Updated: Mar 7
New York City is a melting Pot of cultures and people coming together. No other city in America blends people and cultures together the way New York does. And it is this characteristic of the city, that gives New York its special sauce. For some, NY is about museums, and broadway shows, but for others, NY is about celebrating and experiencing the cultures created from different people coming together. Cultures that went on to become globally recognized pop and sub cultures. Many of which were created in communities far from the lights of Time Square. It is here in NYC, that Hip Hop, Break Dancing and Voguing was created. And styles like Salsa and House, found their evolution here. These dance creations didn’t just happen, they are the direct result of varied people and cultures coming together and creating magic from those cross cultural interactions.
The AFUEGO Party by Dos Flakos, continues this NYC tradition of mashing cultures together. It’s a 2023 rendition of classic NYC being delivered to a new generation. Set in a rapidly changing city that threatens the ethnic and immigrant enclaves that contributed deeply to the sauce that is NYC. AFUEGO Party breaks down the barriers we are currently seeing happening in NYC night life, where everything is becoming segmented into niche single music genres: Amapiano night, Afro beats night, Dancehall night, Reggaeton night, Soca Night, Bachata Night etc. This segmentation deviates from the reality and the history of the city, where various music genres came together to create new sounds, and new energy. AFUEGO also puts the DJ back into the driver seat responsible for not only orchestrating the dance floor, but for delivering undiscovered bangers to the audience. Lately, if you have been out to the genre specific events in the city, DJs have morphed into radio stations, simply playing the same top songs in that specific genre. Party goers have also become very comfortable requesting their favorite top 40 songs from DJs. While this satisfies some, for many of us, we expect more from a DJ. A night out should not feel like a night-in with the radio on. AFUEGO is not about hearing the popular songs on your playlist. It’s about experiencing the sounds of the Afro diaspora on an equal platter, expertly mixed to keep the energy leveled. It’s about allowing the DJ to take you on a musical journey without your personal music request. For those who say genres can’t be mixed, as if Afro House cannot be played with Reggaeton or Dem Bow cannot be played with Soca or Kuduro, Dos Flakos have expertly flipped that script. AFUEGO, is the energy of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and NYC perfectly wrapped together.
We caught up with the Duo to talk about Afuego and their music.
AFROCONEX: Dos Flakos, thank you for time. For those who don’t know you guys, can you introduce yourself? (Name, Where from, describe your sound, how long have you been dj-ing)
DOS FLAKOS: First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity! For those who don't know us, we are Rich & Chris aka Dos Flakos from the Bronx, NY. We are from the Dominican Republic and I would describe our sound as Afrodiasporic rave. We've been djing together for about 8 years and producing for 6 years. We were djing before we joined forces in 2014 though. Rich has been djing since he was 15 years old (currently 27 years old) and Chris has been djing since he was 21 (currently 31 years old).
AFROCONEX: Congrats on the January 28th, AFUEGO party. The energy and music in the room was next level! What is your vision for Afuego party, and why was it important to bring this vibe to New York?
DOS FLAKOS: Thank you so much and thank you for coming out and killing the dancefloor like you always do! Our vision for AFUEGO party is to connect the dots within the afro-diaspora and rave culture. We think that the separation of genres and sounds within nightlife is not cool and it's adding more separation between people. AFUEGO is a place where anyone and everyone can come together to just listen to some good-ass dance music, whether it's Afrobeats, Reggaeton, House, Amapiano, Soca, and more.
AFROCONEX: For me AFUEGO Party felt like old New York, in your opinion what is your definition of a New York vibe when it comes to parties?
DOS FLAKOS: We love that you feel like it felt like old NYC! Old NYC used to get down on the dancefloor! Our opinion on what a NY vibe is when it comes to parties is just a melting pot of sounds whether it's African, African American, Caribbean, or even Latino. It's just a beautiful sancocho of sounds that only the best DJs can mesh together.
AFROCONEX: The synergy and cross genre mixing in your sets are always so flawless; are your sets preplanned or guided by the energy of the party?
DOS FLAKOS: Believe it or not, our sets are always guided by the energy of the party and our passion for presenting new sounds in a relatable way. We've tried to pre-plan our sets but it takes the soul out of djing in our opinion.
AFROCONEX: You guys are genre benders, how do you discover new music when your interests cover so many genres?
DOS FLAKOS: Thank you, we aspire to be well-versed in the history and sound of all the genres we play. It's hard to stay on top of all the genres we love to play but we just find time to sit down and listen to music. This also helps us when it comes to our productions. Usually how it goes is, we become obsessed with a sound for 2-3 weeks and only download and listen to that genre and then we find another genre to be obsessed with and the cycle continues.
AFROCONEX: You also throw Reggaeton Rave, how are the 2 parties different: Reggaeton Rave vs AFUEGO Party?
DOS FLAKOS: The parties are night and day tbh (to be honest). Reggaeton Rave is a bigger event focused on solely Reggaeton and rave-inspired Reggaeton. AFUEGO party is the essence of NYC and the afro diaspora that live and influence it. AFUEGO party tends to feel more intimate and dance-driven as well.
AFROCONEX: Dem Bow is a genre that you play often in your sets. For people who mistake Dem Bow for Reggaeton, how would describe the difference between the 2 genres ?
DOS FLAKOS: Let's start by acknowledging that Dembow is directly influenced by Reggaeton but the genres are their own sound and movement for sure. Dembow is more influenced by the older underground Reggaeton sound from the 90s, think DJ Playero and DJ Negro. Dembow is also usually higher-paced and usually rapped on. Reggaeton on the other hand is slower and can be sung and/or rapped on. A rule of thumb is, if a Dominican is rapping on it and it's higher paced, it's probably Dembow. If a Puerto Rican is rapping or singing on it and it's slower-paced, chances are it's Reggaeton.
AFROCONEX: You are both from the Bronx, a borough that has been instrumental in its contribution to NYC dance and music culture. What’s happening in the Bronx music and culture wise that the rest of the city may not be familiar with?
DOS FLAKOS: There's a renaissance happening in the Bronx currently. There are amazing artists popping out of every corner of the Bronx whether it's the South or the North and it can be in the arts, music, and even fashion. First and foremost, we want to shout out our amazing Bronx Bred team AFUEGO. We're pushing the sound boundaries and representing the Bronx to the fullest. In terms of a particular sound, we would say Latin House is a sound that's getting bigger in the Bronx but it's not yet known. This sound was huge all throughout the 90s and is currently becoming something again. Some artists include us, Dos Flakos, and DJ Guari.
AFROCONEX: we love discovering new bangers. What are 3 new tracks we should be adding to our playlist?
DOS FLAKOS: 1) Dos Flakos, Taina Rain- DWF 2) DJ Guari, Saso - Enrolando…3) Saso feat. Dos Flakos & Enerolisa y El Grupo Salve - Palo Santo (releasing in March)
AFROCONEX: who are some of the artists you admire and why ?
DOS FLAKOS: Jeeez, there are so many. Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, G-Unit, Louie Vega, Lil Kim, QUE of Distruction Boyz, Masters at Work, Burna Boy, Kali Uchis, Danny "The Wepa Man" Vargas, C+C Music Factory, GTA, Kaytranada, Tyler The Creator, Machel Montano, Munchi, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Heavy Baile, De Schuurman, Dipset, Major Lazer, The Prodigy, just to name a few. We admire ourselves as well! We admire these artists because they not only make good music, they care deeply about the performance aspect of being an artist. A good musician can really be ruined if their performance isn't up to par.
Be sure to follow Dos Flakos on IG @doskflakos
Check out their music
Some Videos from the January 2023 AFUEGO Party