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Sounds in Puerto Rico

I went to Puerto Rico for vacation and with no knowledge on their sounds or music trends..

The music I was able to discover came out of cars, restaurants, at the resort, the airport, on a boat, and in the bars and clubs of Puerto Rico. They shared fast tempos and similar instruments and beats. Some beats were slower and romantic, and others were pumped to be energetic. I got curious on each song’s beat per minute, so I used an app to count, and estimated the average for some that didn’t have one consistent count. Comparing the songs below, I was able to see similarities and differences between the beats and their intentions. 

(Click + listen)

For the sweet and intimate

Mariposa Traicionera by Maná: 101 BPM

Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley: 103 BPM

For the pump and dance

El Apagón by Bad Bunny: 115-120 BPM

Reckless & Sweet by Amaarae: 119.5 BPM

I didn’t listen to much of Bad Bunny’s music before the trip. So I barely found out that he's Puerto Rican because of all the local love I was hearing from drivers and friends, and most especially from my sister.

She asked multiple residents that we met, on how they felt about him, and they’d quote words like, “He lives here. He’s very popular here,” and “He’s loved by all of Puerto Rico.” It felt like being in Puerto Rico came with a Bad Bunny listening party (and I liked it).

The most exciting place that I discovered some of the music from, was when I caught a song from a car. I walked through La Placita, a known strip for the nightlife, and was able to Shazam or look up phrases of songs. I was able to get some good ones while walking around Old Town San Juan too, mainly from running cars and gift shops. Catching a song in a short-lived moment felt lucky every time. 

Collecting music kept me on my toes in every area we were in. My most favorite has been Reckless & Sweet by Amaarae. She makes a song feel sticky and sweet, a pretty melody of pop, electronic Afrobeats, and R&B. I knew the song was already in the staff’s aux, but like a greedy hand, I immediately wanted the song in my library too :3

I was brought a deeper recognition for the upbeat and sweet tempos I was able to collect and dance to. For each song, I think of my sister and I going out, eating red snappers, Medallas, and walking under a cuddling heat. I admire the rhythms, Spanish hits, and pop culture in the music I was able to collect during my week in Puerto Rico.

Best in the car or listening as a pair :)

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