Enyel C represents Puerto Rico in the lo-fi music world


Photo credit: Courtesy Enyel C.

Valerie Cronenbold

The familiar dembow drum pattern heard in every reggaeton song is being deconstructed by the downtempo sounds produced and sung by Enyel C, a Puerto Rican born and based artist. His genre unfolds in the style of “progressive urbano,” where Latin sounds combine with lo-fi and deep house beats.

His stint with music began when he was 15, a bass player who jammed out with friends to psychedelic classic rock from the ’60s.

After his arrival at Loyola to major in music therapy, he discovered a need for learning how to produce and curate his own sound independently.

Despite his previous musical experience, Loyola was where Enyel began to record music and decided to establish himself as an artist and performer.

“I missed jamming and the company that came with having a band, and the lack of it lead me to creating that space for myself. Biever Hall 518 was where my name and artist project was born. As I shaped it, I realized it was something I desired, having my own expression,” he said.

Enyel’s musical work continuously evolves even as he nears his final semester of college in San Juan. “Angelito,” his first official EP, is in the process of being finished. The project will consist of seven songs which will be released later this year. As of now, three singles, one remix and two more unspecified releases are on the way.

In the socially distanced times of 2021, he will be headlining the online showcase of SXSW as a part of the showcase by La Buena Fortuna Music record label.

His success is prominent through his single releases, particularly referring through a song called “A Volar” featured on lo-fi Spanish rap sensation Cráneo’s latest LP album.

“Cráneo’s innovations in Spain’s scene inspired my sound and lyricism very much,” he said.

He connected with Cráneo’s team last year during his brief study abroad experience in Salamanca, Spain before the start of the pandemic canceled it. Once they sent him the track for “A Volar,” the collaboration came through.

Enyel aims to evolve that sound and see what else is possible to experiment with.

“I’m using the structure of what is currently happening right now in the worlds of pop music, trap, reggaeton – that type of rhythm and lyricism. But I feel like I’m taking it to a different level in terms of aesthetic and purpose. I want to use that framework and aesthetic, but I’m combining it with things like ballads, house and lo-fi. It’s on a different plane,” he said.

“I’ll use a reggaeton beat, but I’ll add some synths with a Tame Impala vibe”, he said, describing his process while making melodies. “Its like evolution, its exploring what else can be done because I feel it does get repetitive with many artists.”

The artist makes a connection with the progressive urbano genre by comparing it to progressive rock from the ’70s.

“They would combine the sounds of what was contemporary rock at the moment with jazz structures, classic melodies or flute instrumentals. I feel like these connections are made, and it calls back to progressive rock,” he said.

He recalled the recording of single “Waste Time” with fellow Loyola musical artist Ben Berger.

“It was him who I started making music with. He lent me the microphone to record, and we were homies from the fifth floor,” he said.

Although he hopes to further dealings of a record deal, Enyel emphasized his belief that anything is possible with hard work.

“Know and recognize that you can accomplish anything with or without help from anyone. And if you don’t make it at first, the best thing you can do is keep trying, however you can,” he said.