Maluca is a Dominican-New Yorker who makes electro-merengue-house-hip hop influenced music that is a mix of whole lot of different styles, which come from her many roots, life experiences and cultural realities in the U.S, specifically New York, and the Caribbean. In an interview she does for Large Up she explains how she isn't trying to make her music explicitly Caribbean but that it is part of what just happens in how she makes music, and that its more New York as whole that influences her music, style, and aesthetic.
Another influence she points to that may not seem as obvious, is one of my favorite bands ever, ESG. ESG is a funk-dance-post punk-Caribbean influenced band from the 70's made up of 3 sisters and a friend from the Bronx. Their music is insanely innovative, unique and amazing.
This is their song "Dance":
Maluca also explains that she is influenced by Mambo Gagá/ Gagá music which is a kind of music that is influenced and born of the African influence in the DR. She also talks about picking up Cumbia music in Mexico and house beats from Europe.
I have a personal affection for her because I love tough girls who make their own music and have unique, smart, and thoughtful music and style that is serious, but serious in a way that emphasizes pleasure and fun. I think Maluca is also a good example of music that is being made in the 21st century, though its happened for a long time (though maybe without the influence of computers and drum machines), that respects, incorporates, and merges many cultural influences. It's powerful because it doesn't feel like one has to pick which genre, country, or influence that is more important than the other, rather many influences and even contradictions come through music, affect, and style that all get to exist together. I think that is something really valuable, existing with potentially uncomfortable and ultimately very generative qualities all at the same time. I love that she is tough and fierce and girly and that she respects a legacy of music thats being made and pays homage to so many different places, people, and styles.
AND she's playing in November at the Warfield in San Francisco, opening for Robyn! I'm gunna go and I hope i see other people from class!