entertainment

Chill Tunes and a Warm Heart: Helado Negro

Helado Negro
Asthmatic Kitty Records

Who’s the brains behind Helado Negro? One guy: the multi-talented Roberto Carlos Lange, whose music weaves his “tropical” roots with more contemporary genres and styles than you can count. Now based in Brooklyn, the unassuming South Florida native has established himself as an act to watch.

Here are 11 reasons why you should keep Helado Negro on your radar RIGHT NOW.

He Knows What It’s Like to Grow Up Between Two Worlds

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The son of Ecuadorian immigrants, Lange knows exactly what it’s like to be shaped by American and Latino culture. It’s reflected in his music. Look at the cover of Helado Negro’s latest album, Double Youth, and you’ll see a photo of two boys paused in a moment of youthful glee. It’s one of Lange’s childhood photos, unearthed from Lange’s parents’ home and a visual representation of Lange’s “two lives.”

He’s Cool with Singing in Spanish and English

Credit: #HeladoNegro / YouTube

It’d be easy for Helado Negro to fall into the trap of choosing between English and Spanish. Instead, he’s kept it real to remind listeners it’s cool to sing in whatever language feels right.

He Doesn’t Take Himself Too Seriously

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Helado Negro never seems pretentious. His outward persona reflects that, making his music and performances sincere, honest and fun. Check out his tinsel-covered dancers during a recent performance at KEXP.

He’s an Album-Writing Machine

Back in BK West Coast tour starts May 2 in San Diego with #javelin + #jamaicanqueens

A photo posted by Helado Negro (@heladonegro) on

Say what you will about quantity over quality. If you happen to be able to produce both, you’re golden. Lange has done just that. In the last three years, he’s dished out five solid albums in the time others would make one.

READ: Irene Diaz: From Trader Joe’s to Touring Musician

Look at Those Luscious Locks

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Let’s be honest, that super plush head of hair is worthy of praise.

His Music Videos Are Pretty Awesome

Credit: Asthmatic Kitty Records / YouTube

Often charming and whimsical, Helado Negro’s videos are always visually engaging.

He’s a Wizard on those Synths

I have a new record I'm finishing up. You want to release it?

A photo posted by Helado Negro (@heladonegro) on

Helado Negro isn’t just a “laptop producer” fooling us with simple tricks, he embraces a more complex approach.

READ: 13 Latino Songs You Can’t Help Dance To at Family Parties

He’s Managed to Take Reggae and Dub Even Deeper

Credit: KEXP / YouTube

Sometimes taking a familiar format into new depths is just what a listener needs. Lange does that with ease when it comes to reggae and dub, the Caribbean’s favorite sound.

He Gets Kinda Psychedelic

Credit: #HeladoNegro / YouTube

Where some have failed at blending psychedelic sounds with traditional Latin vibes, Helado Negro succeeds.

He Rounds it Out With Latin Soul

Credit: #HeladoNegro / YouTube

No matter where Helado Negro’s music takes you, it’s always grounded in his inescapably Latin roots.

His Music Is Pretty Much the Sound of Summer

Credit: #HeladoNegro / YouTube

If anyone captures the chilled out essence of summer, it’s Helado Negro.

These Latino Authors will Get You through a Breakup

#mitúLIFE

These Latino Authors will Get You through a Breakup

books

Ay amorcito corazón, I wish I could tell you there is a shortcut to healing a broken heart, but then I would be a big fat mentirosa. It’s gonna take time. Until then, grab a box of tissues, curl up in bed with these books and heal baby, heal.

1. Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles – Sujeiry Gonzalez

Love Trips Sujeiry Gonzalez
Credit: Amazon

They say misery loves company.This book will make you laugh and realize you are not alone.

2. True Love – Jennifer Lopez

True Love Jennifer Lopez
 Credit: Amazon

Even someone as successful as J.Lo can fail at love again and again, but still find the strength to keep on going.

3. This is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz

This Is How You Lose Her
 Credit: Amazon

A collection of short stories that proves even los más machos aren’t spared love’s heartbreak.

4. Tear this Heart Out – Ángeles Mastretta

Tear This Heart Out
Credit: Amazon

You’ll get so pulled into this love story and forget about the love you are grieving.

5. Paula – Isabel Allende

Paula Isabel Allende
Credit: Amazon

This memoir will break your heart in a whole different way and then piece it back together again.

6. The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist
Credit: Amazon

This simple story will teach you to follow your heart.

7. Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate
Credit: Amazon

It’s a romance, it’s a tragedy, it’s a freakin’ good read.

READ: 11 Quotes from The Alchemis that Changed My Life

8. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera
Credit: Amazon

Buck up champ, some wait half a century to be with their true love.

9. Woman Hollering Creek – Sandra Cisneros

Woman Hollering Creek
Credit: Amazon

Reflections on life, love, relationships and sex–this read will make your heart grow three sizes.

10. The Heartbreak Pill – Anjanette Delgado

The Heartbreak Pill
Credit: Amazon

If only heartbreak could be cured by a pill. Wait, maybe that wouldn’t be such a great thing.

11. Letters, to the Men I Have Loved– Mirtha Michelle Castro

Letters to the Men I Have Loved
Credit: Amazon

You might be inspired to pour your heart out on the page.

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