I know. I heard. We all remember what we were doing, at the exact moment we heard the disturbing rumor—that Calle 13 would be no más. I personally was attempting to cook arroz con habichuelas when my comadre called. I blacked out. I don’t remember a thing except the smell of beans burning.
Breath easily—it’s just a pause for the band. All of us have dreams we’d love to pursue. And one of those dreams coming true is called El Psychodeli from my dear compadre, Mark “Bayanga” Rivera. The Calle 13 lead guitar, visual artist and entrepreneur has founded and built a new formidable business in true guerrilla spirit. As a self-proclaimed Latino Rebelde himself, I had to chat with him for a few minutes and find out what is it all about, and more importantly, how can we all join his movement.
MF: Knowing you for a long time now, I should ask…..
MR: Let’s talk about a movement. If this is really “Latino Rebelde” then I’m going to say what I want as a Latino Rebelde vs. talking about stuff anyone can Google and find elsewhere.
MF: YES! That’s the Bayanga I know! That’s what Latino Rebels do.
MR: Exactly. I may disappoint or motivate someone with what I’m going to say, but you can relate to where I came from and how I ended up here telling this story about me. I’m just like everyone else just pursuing a dream!
MF: Of course I can relate, Latino Rebelde is a movement in itself. Funny how you technically answered my last question. I could ask things I may find elsewhere, but you’re right, that’s not what Latino Rebels do. We want your uncensored truth. Now, how can our #RebeldeNation relate to you?
MR: I’ve always worked for a living. I’m a fucking obrero and always will be until I die—just like my parents and grandparents. It’s how I grew up: WORKING! My passion for music got me into playing guitar and long story short, ended up playing for Calle 13, but between gigs and traveling I kept working.
MF: We are characterized for being hard workers, that’s for sure. Now, Calle 13 sounds like an enormous undertaking. What were you working on during your “time off?”
MR: I own a woodworking shop and have been building and constructing all sorts of stuff for businesses, offices, movie sets, commercials, music videos, recording studios etc. The list is long mainly in art and design is what I’m into.
MF: Your new project is called El Psychodeli. How did that idea come around?
MR: Goofing around on a tour bus with Ismael Cancel, Calle 13’s drummer and Kacho López from Zapatero. Kacho came up with the name. I thought it was perfect, for it’s a good description of what this new concept is about. You got to be crazy or a psycho to get involved in a business like this in what everyone calls “the Crisis” for me its the perfect time for Puerto Ricans to rethink how we do work against the system that got us into this “crisis.” I have learned a lot 10 years touring so I’m just putting all these new ideas into this one place.
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