When musician Sokio (Mauricio Díaz) moved to New York City from Chile five years ago, he was struck by the diverse, large music scene he found, especially compared to his hometown of Santiago. As he started to self-identify as a 'Latinx' in the United States, he felt a culture shock from other Latinos and from "gringos" alike: too blanquito for some, too foreign for others. One things struck him: the stereotypes and reductive view of what is "considered Latin culture.
With that in mind, Sokio created the New Latin Wave festival, now in its second year "to showcase the amazing talent from Latinx creators, starting with music but expanding our reach to gather artists", he says. "Someone asked me if New Latin Wave is a political event. It wasn't created with that purpose, but then immediately became something necessary to express our frustrations and more importantly, our ideas about those issues, how we can help to solved them and to enrich our presence in american culture".
Unlike film and art, "there wasn't one place to showcase everything, to interact with other creators" from gastronomy, literature, music all together. For Sokio, who also works at the indie label Ponk Records, the community aspect of getting artists together offline and IRL is important.
This year's New Latin Wave festival will take place on October 22 at the Brooklyn Bazaar and will feature musicians Angélica Negrón, Debit, Dayan, Breaking Forms, STEFA and Sokio himself.