The Story With Wil-Dog Abers


I remember the first time I saw the Grammy award-winning band Ozomatli on stage at the Showbox. It must have been like 2001 or something. Their blend of salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, rap - the sound of the streets of Los Angeles - absolutely blew my mind. I also distinctly remember watching their bass player Wil-Dog Abers rocking out and having the time of his life.

(Fast forward sixteen years)

Tim Lennon of The Vera Project connected us to Wil-Dog and Sergio Muñoz, who are working on the interactive music remix platform 8Stem. After doing a video shoot on Orcas Island they came down to the Totem Star studio to meet our recording artists for a really special installment of The Story.

Wil-Dog recreated his rhythmic thought process on his remix of Dionisio by Chancha Vía Circuito, taking us from Chancha's home of Argentina to visit with Brazilian samba, Columbian cumbia, Puerto Rican salsa, and Mexican banda. Wil-Dog took us on a YouTube adventure of examples from each rhythmic style as he walked us through his remix - felt like we just toured through Latin America!

The biggest takeaway from our time with Wil-Dog was feeling his infectious enthusiasm and excitement in learning about rhythmic styles from all over the world, as it truly perpetuates more humanity and connectedness through sharing and appreciating the music of all cultures. And it's a lot of fun! We're excited to build on this new friendship with Wil-Dog and Sergio! Special shout out to Adam Farish of 8Stem for coming through and showing us how to use their interactive remix platform, which is surely the future of enjoying and sharing music. Viva la musica!

All photos by Paul Laughlin