Label: World Musical Madness
reggae / ska / rock / punk from Caracas Venezuela
Contact DetailsGustavo Casas
WAHALA is a Venezuelan based band that has been evolving continually from the fusion of music and ideas that spring from influences such as reggae, ska, rock, punk, pop and dub, always with some Latin flavor added on and lyrics both in Spanish and English that search for a better understanding of our everyday lives. With their second independent production (Homegrown) looking to be edited in countries like Venezuela, Colombia, USA, and the entire European Community, WAHALA (Gustavo Casas on lead vocals and guitar; Ricardo Martinez on bass; Adolfo Herrera on drums and backing vocals and Antonio Casas on percussion and backing vocals) are currently striving for the local recognition and experience in order to take their music and ideas to the US and Europe on 2005.
WAHALA was formed in Caracas, Venezuela, by Gustavo Casas, Ricardo Martinez, Javier Marin, Luis Ignacio Marquez and Antonio Casas, back in 1997. Influenced partly by California’s “Third Wave” ska and punk movement and also by the sounds of Jamaican reggae, the band gives its very first public performance on June, 1997, along with Desorden Publico, one of Latin America’s ska godfathers.
At the end of 1997, WAHALA independently records and releases an EP with six original tracks, which give them a chance, after being chosen from more than a hundred bands nationwide, to participate in the 8th Annual “Festival Nuevas Bandas”, the most important event for upcoming bands in Venezuela. After winning the first prize, the band takes part in the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International Concert, playing to a crowd of 50.000 people and sharing the stage with international artists such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Aterciopelados, Paralamas, Los Pericos, King Chango, Desorden Publico, Willie Colon and Ruben Blades.
Between 1998 and 1999, WAHALA gives some memorable concerts in Venezuela, participating in events such as “Los Miercoles Insolitos” (The Unusual Wednesdays) at the Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), the “Ska de Aca Festival” and alternating with bands such as Molotov (Mexico) and UB40 (U.K.). At the beginning of 1999 they receive a total of three nominations for the annual Venezuela Pop & Rock Awards, as Best Ska-Reggae Album, Best Percussionist and Best Vocalist, also performing at the ceremony along artists such a Los Amigos Invisibles and La Corte.
In the summer of 1999 and participating in the compilation “Puro Skañol Vol.III”, released by the independent Californian label Aztlan Records, WAHALA decides to embark on a tour that would take them and their music to places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Phoenix, Tecate and Tijuana, along bands such as Todos Tus Muertos, King Chango, Viva Malpache, Madcaddies, The Ataris and Aztlan Underground among others.
Through the following two years, WAHALA doesn’t seem to slow down its pace and number of shows, organizing two tours through some of Caracas high schools, playing at festivals such as “Al Ritmo de la Ciudad” (CorpBank Auditorium), the IV annual Pirelli Festival of Young Artists, appearing on national television and even producing a series of concerts along Argentinean bands Todos Tus Muertos and Lumumba.
At the beginning of 2001, Javier Marin moves to Boston and Adolfo Herrera, a well established professional musician joins WAHALA as its new drummer, bringing experience, knowledge and musical skills, contributing to the band’s growth, development and evolution.
After many months of hard work and promotion, WAHALA is selected to participate in the biggest musical festival in Venezuela, the 1st Caracas Pop Festival, along international artists such as Oasis, Sting, Sheryl Crown, Christina Aguilera, Five, Mana, and Ruben Blades; and local bands Malanga, Caramelos de Cianuro, Desorden Publico and Los Amigos Invisibles.
At the end of 2001, some members of the band decide to travel abroad in order to pursue personal and professional goals in cities like Madrid, Boston and Barcelona. In the meantime and thanks to digital technology, the band is able to keep on working on the basis of what it would become their second studio work: HOMEGROWN.
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