Bay Area duo Bang Data recently released their first full length album La Sopa (The Soup) symbolizing the melting pot of rhythms and beats of their diverse backgrounds. This Saturday, May 12 the two perform at The Fox Theater in Oakland along with Calle 13.
MC Deuce Eclipse and producer Juan Caipo combine their Nicaraguan and Peruvian heritages respectively into music that represents what they heard from their parents growing up, the sounds of the Bay Area and the hip hop acts they’ve worked with and been fans of since childhood.
Bang Data La Sopa stream
You met while both working on projects with Zion I and started Bang Data together, what sparked the idea to form your own group?
Juan: They were mixing some Latin beats mixed with hip hop so I was brought in to coproduce some of the tracks. We worked on those tracks together and totally hit it off.
Deuce still does his own thing and tours with Zion I, we just made this a main project. I didn’t think I was going to be playing again with a live group but this just started taking off on its own.
Did you originally start writing and performing your songs in Spanish?
Deuce: Yeah, the first song that we did was “Mi Viejo (A Mi Padre)”, a Spanish ballad. My intent was to dive deeper into my own culture and roots through hip hop. It’s on purpose that most of our music is in Spanish, we’re trying to reach out to our core audience – Spanish and English speakers, immigrants, natives of California and the United States. We’re pretty conscious when we write something in Spanish that it’s on purpose but we can reach to another territory musically.
Juan: It’s also pretty natural for us to go back and forth between English and even Spanglish. If Sublime can do it, and they’re from Long Beach, us being second generation Latinos more than anything it’s just normal to do. We don’t even notice throwing in Spanish when we speak.
Even though there was thought behind it, it wasn’t like “we have to do it in English” or “we have to do it in Spanish,” it was an easy media to express what Deuce was writing about. Some of the songs are completely in English.
Deuce: It’s melodic as well so even if people don’t know Spanish they like to listen to it because musically and methodically it sounds good.
Where did you write, record and work on the new album? How did the inspiration come about?
Juan: All the work was in Oakland and San Francisco, our first EP Maldito Carnival was in Oakland and La Sopa was SF.
Deuce: Every day while we’re traveling around or driving to LA, we’re always talking about music and ideas, kind of foreseeing the future a little bit. We’ll be on a road trip and we’ll be talking about a song we want to do. It usually just starts with an idea and snowballs from there.
Juan: Sometimes it will be while we’re driving or over a drink.
The opening song on La Sopa is “Veneno,” which means poison, and that started off as an acoustic guitar riff we played in rehearsal. Maybe 6 months later we did a show in LA and I pulled it up on the laptop and we added some synths to it as we were going. Next thing you know 6 months after that we’re in the studio and went back to it and we had never even played it live, just had all these ingredients that were simmering and boom, it pops up.
Anyone you’re looking to collaborate with or different styles you want to work on?
Deuce: There’s a lot of people I’d love to collaborate with and one of them just passed away, MCA from the Beastie Boys, rest in peace to him. Ana Tijoux and some other Latin artists, other local US people like Malverde.
Juan: I think the sky’s the limit because we’re open to any genre, we have elements of hip hop, rock and latin. It’s all fair game.
We’re working on a mixtape too, dropping a new song “California Love” and we actually played it for the first time on Friday in SF. It’s completely Bang Datafied, it’s the same lyrically but has this twist to it so people might jump on remixing that.
Not too long ago we did a track with J Boogie and hopefully we’ll do more remixes with him and others through the mixtape.
J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science “El Ritmo” ft. Deuce Eclipse & Caipo of Bang Data (DJ Sabo Remix)
You do so well in describing your sound as a soup, what’s your favorite soup?
Deuce: My two favorites are my mom’s beef soup and this Chinese Mandarin sizzling rice soup.
Juan: Posole is one of my favorites, typically it’s a holiday thing but people make it all year. I also like Chupe which is a seafood soup from Peru.
Deuce: Making me hungry.