Hello, true believers, another week and another chance for me to provide value to my awesome MMA peeps.
I often get a chance to discuss music and dancing with my brother from another mother, Freddy Ovalle. Without question, Freddy plays excellent sets and has been a blessing to MMA both as a teacher and our resident DJ for our socials. He often shares with me that he gets request and request to share or even sell his library that in my eyes is like asking a magician for his secrets.
While I can’t promise that I’ll give up Freddy’s library, I can still help expose you to some new music.
Using the internet to find new music
Hopefully, most of you have heard of the internet. It’s this beautiful place where people from all walks of life share their opinions, knowledge, etc. Jokes aside, there are many sites that we can use to find exposure to more and more Latin music. The following sites are awesome resources for new tunes that can round out your library and give you a chance to develop a musical vault similar to El Maestro, ‘Freddy Fresh.’
Pandora, if you’re not aware, is a site where you plug in the name of an artists or song that you like and the wizards in the Pandora labs will find songs that are similar. From my understanding, they tag each and every file with distinct characteristics and match up your search query with compatible songs. I’d like to suggest typing in ‘Tito Puente,’ ‘Tito Rodriguez’ or ‘Hector Lavoe’ as starting points for your new channels. Naturally, this works for Cha Cha, Bachata and more. I am an admitted Salsa/Mambo aficionado, so my recommendations are coming from that perspective. One of the small and annoying drawbacks about Pandora is that they won’t play the song you typed in (if you typed in a particular song) for legal reasons. Despite this, I recommend Pandora for finding new music, check it out!
The big mama-jamma of video is also an endless ocean of songs and videos waiting to be discovered. You should just type in ‘Salsa music,’ Bachata music,’ or ‘Cha Cha music’ and you’ll find tons of results. I would even finish each search query with ‘playlist’ to find other people’s premade sets of music where you can also find some real gems. On a blue moon, you’ll find some high-quality to give you a really great listening experience. Mainly, you’ll use YouTube for exposure to undiscovered music. Look at the related searches on the side of any query that you type in to find an endless amount of ideas and suggestions. I love using YouTube to find new songs, and I recommend you use it to grow your library as well.
I used Spotify when it first came out and found some obscure stuff that I love but for some reason, I stopped using it. That said, another great DJ friend Alvin uses it and even has awesome playlists that he has complied. If you use Spotify, look for playlists that you can listen to and note the songs you enjoy. As I mentioned, I enjoyed using Spotify and will likely go back and start doing some more digging as I had some great success in the past.
I enjoy using SoundCloud to find particular DJ’s mixes that in turn allow me to be exposed to new music. Of course, DJ’s are constantly on he prowl for new music, and we can use their effort and taste to grow our personal libraries. I’ve discovered many new songs within mixes that I since added to my collection and SoundCloud is directly responsible. As with the other sites, I recommend doing a variety of searches will produce a variety of different results and give you plenty of new sounds.
A true gem of a site for Latin music enthusiasts, Descarga has a virtually endless amount of albums for sale. If you are fond of owning CD’s to have a physical product, Descarga is the place you want to look. One of my major issues with this site is that it hasn’t been updated since 1942, and it’s ancient in design. Once you look past this drawback, you’ll find a massive amount of music. Once you find albums on Descarga, try going to YouTube to give the tracks a listen and you’ll feel better knowing you actually enjoy the tracks. Use this site, just don’t ever bother attempting to navigate it on your phone.
I’ll point out that Amazon is a big island just like the major music libraries on the web, Google Music, and iTunes. I’ve highlighted Amazon because it’s the one I have used as I’m not a Mac person. No matter as the Apple fans can certainly use iTunes for the same purpose. Using these services allows us not only to purchase directly a high-quality mp3 of songs we find, but we also get a chance to listen to a snippet. Many old school artists have album upon album that we can listen to and find hidden gems. Once you find songs you like from any of the above sites, head over to the big three and get the best quality version to add to your library.
Finding music used to be a tremendous ordeal and old school DJ’s should be commended for having incredible collections of music. These pioneers struggled to add to their database and spent considerable time and effort to succeed. Thankfully we can accomplish similar results in a fraction of the time using the wonders of the internet. I’m sure there are many more sites, but the sites listed above have helped me produce excellent results.
I hope this was beneficial to you in your quest to expand your music collection. The whole scavenger hunt is strangely addictive and you’ll find the minutes fade away as you uncover song after song that you can enjoy for years to come.
Go find some music!
To your dancing…
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