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Ecuador has numerous bands within a wide range of genres. There are bands that already have a fan base outside of Ecuador and others that are just starting up. When you listen to their songs you will realise that their inspiration comes from different things like nature, politics, life, love, or personal situations. Whatever they sing about and whatever style they play, here are 12 that should be on your radar.
Swing Original Monks is a catchy, colourful band that has been a hit all over Ecuador, and even a few countries in South America since 2010. It is a fusion band that mixes Ecuadorian folklore, rock merengue, jazz, and electronic beats including different instruments. The band members come from Latin America, United States and Europe, but are currently based in Quito. Swing Original Monks encourage their concert attendees to dance along. Some of their most popular hits are “Caminito”, “Grita Pregonero”, “Fiesta Popular” and “Amor Inalámbrico”.
Swing Original Monks “Caminito” | Swing Original Monks Music / YouTube
Da Pawn is an alternative and experimental indie-rock band from Quito. They started in 2010 with their debut album El Peón that led them to have concerts at arenas and festivals like Fiesta de la Música in Quito, Cornetto Fest and Quitofest. The latest album, Verano en Coma, was released in September 2016. Da Pawn has a fan base all over Ecuador and in Colombia where they are currently doing a tour.
Da Pawn “Ballenas de Ruido en vivo (El Peón en el Obraje)” | Da Pawn / YouTube
Paola Navarrete is called the Queen of Ecuadorian alternative pop having suddenly appeared in a relatively male-dominated music scene of Ecuador. The Quito-based artist started singing at a young age and also played in the band The Buffands and later decided to study music. Navarrete has toured with bands like Da Pawn, Tripulacion de Osos, and Jazz the Roots. Navarrete is said to have a sweet and soft voice where she can hypnotise the listeners.
Paola Navarrete “El Mar” | Paola Navarrete / YouTube
Mateo Kingman is a spiritual and experimental singer from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Kingman brings natural landscape, water, and colourful and psychedelic movements into the music videos. His debut album, Respira (Breathe), came out in 2016. His lyrics direct us into a complex relationship between high mountains and the rainforests that also represent a message in order to raise awareness.
Mateo Kingman “Sendero Del Monte” | AYA Records / YouTube
Los Corrientes is an experimental urban-pop band from Guayaquil that uses a mixture of rhythms. The lyrics are based on everyday feelings, personal stories, and reflections on universal topics. It is an unorthodox band that strongly believes ‘art belongs to the society that inspires it’, and that their content is created freely without any barriers – which also means fans can download all of their songs for free.
Los Corrientes “Soy Chiro” | Los Corrientes / YouTube
Ricardo Pita is a musician from Guayaquil who studied music in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pita’s unique style has caught the attention of media and fans not only in Ecuador but also in other countries in Latin America. He has also been called the Ecuadorian Bob Dylan. Pita started off by playing with his friends and started to get requests after uploading demos on YouTube. Ricardo Pita is also the former bass player for Niñosaurios. His music is said to be undervalued in Ecuador, but he is doing quite well in Chile and Argentina.
Ricardo Pita “Viento Eterno” | Ricardo Pita / YouTube
Alex Eugenio is a musician from Guayaquil who is venturing into genres like folk and rock, having been in the Ecuadorian music scene for over a decade. One of his most popular songs is “Corazón Abondonado” (Abandoned Heart). The song is about a meeting of two lonely people, who fall in love because of fate and luck. Eugenio has been inspired by the traditional Latin American genre called Bolero, a slow-tempo genre where you dance closely.
Alex Eugenio “Corazón Abandonado” | Sofar Guayaquil | Sofar Sounds /YouTube
Niñosaurios is an indie-rock band from Guayaquil that mixes rock with different genres. The band was formed in 2005 and started off with a faithful fanbase after playing at local bars. The band was originally named Los Hijos de Victor (Children of Victor) but later changed their name to Niñosaurios which is a reflection of their joyful, fun, and energetic music.
Niñosaurios “Tonto” | Ecuacanal Ecuador / YouTube
Daniel Vinueza Benedetti uses the artist name VINU. He is a musician from Guayaquil who was previously the frontman of the band Cadaver Exquisito. His debut album, Serpientes y Escaleras, contains eight tracks and eight remixes by an electronic producer named Serlinn, creating a double disc. VINU goes under the genres lo-fi pop, indie-pop, and electronica.
VINU “Regresar (Serlinn Majora’s Mix)” | VINU / YouTube
Tripulación de Osos is an independent and alternative rock band based in Quito. They started in 2013 and proposed a new energy to the rock scene in Quito. They are known for being energetic on stage, which always engages the people who attend their concerts. Their music and lyrics reflect topics from daily life all the way to the surreal. They vary between light and dark, without complications and always with an unpredictable, satirical touch.
Nuevo Bravo is a new alternative rock/grunge band from Quito. Members of Nuevo Bravo previously played for friends and collaborated with other musicians before starting off as Nuevo Bravo. Its had live concerts at different locations in Quito, like Cafe Democratico and El Pobre Diablo. Its first music video, Miel, released end of May 2017.
Nuevo Bravo “MIEL” | Nuevo Bravo / YouTube
Toño Cepeda is an upcoming and new musician who has already got a fanbase around Ecuador. Cepeda’s latest album La vida en el espacio (Life in space) came out in July 2017. He has said that his newest album is a good representation of him as a person and that it is a journey that goes through acoustic parts and sometimes rock’n’roll or punk. Cepeda has been in bands like Biorn Borg, Rarefacción, and Can Can.
Toño Cepeda “Bang” | Sofar Guayaquil | Sofar Latin America / YouTube