Chill Tunes and a Warm Heart: Helado Negro

Helado Negro credit: 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

https://instagram.com/p/VZbvexrsHA/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=embed&utm_campaign=photo

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

https://instagram.com/p/z0z–NLsHe/

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

https://instagram.com/p/wzw9LxLsEA/

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.