QUITAPENAS, one word – all caps, four syllables – all claps, gives you a taste of their rhythmic contagion. This tropical Afro-Latin combo was born under the warm California sun. They borrow aesthetics from the radical 60s, 70s and 80s. Each song echoes a remix of history and invites one to engage in the liberating evenings of Angola, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and beyond. The name means “to remove worries.” Everybody has a “pena” and the mission of QUITAPENAS is simple: to make you dance and leave you without a worry.
RECENT RELEASE: Tigrada
“Sung entirely in Spanish, but with the kind of enthusiasm and passion that easily melts away language barriers, the songs here touch on a variety of socio-political issues: on the Bomba influenced 'Tranquilidad' they deliver a blistering critique of humanity's continued abuse of our natural resources, the dizzying tropicalia of 'La Educación' was inspired by the 2006 Oaxacan teacher’s strike, and 'El Dino' recalls horrific 2015 attacks that took place in San Bernardino and left those of us familiar with the city particularly shook.”
-Jeremy Monroe of The405
“The song’s [La Educación] main theme – a criticism of the education system – was inspired by the 2006 Oaxacan teacher’s strike. On “La Educación” the band uses their platform to harken education to a social weapon which governments increasingly deny its people – cuasing a widening divide in the classes.
“As with other Quitapenas releases, the combo derives their influences from sounds of Angola, Brazil, Colombia, and various other regions, while injecting a Southern Californian sense of playfulness – even with the song’s thematic severity. Tigrada is out on August 9 via Cosmica Records.”
- Eduardo Cepeda of Remezcla
2019 – Perfmored at Los Dells Fest alongside Ozuna, Cafe Tacvba, and Natalia Lafourcade. Released album “Tigrada.” Music video for single “Tranquilidad” featured in LA Times. Playlisted on Spotify’s “Trotamundos” and “Global Funk.”
2018 – Performed at Night on Broadway Festival, Cafe Bustelo’s pop-up and Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party in Los Angeles. Headlined La Batalla Festival in Santa Ana, CA. Opened for Las Cafeteras/Making Movies on their Carnaval Tour. Announced new vinyl release for “Tranquilidad“ on KCRW.
2017 – Released debut vinyl with Names You Can Trust. Performed at Coachella Music and Art Festival, Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival (headline) in Iowa, and at Levitt Pavillion (Spaceland Presents). “Campensino” used in “Magic Mushrooms” episode of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia on Vice.
2016 – Embarked on first ever East Coast Tour and performed on WXPN’s Nuevofest in Philadelphia and Villapalooza Festival in Chicago. Also performed at KUCR 88.3 FM’s 50th Anniversary Gala and at the Glasshouse in Pomona. “Campesino” featured on Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia (VICE). Headlined the 35th Encuentro Del Canto Popular in San Francisco.
2015: Released debut Album + embarked on first West Coast Tour, which lead to a SXSW Official Performance, a performance at Viva! Pomona + Echo Park Rising, and Red Bull Sound Select shows with Fool’s Gold and Kali Uchis. Premiered the official music video for “Valle Moreno” on Afropop Worldwide.