Artbound Presents: Studio A

FULL EPISODE

Buyepongo

Buyepongo is an L.A.-based outfit that makes music in the style they have called "buyangú." It's a mix of rhythms and textures influenced by L.A. and the Modesto's travels to Latin America. Crucial to Buyepongo's origin story is a trip that Modesto made to Central America after the band temporarily folded in 2010. During his time abroad, Modesto found inspiration in Garifuna culture.

AIRED: September 12, 2017 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

"STUDIO A"...

[APPLAUSE]

FEATURING THE MUSIC OF

BUYEPONGO.

[APPLAUSE]

[SINGING IN SPANISH]

EDGAR "MESHLEE" MODESTO: ♪ NOW

YOU KNOW

BUYEPONGO

WITH OUR WEST COAST FLAVOR

AH, OW, OW ♪

[APPLAUSE]

MESHLEE: THE NAME OF OUR GROUP

IS BUYE...

GROUP: PONGO.

MESHLEE: BUYE KIND OF BREAKS

DOWN TO TWO WORDS. BUYE COMES

FROM A WORD THAT HAS EVOLVED

FROM BULLA OR BULLICIOSO,

WHICH MEANS "RUCKUS" OR "LOUD

NOISE," "A LOT OF RACKET" IN

SPANISH. AND THEN PONGO IS LIKE

YOU'RE PUTTING SOMETHING OR

PROVIDING IT. SO LIKE, WE'RE

PROVIDING THE SOUND; WE'RE

PROVIDING THE NOISE; WE'RE

PROVIDING THE MOVEMENT,

THE CHANGE, THE DANCE FLOOR.

SO BUYEPONGO.

GROWING UP HERE IN L.A., YOU

KNOW, IN THE NINETIES AND

EIGHTIES, LIKE, HIP HOP WAS

A BIG PART OF MOST OF US. A LOT

OF PUNK ROCK MUSIC ALSO, GROWING

UP IN THE SUBURBS HERE.

LARRY HARVEY: MY GRANDFATHER

USED TO LISTEN TO BENNY MORE,

A LOT OF DIFFERENT MAMBOS,

A LOT OF DIFFERENT CUBAN MUSIC,

A LOT OF AFRICAN MUSIC. YEAH,

WE'VE JUST INFLUENCED EACH OTHER

WITH OUR RECORDS, OUR PARENTS'

RECORDS, YOU KNOW.

MESHLEE: WE'VE ALL BEEN HOMIES

FOR WELL OVER 10, 15 YEARS, SO,

YOU KNOW, WE KIND OF TOOK

A LITTLE BIT OF ALL THAT.

THE MUSIC KIND OF REFLECTS

THAT--DIFFERENT FLAVORS, ALL

THE DIFFERENT SEASONINGS THAT WE

LIKE TO ADD TO THE POT.

JORGE "YUKA" VALLEO: HUNTING

AND GATHERING.

HARVEY: YEAH, THAT'S WHAT IT IS.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING.

YUKA: YEAH.

[NEW SONG STARTS]

[VOCALIZING]

[SINGING IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: HA HA HA HA!

[MESHLEE SPEAKING SPANISH]

[APPLAUSE]

WE BELIEVE THAT

EVERYONE'S A TEACHER. WE

BELIEVE--WE'VE LEARNED SO MANY

LESSONS FROM, YOU KNOW, REGULAR

FOLKS DOWN THE STREET, OUR

PARENTS, OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

A BIG INFLUENCE AS FAR AS FOR

THE PERCUSSION SECTION OF THIS

GROUP, IS TAUMBU--

REST IN PEACE. HE WAS A DRUMMER

OUT OF LEIMERT PARK.

HE KIND OF TOOK

US IN AND KIND OF, LIKE, TAUGHT

US, LIKE, THIS IS THE WAY OF THE

DRUM FROM WHAT HE DOES, YOU

KNOW? AND THEN WE TOOK THOSE

THINGS AND TOOK IT TO OUR CIRCLE

AND STARTED DISSECTING AND

CREATING. SO NOW WE BELIEVE THAT

WE'RE MAESTROS ALSO

IN OUR COMMUNITY,

LIKE WITH MY DAUGHTER, WITH

MY NEPHEWS, WITH THEIR NEPHEWS,

WITH OUR KIDS IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND IT'S KIND OF LIKE, YOU GUYS

CAN LEARN THIS, TOO. WE'RE ALL

MAESTROS. AND WE BELIEVE

EVERYTHING WE DO IS FOR 7

GENERATIONS, YOU KNOW? AND

THAT'S KIND OF--THAT'S OUR

DRIVE. THAT'S OUR PASSION. AND

SO THE MUSIC KIND OF REFLECTS

THAT. WE WANT THAT TO BE, YOU

KNOW, WE PLANT THE SEED, AND

IT'S GONNA HARVEST. AND THEN

DOWN THE LINE, YOU KNOW, MORE

TREES WILL GROW ALL SPANNING

FROM OUR MUSIC.

[NEW SONG STARTS]

HUH!

[SPEAKS SPANISH]

[SINGING IN SPANISH]

WHOO!

UNH!

WHOO!

[SINGS IN SPANISH]

WHOO!

[SINGING IN SPANISH]

[SINGING WITH SAXOPHONE MELODY]

[APPLAUSE]

MESHLEE: OUR COMMUNITY IS

EVERYTHING FOR US. YOU KNOW,

WITHOUT THE COMMUNITY, THERE

IS DEFINITELY NO BUYEPONGO.

WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS GIVE OUR

FOLKS A PROPER DANCE FLOOR OR

PROPER PLACE WHERE THEY CAN COME

AND BE THEMSELVES, WHERE THERE'S

NO BORDERS, THERE'S NO RACE,

THERE'S NO AGE. YOU KNOW, IT'S

INTERGENERATIONAL,

GENDER-NEUTRAL, EVERYTHING LIKE

THAT. IT'S ABOUT THAT HUMAN

SPIRIT, THAT PULSING FEEL THAT

WE FEEL. AND SO, YOU KNOW, A LOT

OF TIMES--YOU KNOW, WHEN WE

STARTED, WE STARTED PLAYING IN

THE PARKS. WE STARTED PLAYING ON

THE STREETS. YOU KNOW, A LOT OF

FOLKS COMING OUT OF WORK. YOU

KNOW, A LONG DAY, 10-HOUR SHIFT.

YUKA: YOUNG KIDS LISTENING AT

THE PARK, YEAH.

MESHLEE: YOU KNOW, THEY'LL HEAR

OUR MUSIC COMING OUT OF SCHOOL,

AND THEY'LL BE LIKE, "WAIT. THAT

KIND OF SOUNDS..."

AND IT GIVES THEM A LITTLE STEP,

A LITTLE EXTRA FEEL. AND TO US,

IT'S LIKE, THAT'S OUR--WHAT WE

GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, THAT

GOOD FEEL, THAT SOCIAL

INTERACTION BETWEEN EACH OTHER.

AND SO NOW, YOU KNOW, 15 YEARS

LATER, IT'S LIKE, NOW WE TAKE IT

MORE SERIOUS, AND WE STILL WANT

THE COMMUNITY TO FEEL THAT, YOU

KNOW? AND SO AT OUR SHOWS, AT

OUR PERFORMANCES, THE

INTERACTION OF THE COMMUNITY TO

US IS PRETTY MUCH THE MOST

IMPORTANT THING THAT WE WANT TO

BE ABLE TO IGNITE.

[NEW SONG PLAYING]

WHOO-HOO!

[SINGING IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: ♪ COME ON, AH

[SONG CONTINUES IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: ♪ AH AH AH AH

COME ON ♪

[SONG CONTINUES IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: YEAH, BOY!

TEEK HEE HEE TEEK HEE HEE!

HUH!

[SONG CONTINUES IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: ♪ COME ON, BUYE

[CONTINUES IN SPANISH]

MESHLEE: SLOW IT DOWN.

BUYEPONGO.

WE'RE GONNA TAKE IT HOMES FOR

Y'ALL.

♪ AH AH

OHH!

[SINGING WITH SAXOPHONE MELODY]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

RANDY MODESTO: YEAH.

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