Latinaotearoa came from the concept of blending local flavours with the colourful cultures of South America. Brazilian born Auckland DJ Bobby Brazuka and Venezuelan singer Jennifer Zea created a unique live performance with Bobby’s Latin influenced soul-funk and hip hop selections layered with Jennifer’s ravishing vocals. Later they added talented musician and producer Isaac Aesili to the mix, creating the original Latinaotearoa line-up.
The local response was so positive the band decided to test international waters in 2012 by taking their sound to Australia and Europe. It was soon apparent that this was not just a recipe for kiwi appetites – bustling crowds meant promoters were quick to discuss future tours. This natural progression and a desire to develop musically led to what felt like an inevitable next step; new and original productions to season an already flavoursome set.
Three years, two albums and countless tours later, Latinaotearoa continues to go from strength to strength. Debut album Latinaotearoa was nominated for Best Roots Album at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in 2013, giving them well earned exposure. It provided momentum for their follow-up album, Latinaotearoa in Latinoamerica, which was recorded in 2014 in Brazil, enabling the group to delve into their Latin roots for inspiration. Guest musicians such as Riki Gooch from Trinity Roots and Julien Dyne, formerly of Opensouls, contributed to a diverse and collaborative sound, which was professionally mastered in Costa Rica by Kelly Hibert.
Regulars to the Splore and Womad Festivals, Latinaotearoa is now a four piece band that have become a recognised name in New Zealand and are at the heart of the local Latin community. Their international gigs are growing in size and popularity, with Australian and European tours now a regular part of their already busy calendar. From South America to Aotearoa and all across the globe, this fiery outfit delivers an energetic and exciting set for anyone lucky enough to see them perform. They've achieved a lot in a short time, but with dedication towards their music and passion at the heart of everything they do, the world is guaranteed to see much much more.