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Friday, Apr 04 2014 | 10:22 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Ray LugoRay Lugo is an American songwriter, producer and DJ from New York City and is the leader and singer of Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra and Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers. His mind is very fertile, and he’s been rather prolific over the last decade, putting out a variety of groovy sounds ranging from organic to electronic, Afrobeat to soul, Latin to Brazilian and many different sorts of mashup/fusions in between. But just because he is creatively fecund doesn’t mean the quality suffers – each album is hand-crafted and Ray takes his time to shape and mold it to just the right proportions.

Ray is also strongly motivated, with impeccable taste and secure in following his own muse wherever it will lead. He recently told me he’s “never been one to make music that is trendy, happening or much talked about” – he’s never even cared for any of that. He maintains that he’s moved by what a tune makes him feel inside in his heart, and if it has a solid underlying story then he becomes drawn to it.

The other great thing about Ray is he has always surrounded himself with fabulously talented players and singers, some who have been with him for years. This shows in the high quality of both his recorded and his live output.

So when Ray told me he had some new music he was working on, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it was going to be sabroso, whatever the ingredients. Turned out it was his second Latin soul record with the Boogaloo Destroyers, and destroy the dance floor is just what they will do when you put this record on the Hi-Fi. The title of the album translates loosely as “How groovy!” and it’s a very apt one. The Boogaloo Destroyers’ sound is inspired by the warmth, diversity, and youthful spirit of classic New York Latin Boogaloo of the 1960s, yet at the same time, as composer and lead vocalist, Ray feels he is bringing some of his afrobeat sensibilities and vocal personality to the proceedings, to make it fresh for today’s audiences. He also told me he feels the Boogaloo Destroyers serve the dual purpose of emphasizing his pride in being Latino as well as helping to build a musical bridge for people from around to world to come together and learn a little bit about each other, and with this sophomore release, he’s gonna do just that.

Ray Lugo and The Boogaloo Destroyers’ brand new album entitled Que Chevere! will be released April 11th on Freestyle Records.

www.raylugo.org

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