AfroRazones was created by a team of Cuban and U.S.-based artists, during summer 2016, in Guampara Studios in Havana, Cuba, during a time of rapid sociopolitical transitions. We recognized that with recent changes in diplomatic relations, many Cuban artists are being exposed to a global music industry that they are unfamiliar with. Many of us were also confronting ideas of transnational solidarity and the transformative potential of music during a time of uncertainty.
The compilation album— which includes 13 hip hop and R&B artists, five producers and five instrumentalists— is part of a greater multimedia project that explores themes of accessibility, representation and technology. It was created from start to finish with the idea of resistance in the form of exploring today's Afro-Cuban identity. By layering hip hop tracks with folkloric music, AfroRazones creates a space for Afro-Cuban expression, thus archiving a Cuban manifestation of Black resistance in 2017.
During the album's creation, it was hard to ignore questions of access to technology and how it affects music. In March 2017, Cuban and U.S.-based artists came together to facilitate art workshops around music promotion, social media and Internet. As we develop automation and fall deeper into social media algorithms, some of us become less human and more robotic. But some of us don't. Through working groups and transnational collaborations, AfroRazones seeks to confront issues of Internet accessibility and literacy. As our world becomes more post-human, AfroRazones acts as a reminder to the music and community that connects us.