The new island of Electronic Dance Music

DJ Mesquitas, an Aruban DJ who is a household name at the renowned Electric Festival, shares his vision for the island and his love for electronic music in this beautifully written blog post:

For many people the ideal feeling of relaxation is being surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters that hit shore on miles long stretches of the whitest sandy beaches for as far as the eye can behold. Solid 30 degrees Celsius weather, and blue skies call for the ultimate vacation retreat. 

Yes, I've painted a picture of the perfect getaway for the rich and famous, a place just to lie in the sun, with a cocktail in one hand, and a book in the other as they anonymously bake away with not a sorrow in the world. And I must admit I don't blame them.

But buried deep beneath all this touristic bliss, high-end stores and 5 star hotels lay a rich multicultural haven in the Caribbean ocean that we call home. Just 17,5 miles long and 7 miles wide it is the ultimate depiction of vacation on one side, and a complete desert landscape on the other. Hidden here is a strong sense of culture, music and religious beliefs.  

Historic Arowak Indian Rock Drawing in Aruba National Park Arikok 

Ranging from the first Indians who made the treacherous journey in their canoes from Punto Fijo Venezuela, to the first Spanish Conquistadores, and finally the Dutch who made Aruba one of their most important colonies in the times of the Triangle Trade Treaties. It is safe to say that we enjoy a rich Island Heritage, which in turn sets the perfect basis for electronic music to take over our sound waves.

Gold Mill Ruins at Bushiribana Aruba 

I remember being just 14 years old standing in line pretending to be 15 or 16 whatever the minimum age was at the infamous "I love Muzika" events with my glow-sticks ready to rave the night away. Little did I know back then, that the basis was being set for my musical journey that was yet to come. And not just mine but for a whole new generation of future ravers. 

Now almost 2 decades later and so much has changed, some for better and some for the worse. But let's disregard this topic for the sake of this article. 

With a 3rd festival rich season, and more venues making the switch to focusing at least one night solely on electronic dance music, an FM radio station that plays dance music 24/7 and new promoters popping up like wild flowers, we are at the dawn of becoming the new island of electronic dance music in the Caribbean.

Electric Festival Opening party 2015

Seeing is believing they say, and the last 3 years have made me a believer. It would be very naïve of me to say that this change will happen over night, but believing in the possibility of having a self-sustainable Dance movement in the Caribbean is not that far fetched. With the likes of Hardwell, Afrojack, Chuckie, Nero, Nervo, Erick Morillo and believe me the list goes on having performed at least once on the island within the last 3 years. The EDM scene has been very well represented. And this is great to attract more fresh soles to the island and the 4 to the floor movement.

Afrojack, Chuckie and Nervo in Aruba

Afrojack, Nervo & Chuckie with the Aruban Flag

But what truly convinces me of our magnificent future is the transition into the underground and this was never more apparent than last years Electric Festival, or the Techno Tent at Love Festival. When heavy hitters like Loco Dice, Paco Osuna, Nicole Moudaber, Stacy Pullen, Hector, Chus & Ceballos, Rafa Barrios, Ramon Tapia and many others make the journey across the Pacific to share with us the true essence of electronic music. Magical things start to happen.

Being it with club nights, pop up events, radio showcases, late night studio sessions, as long as people are moving and dj’s are playing their favorite tunes, slowly but surely a movement is awaken.

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About the blogger: Rafael Bueno de...
Rafael Bueno de Mesquita, a.k.a DJ Mesquitas, is an Aruba born DJ who performs regularly at all major electronic music parties and concerts in Aruba.