Cumbia, a traditional music and dance style practiced in Colombia, arrived to the U.S. in waves during the 1980s and hit cities like Los Angeles and Chicago whose music scenes began to grow tremendously and with significant cultural merit. Among those cities was Corpus Christi, Texas, where Grammy award-winning singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez became the frontierswoman of the genre, blazing the trail for future Cumbia artists like Dusty Oliveira.
“You hear something like Selena, and it’s a little bit more fresh. She kind of opened the door for Hispanics who don’t necessarily speak Spanish to listen to Cumbia and kind of go back and reference these old styles and remake it,” El Dusty explained in a recent video interview with UPROXX. Popularly known to music fans as “El Dusty” or “Dus,” the Latin DJ, producer, and Corpus Christi native has carved his foothold in the genre of Cumbia Electronica and is gaining notoriety among Latin communities and mainstream music. So contagious are the tracks from the DJ, who fuses trap and EDM with traditional Cumbia samples, that this year he was honored with his first Latin Grammy nomination.
El Dusty’s inspiration came from a warehouse-sized inheritance of Cumbia records. When El Dusty’s uncle passed away, he left the collection to his mother. El Dusty dug through the records and borrowed some of his favorite samples from songs like Andres Landero’s “Canto Negro.” Because Cumbia is similar in rhythm to the house music genre, El Dusty found blending the two into an urban signature style all his own felt natural. From 2011’s “K Le Pasa” to 2015’s “Trampanera” and his infectious club banger “Cumbia Anthem,” The Universal Music group artist continues to reinvent the culture that inspired him while still preserving classic styles that are a part of the multi-dimensional Southern Texas border identity.
Post by Jessica Brant