Monday, October 3, 2016

Fierce House/Samba: "Fighting Spirit" by Boddhi Satva

Powerhouse Afro House producer Boddhi Satva is the one behind this track that I'm using for my samba dance classes lately. A lot of folks were asking me about it, so I figured I'd post a link. His entire latest album, Transition, is excellent as well.

House Samba by Boddhi Satva "Fighting Spirit". Samba Dance Class NYC with Leticia

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Photographer Anderson Zaca looks at the Soul of Summer in NYC: Block Parties

I'm stoked that my good friend Anderson Zaca called me up to be a part of the showing of his fantastic work documenting NYC block parties. Zaca, a São Paulo native, photographed hundreds of block parties in every borough from 2005 through 2012 after receiving inspiration from stepping into one for the first time in his Crown Heights neighborhood. This exhibition showcases the unseen photographs from the resulting book, Block Party: NYC Soul of Summer. Needless to say, I'll be playing NYC block party vibes. 

Watch a teaser video on Zaca's journey as a photo documentarian on Vimeo:

The contact sheets the visual journey of a documentary photographer from Anderson Zaca on Vimeo.

More about the Book and Anderson Zaca:

Block Party, celebrating New Yorkers across race and class, sharing regional pride from different neighborhoods.
Nothing says summer in New York like a block party. The streets are closed, the hot dogs are cooking, the bouncy castles are full of airborne kids, the beer is flowing, and so are the fire hydrants. To welcome summer, happylucky no.1 is showing photographs from Anderson Zaca’s series Block Party: NYC Soul of Summer.
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Zaca moved to New York in 1995 and currently lives in Brooklyn. He studied photography and embarked on a career as a commercial photographer, shooting for such companies as Nike, Dooney and Bourke, Target, and Facebook.
Between 2005 and 2012, he photographed hundreds of block parties throughout every borough in New York, using a 35 mm camera and an audio recorder. He captured the interaction of neighbors of all ages playing games, sharing food, dancing and playing music, playing dominos and cards, and chatting and joking on the traffic-free streets. His pictures capture the way the festivities differ from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Zaca was inspired to begin the series when he stepped out of his apartment in Crown Heights some years ago into his first block party, something he’d never seen before. In 2015, Zaca published images from the series in his book Block Party: NYC Soul of the Summer, but the photographs on view at happylucky no. 1 were not included in the book and have not been previously shown.

Get a copy of Block Party: NYC Soul of Summer

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beat Bounce Batida: Weekly Afterwork in Harlem NYC

beat bounce batida afterwork Thursdays Harlem

Beat Bounce Batida
Afterwork Thursdays in Harlem, NYC 
the only place where you can hear an eclectic mix of batida, latin, afro diaspora, brazilian, house and more dance music for your soul, weekly. 
No cover, just Good Vibe$. 
This Thursday:

+ Samba class with Leticia 7:00pm - 7:30pm ($5)
+ Special Guest DJ: P.U.D.G.E. 
(Eyespy/Vibe Music Collective/*LOUD & CLEAR*)
Listen to last week's mix by co-resident DJs and hosts:

Lety Love x Delaceiba


Monday, February 15, 2016


Oooooo-weeeee! Loving what Anderson Paak and Knxwledge ("Knowledge") did over this sample of "Onda", by one of the founding fathers of Brazilian soul, Cassiano.

Read a review on the original 12" single and a bit about singer, guitarist and composer Cassiano at Wax Poetics.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lisbon's Underground

Principe Discos
Cargaa 2 EP

Nidia Minaj Danger Album
DJ Nigga Fox Noite e Dia

Underground Lisbon has been crafting a sound completely its own for the past 10 years. Producers call it "batida do gueto" or "beat from the ghetto", and it has roots in the fast tempo kuduro from Angola (from where many Afro-Portuguese are descended), kizomba, tarraxinha, and funaná from Cape Verde, as well as having hip-hop and trap influences. Once I heard it, I concluded it occupies its own genre beyond existing classifications.

Chal Ravens puts the sound in a wider societal context, writing that the visibility of musicians like Nigga Fox outside the ghettos "feels like a statement" given the geographic segregation of Lisbon, where the black African population has been pushed to less accessible suburbs, and Portuguese laws limit migrants' rights (see Ravens' well-written article on Principe Discos for UK publication The Wire).

Nidia Minaj, Black$ea Não Maya, DJ Marfox, DJ Ly-COox, DJ Nedwyt Fox, Puto Anderson and Deejay NinOo, just to name a few, are some of the artists killing it right now with their "frenetic and raw sound," some of whom are quoted in Ravens' piece. Lisbon's Príncipe Discos record label has been releasing music of these and many other artists based in Lisbon creating batida. The UK's Warp Records has also released 2 EP's featuring batida artists, Cargaa 1 and Cargaa 2.

All the artwork for Príncipe releases (some pictured at the top of this post) are individually hand stenciled and painted by Márcio Matos.

So here are just a few tracks that I've had on repeat and been sharing with a few music confidantes. Though classified as  "Electronic" by iTunes, don't be fooled, these tracks are full of groove and will without a doubt keep you on the dance floor. I love that they use futuristic sounds totally absent in mainstream commercial U.S. pop and even more commercial African music. Add this to the polyrhythms they create, and you get an earful of body shaking music that sounds like its from another world, maybe one in the future or one in the past.

These artists talk through electronic software instruments like the ancestors spoke through acoustic drums. I love hearing how each artist plays with so many different rhythms to find new grooves and new ways to speak through electro percussion on every track. It's like the roots are completely intact, just vibrating through a different apparatus while simultaneously creating something new.

"Grandes Invejosos" by DJ Nedwyt Fox (Cargaa 1 EP, Warp Records):

"Lumi" by DJ Nigga Fox (Cargaa 1 EP, Warp Records):

I'm a big fan of 18 year old Nidia Minaj.

DJ and Producer Nidia Minaj

A few reasons why. "Mambos Fudiz" and "Sentimentos" on her Danger album: 

And all this is barely scratching the surface of what these artists have to offer.