A sound commute to an electric Latin Caribbean Island in a London Tube train, Intaya is made up of Venezuelan born Pao Pestana and London’s Dom Martin. The two London-based musicians and producers joined together to create their debut single Guaguancó, which epitomizes exclusivity and a powerful mixture of cross-cultural music. The single is co-produced by Oli Barton-Wood (Flamingods, Vels Trio, Nubiyan Twist, Tom Odell).
The duo fused their ardent enthusiasm for hip-hop and jazz with a present Latin soul—portraying it in an electronic music veneer. The idea of their debut single “Guaguancó” (pronounced Wah-wahn-co) surfaced when Pestana was imagining herself beneath the Caribbean sun back in Choroní in the North Coast of Venezuela.
Utilizing Latin rhythms and vivacious soundscapes to produce the music, the depiction of the country’s marvelous shoreline and the contiguous mountains were visible in the music.
Itaya named their first EP Not Your Typical Tropical Dream with the hope to defy the ordinary insights of Latin women in the pop music industry. They also wanted to inspire their listeners to discover the world and reassess people’s stereotypes about various cultures while taking part in a dance. “Guaguancó” is from their debut EP, due late 2019.
Do you follow a certain formula when you write a song?
Songs can happen in any way with us—be it feeding off each other’s improvisations to creating a beat and sculpting a song over that. But this one flew out of Paola all in one go, with lyrics and melody. It was meant to be written!
How did the concept of writing “Guaguancó” emerge?
Paola was missing home, and Dom had just come back from Cuba. The thoughts of the beach in Venezuela combined with the rhythms Dom had been studying whilst in Havana created this mixture of intense crazy electronics and rumba percussion.
What do you want people to feel after listening to your debut single for the first time?
We want to make people move and for it to transport them to somewhere they haven’t been before.
Were there any prominent ideas or visuals which were inventive or which worked particularly well? Or some that were less successful?
The image of the beach at Choroní on the coast of Venezuela and the crazy night time parties that go on there were quite visceral images. The vibe on that beach at night can be pretty wild, and we wanted the track to reflect the wild and party side.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Making more music that pushes boundaries and that makes ourselves feel something.
What was the most unforgettable gig you guys did and why?
Our first gig was pretty special. The vibe was amazing and we felt so supported by our community, with everyone coming together. It was at our favourite venue, Balabam, which sadly came to a close last week. The energy was so much that we didn’t sleep enough that night!
What is your advice to other aspiring singers?
Work on your craft every day, trust your taste, listen and absorb everything!
Featured Image Courtesy of Intaya