Music

Meet La Papaya Club: The LA Music Collective Celebrating The Tropical Diaspora and Helping The Community

La Papaya club is a monthly pop-up event where all the proceeds going towards Latin American organizations.

The organizers hope to bring a better understanding to the history of the Latin American diaspora music and communities. DJs Sumo, Eduardo and Eleanor started this idea as they bonded over Colombian music and the exploration of tropical rhythms.

As COVID-19 hit, they took this as an opportunity to start La Papaya club virtually. For about a year they held virtual events where you could listen in on this digital party while exploring sounds from the tropical diaspora. In May, the group finally had the opportunity to hold an event in person and have continued to do so since then.

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La Papaya club’s goal is to modernize folk music in order to show people this is as danceable as reggeaton.

The idea behind the sound for this party is to shine light on all these different cultures within Latin America. They wanted to raise awareness for these genres that aren’t at the top of the chart.

The group focuses on sounds like champeta, marimba, tropical and folkloric sounds. The music selection is very specific to the afro-latino diaspora and folk music because it isn’t a common sound people think of for a party.

The group explained they want to break down the hesitancy people may feel towards folk music, “although it would be easy to play reggaeton and cumbias, we wanted to dive deeper into folk music that isn’t present in pop music.”

Every events’ proceeds go to an organization who directly works with Latin American communities.

When it comes to picking an organization to fundraise for, Eleanor stressed the importance of finding the right connection. “We want to start a dialog around issues therefore we make sure the non-profit we partner works directly with the community.”

They want to touch on these issues as a way to teach on going issues in Latin America. A vital part of this party is to give back, “We can’t just take from these communities without giving back. We hope people feel proud when paying those $5 or $10.”

They’ve held fundraisers for CISPES, an organization for the Salvadoran struggles for justice & liberation, and worked with OWAYA where all proceeds went towards Colombia Resiste.

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La Papaya Club meant to go beyond a party as they are advocates for the music and communities.

People are responding to this party so far; the next step for La Papaya club will be to find a permanent space. Their next event will fundraise for Lobito Del Selvatorium, an educational program in Colombia, which will be held virtually.

Follow @lapapayaclub on instagram for future events

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