Venturing into a fantastical world
The Spanish-born, London-based DJ and producer Merca Bae’s musical roots lay in latin music like reggaeton and dancehall – and influenced by these sounds he is. Only he knows how to bend them to his own liking. When he first surfaced online, nobody knew who he was. Now we know he is Alejandro Silva and that for the first time he’ll be playing in Belgium. Time to get familiar with Merca Bae.
Text by Dennis Meersman
I vividly remember my acquaintance with Merca Bae. I was hanging out with some friends, doing the daily scroll on Soundcloud, when this fresh-sounding track grabbed my attention. It was this darker variant to reggaeton with chopped up Spanish vocals and grimy synths. I asked my friend about the track and he told me it’s from this obscure producer called Merca Bae. Back then, he was a mystery: there was just this sort of blank Soundcloud page called Merca Bae, filled with club bangers.
Nobody knew who he was, and that obscurity appealed to me. It’s always exciting to stumble upon an artist like that. It was 2016, and reggaeton and dancehall rhythms and snares were very much integrated in the progressive club scene with labels like NAAFI, Her Records and the emergence of collectives Bala Club and Staycore. Now, Merca Bae stepped out of the shadows, toured the world and brought his cutting-edge club sounds to festivals like Sónar.
Although he has some official releases on Trendy Decay and Perth Records and has contributed tracks to lots of compilations, Merca Bae mostly is a producer who rides solo. Most of his tracks are found in his Merca Zips: extended compilations filled with club bangers (free of charge!) which he releases once a year. Not only is he a great producer: believe me when I say that he knows how to hit the decks, too.