Guatemala’s Doctor Nativo is one of Central America’s most exciting new talents. His music layers Mayan spirituality, social activism, and folk wisdom over a propulsive sound combining reggae, cumbia, hip hop, and pre-Columbian instruments. His debut album, Guatemaya, is a call for social justice for his country’s indigenous majority. It came out on Guatemalan Independence Day: September, 15 2018, and was presented at the Lincoln Center in New York City by Stonetree Records.
At a young age, Nativo left the traditional educational school system and dedicated his life to music. After busking his way through Europe, India, and Latin America, life brought him to Cuba (the country of his father’s birth), to study at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana. Eventually, he settled in Barcelona, where he played music in the street, every day, for years, and mastered his art through direct contact with the people.
Guatemaya revives the ancestors and lets them loose on the dance floor with such tracks as Pa’ Que Se Levanten (Rise Up!), El 20 (The 20 Nawales), and La Voz Popular (The Voice of The People) which celebrate indigenous resistance and popular empowerment. While his song, Guatemaya, is a proud assertion of Mayan identity that’s become an anthem among the youth of Guatemaya.
The result is a whole new chapter in the music of Central America and Stonetree Records. Guatemaya marks the first direct release to the U.S. market from the legendary, independent label that brought Andy Palacio, Aurelio Martinez, and other Garifuna greats to the world. His second studio album, La Kocina del Doctor Nativo, set for release in the fall of 2021, is highly anticipated by his fans and music lovers.