Brothers David and Rene Pacheco initially thought Tropa Magica would fail. The East Los Angeles duo set out to combine alternative, punk, and psychedelic sounds with cumbia — a danceable genre that originates from Colombia and is typically associated with tropical, salsa-like, sounds. It hadn’t been done before, but David and Rene figured it was at least worth a shot. 

A majority of their influence came naturally. They took notes from both their family’s history and their Boyle Heights neighborhood. “The fact that we are Latinos, the music is gonna be Latino,” David says. “We’re not trying at that point — we just are.”

Today, they know they made the right decision. They’re produced over four studio albums, had Netflix appearances, and have shared stages with other legendary groups like Los Tigres Del Norte, Chicano Batman, and La Sonora Dinamita. They’ve also toured nationally and at every premier venue in their hometown of LA, including the Microsoft Theater, the El Rey Theater, and the Hollywood Palladium.

Their music has been called, “invigorating,” brilliant,” and “charismatic,” and we couldn’t agree more. Each new release is grounded in their Latino roots and has a definitive Tropa sound, yet it’s still unlike anything we’ve heard before. David and Rene don’t know what direction their music will move in next, but they do know that the sky’s the limit.