The new debuts for Villahangar continue unabated: today for the MusicInTheAir Podcast the label welcomes the duo “Da Le (Havana)“, composed of DJs and producers Iván Lejardi and David Casas, born in Cuba, raised and residing in Havana.
Iván and David combine their sound universes by merging electronics with the richness of traditional and Afro-Cuban music. Thus, their rhythmic experiment fully lives its evolution in the Cuban electronic music scene, crossing local borders and creating an identity of its own in the international circuit.
Together, they find in the past and present of their Cuban roots the very substance of what has made the island a true cultural center for years. “Da Le (Havana)” thus brings to the world the strength of Cuban musical traditions, with the desire to support this legacy thanks to their unique experience within the contemporary electronic music scene.
In their repertoire, Afro-House, Deep House and Afro-Beat.
Previously Da Le (Havana) studied New Age, Progressive House, Afrobeat, Dancehall, Latin House, as well as of course the richness of their traditional and Afro-Cuban music. They say: “It is very interesting to investigate all that ocean of sounds. Our goal was to find that right mix, like taking from those influences to create our sound, it wasn’t easy but interesting in a fun way. We have partnered with the Afro House.”
Theirs, is a musical journey that began about 5 or 6 years ago. “Our first collaborations were not Afro House, however there was a good connection and we had many ideas in common. Our music was well received by the local audience, until 2018 when we created the duo and decided to focus on the Da Le (Havana) sound,” they explain.
They have in fact played in the most requested places in Havana, such as Fabrica De Arte Cubano (FAC), Havana World Music Fest and Eyeife Fest, among others.
In their recent releases “Oya”, included in the compilation “Redolent Tribes Vol. 1” of the label “Redolent” and the collaboration with Sparrow & Barbossa entitled “Obbatala” for the label “Madorasindahouse”.
For current and future projects, they say: “We are currently working on several collaborations with spectacular artists such as G.Zamora and our mega sister La Santa. In the coming months we will release a collaboration with our brother Rafael Drager, remixes for Hallex M and other artists and friends,” they say.
On the label front, they have worked with Redolent, Madorasindahouse, Wired, Deep Root Tribe, Celsius Degree Records, Stereo Productions, Bosom, Go Deeva, Plano B.
At the moment, they are immersed in several musical projects, and one of the most important for them is the production of original music for dance by the company “Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba”. “The teacher Lizt Alfonso gave us the opportunity to accept this great challenge, it is one of the most difficult but also fascinating projects we have worked on” they say about it.
How long have you been working with Ecoama Radioshow? And what made you choose to collaborate with Ecoama Radioshow?
Thanks to Cristina’s invitation, it was a gift for us to have the opportunity to join her community. We believe that to some extent the world’s problems are born out of a lack of connection, of communication. Music is the language, it is a blessing that we can use to promote a positive change in our planet.
Where were you born influenced your approach to music and your musical style? How much and how where you live, where you come from and your background influence your music production?
The rhythm, in our land, comes from everywhere, it is special for the public that grew up with it, as well as for those who do not have it in their environment. The timbal, the tumbadoras, the bongo and the maracas, which are purely Cuban but have their African roots. Electronic music as a platform, rumba, timba and salsa among others, are genres very present in our daily life, in our roots, and have been showing us the way to our own sound.
What do you think about the cuban music scene?
The Cuban music scene is very diverse nowadays, the world does not know Cuba as a country where other genres than Salsa, Son or Latin Jazz are produced and promoted. However, the musical talent is latent from any projection. There are very good producers, with different sounds in their experimentation with Cuban rhythms, or new proposals, not necessarily linked to the traditional sound. Genres such as Afro House, Organic House, Progressive House and Techno are gaining strength. The electronic scene is not big but it has been growing with respect to previous years.
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene? What do you think are the differences with the country where you live?
We believe that electronic music is conquering spaces in the international panorama, it is strongly positioned among its consumers. Now, in Cuba, for a long time, we did not have the opportunity of a good Internet service and with that, we had problems to access production tools, information and promotion of this music. Now, with a little more openness, the new generation and part of the previous generation of Cuban DJs and producers, we have managed to connect and the scene has been and continues to grow.
Where are you now how is it going at the moment the discos and clubs situation? What do you foresee for winter? Do you have DJ sets planned?
We just recorded a Dj Set with guests, musicians and singers who have worked with us since we started. We did it in the historic Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro in Havana, a very important and symbolic place for Cubans. It is in the editing process. We hope it will be ready for the summer. Discotheques and clubs in Cuba are starting to open after long quarantine periods, they are opening at half capacity as one of the measures. Festivals and events that were postponed two years ago since the beginning of Covid are being organized. Let’s hope that everything remains stable and that although gradually, we will have a year full of concerts and parties.
How was your podcast born?
It is necessary for us to tell a story through music. It is practically the only way to be able to talk to them, to connect, to work as a dissipator of bad energies, so that tomorrow we face the world with our hearts.
01. Pablo Fierro – Tel Aviv To Casablanca / Innervisions
02. Darque Feat. Zakes Bantwini – Uthando / Tambor Projects
03. Saint Evo – Tuhan / Get Physical
04. Francis Mercier & Magic System – Premier Gaou (Paso Doble Remix) / Spinnin’ Deep
05. Moojo, Calamar Crew – Limitless / Calamar Records
06. Vanco, Badbox feat. Bobbi Fallon – Alive (Extended Mix) / Sondela Recordings
07. Yamil – Triber / Madorasindahouse
08. DJ Tomer, Ricardo feat. Nuzu Deep – Anymore (Atmos Blaq Remix) / UNION RECORDS (IT)
09. Mr. ID, Lass – Yakar / Elbaraka Family
10. Paso Doble feat. Toshi – Kanti (FNX Omar Remix) / Melomania
11. The Advocate feat. Toshi – Ekata / Wired
12. Da Le (Havana) – Oggun’s Path / Deep Root Tribe
13. Kid Bamboo – Carousel (Enoo Napa Remix) / My Other Side of The Moon