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With the current global music industry tuned into the sounds of Latin trap, reggaeton and even flamenco, Omar Banos, better known as Cuco, represents the softer side of sounds from the Spanish-speaking world. Today he drops his debut album, ‘Para Mí’, packed with the dreamy cosmic sounds he’s become a fan favourite for. Written entirely in the garage of the 21-year-old’s Hawthorne, California home, it finds themes of love and drugs innocently transmitted through a Toro y Moi-meets-Tame Impala vibe.
Throughout his career of music-making, Cuco’s heritage has informed the music he makes. Below he shares some of his favourite anthems of Chicanos – Mexican Americans in the United States – that are integral to his own musical identity as well as shaping his own productions. Read on to discover some of the best Texas-born cuts.
1. Enanitos Verdes – ‘Lamento Boliviano’
“This song gets me and my homies going but I think I just really want to cover this.”
2. Selena – ‘Amor Prohibido’
“Selena made an impact on culture and anytime ‘Amor Prohibido’ comes on everyone will know it.
3. Los Angeles Azules – ‘Cómo Te Voy A Olvidar’
“Tequila shots and sadness make this song hit different.”
4. Los Socios Del Ritmo – ‘Llorar’
“This is the song that takes me back to my uncles DJing at the birthday parties and blasting this.”
5. La Sonara Dinamita – ‘Mi Cucu’
“I think most people within the culture know this song but it’s funny ’cause it’s reminiscent to my name so I’ve heard people say ‘no te metas con mi cuco’.”
6. Hechizeros Band – ‘El Sonidito’
“‘El Sonidito’ is just so lit, everyone goes crazy when this comes on.”
7. Los Tucanes de Tijuana – ‘La Chona’
“When I’m DJing and I queue this song seeing everyone dance to it is so sick.”
8. Café Tacvba – ‘Eres’
“I saw Cafe Tacvba play this in 2017 and seeing a song that was always in my life played live was such a life-changer.”
9. Maná – ‘Mariposa Traicionera’
“My mom and dad would always play this when I was younger.”
10. Los Panchos – ‘Sin Ti’
“Boleros are a huge part of what I grew up with and ‘Sin Ti’ was one of the first songs I ever learned on guitar.”