Riobamba is an Ecuadorian-Lithuanian producer, DJ, and cultural activist based in Brooklyn. Riobamba’s rowdy, deeply researched live sets reflect back nightlife’s power as a site of joy and resistance, amplifying connective tissues between YouTube clips, dembow brujería, bodega soundtracks, and noise hyperreality "suped up with a twisted, industrial gnarl" (Complex).
As a self-made bridge between música urbana’s underground movements and pioneers, Riobamba has recently shared the stage with Tego Calderón, Maluma, Nina Sky, DJ Playero, Kap G, Rosa Pistola, Tomasa del Real, DJ Blass, and DJVIVAEDIT. The Fader has called her production work “a radically self-expressive piece of futurism that stands against a single, boxed-in definition of what Latinx club music can be.”
In 2017, Riobamba founded the APOCALIPSIS label and creative agency, a platform designed to do everything in its power (A&R, marketing, event production) to grow visibility narratives by those “ni de aquí, ni de allá” (neither from here, nor there). In 2017 APOCALIPSIS curated and co-produced Boiler Room’s first reggaetón showcase, and provides ongoing music education in a Brooklyn juvenile detention center with programming highlighting music’s power for self-determination and entrepreneurship.
In continuing to explore the role of music as a site of visibility and resistance, Riobamba currently leads A&R and marketing projects for the iconic Nuyorican music label Fania, home to groundbreaking artists Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, and La Lupe, who set the path for the genres of salsa, boogaloo, and Latin soul.
After earning a degree in political science from Boston University, Riobamba was the first Colombia-based participant in the Fulbright-mtvU program, studying the subversive power of digital music production in a region enduring the effects of civil conflict and internal displacement. Her research documented collaborations with local musicians and communities, amplifying the sounds of cumbia gótica, political hip-hop, and electro-champeta. Upon moving to New York City, she became the Music Editor of cultural platform Remezcla where she worked for quality reporting in English language media about Latinx musicians.
Riobamba is the founder of Boston’s transnational bass night Picó Picante, now in its sixth year, and was formerly resident at New York’s landmark global bass event Que Bajo?! with Uproot Andy and Geko Jones. She is also a member of the multidisciplinary Dutty Artz digital artist collective.
Her original work has been featured in Resident Advisor, Univision, Fact Mag, The Fader, Thump, Complex, and Red Bull Music Academy Radio, and her writing has appeared in i-D Mexico, mtvU, Remezcla, and The Fader.
EPK available here.
Press photos available here.
Photo credit: Jay Tovar.