “Nah I’ll put it on mine,” so we were just like dude lets just create a SoundCloud together. So we were looking online just seeing what was open and then we just came up with some cheesy names and nothing was available. So we were with some of our friends, a few were smoking weed, a few were drunk and someone was like “Oh you guys are Mexican like the cartels,” and this was like 2012 when it was like super crazy down there, like super dangerous and I said, “I don’t know guys, it’s the cartel” and a super peace and love hippy chick was like “No guys, the good kind of cartel, the music cartel, how about boombox,” so we looked up usernames, available, available, available, enter, enter, enter, confirm ,confirm, confirm. So that’s pretty much how it happened, it was just very natural collaborative between our friends!
DMNW: During your set you made an announcement that Boombox was going through some difficulties, do you mind touching on that?
Americo: No, I can mention this, Jorge and I just like getting a work visa in the U.S. you know being Mexican it’s pretty difficult. There’s a big waitlist, all this paperwork that you need to go through, and you kind of need to show the government who you are and kind of prove to them that you’re a good guy, so it’s like if they are in a bad mood they don’t give you one, or they are in a good mood then you’re golden and it’s just like months and months of just going back and forth with people. Anywhere else we can play together, it’s just the states, just this one country, you know it’s one beautiful country right, but we are always trying to get through that so.
DMNW: That’s unfortunate because so many of your fans are here in the States!
Americo: I know, I know, but it’s just, I can feel it, it’s going to be soon. I really hope it’s soon.
DMNW: To wrap things up, do you have any advice for up and coming producers and how they can find their unique sound?
Americo: Finding a sound is the hardest thing as well as creating a fan base. It’s just the moment that you stop (this is for the fan base), the moment you stop is the moment that you are going to lose it, so just be very consistent. And when it comes to finding your sound you are going to be like, “Oh I like this sound and I like that sound,” you know what, go right down the middle, you can always cut right down the middle and be like, “You know what, I’m inspired by this and I’m inspired by that.” Being inspired by so many people, you could discover something new. So many of my producer friends, that’s how they discovered their sound. They were like, “I like this, this, this and that,” adding them all up or they were getting aspects of all of these other people and they just created something from scratch.
Make sure to send Boombox Cartel your love and support. What is your favorite song by the duo? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.