Music tells a story. And every story needs a setting. So whenever we work on projects for our clients, we consider the locality of the music we're working with. Where was the music conceived? How does it help tell the story of the room, the business, the block, neighborhood, city, and country?
When we went to Miami to be L.E/Miami's music partner, we had to showcase the rich musical heritage of Miami. One of the ways we did this was in partnering with Miami's legendary Technique Records to create a record store pop-up for the first day's Open House. Below are 10 of the records we featured at the pop-up, all of which played a part in the Miami music scene.
Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine - Let it Loose (1987)
Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine is one of the most successful Latin American bands to crossover into the English-language market, helping to pave the way of success for many other Latin artists.Fun fact: this band began as the Miami Latin Boys, with accordion player, Emilio Estefan, Jr. as the bandleader, only to change their name to Miami Sound Machine a year later when Gloria Fajardo, Emilio’s future wife, joined the band. Their record “Let it Loose” is a fun Latin synth-pop record great for dancing and was released in 1987 with Betty Wright on backing vocals, another Miami musical gem of the disco-funk.
Betty Wright - Wright Back at You (1983)
Betty Wright, Miami’s queen of soul and disco, sang, wrote, and helped
in the production of many Miami soul and disco records in the 60s, 70s,
80s, and beyond alongside Clarence Reid. The song “Burning Desire” on
this album was written and produced by members of the Jackson 5 with
Luther Vandross on supporting vocals, and it has an infectious disco groove
that will make you want to dance.
Clarence Reid - On the Job (1976)
Singer/songwriter/producer Clarence Reid was an earnest Southern soul
singer from Cochran Georgia. He moved to Ft. Lauderdale and would frequent Miami on foot just to perform, eventually recording for TK Records president Henry Stone's Alston imprint. He was instrumental in launching the career of Betty Wright and also wrote/produced for many Soul and Disco artists. This record is his last full soul album before he started writing X-rated funk and disco music under his Blowfly alias.
Frank Sinatra - This is Sinatra! (1956)
In the 1950s, Miami Beach was a glamorous place, with hotels appealing to the growing interest in Big Band/Swing/Rat Pack sound and hosting artists to perform on-site. Frank Sinatra was a huge admirer of Miami and would frequent the city to perform and vacation here. This album is the first collection of Sinatra's singles and B-sides with Nelson Riddle.
Timmy Thomas - Why Can’t We Live Together (1972)
Timmy Thomas was an organ and singer whose productions were usually accompanied by a drum machine. This record was released on TK Records, a Miami Soul and disco label, and while this record did extremely well, he never had another successful album. You'll likely recognize the intro of the title track as a sample in a recent mega-hit but Canad's favorite rapper.
Bootylicious Compilation (2002)
In the 80s and 90s, a new sound emerged in Miami that involved heavy-hitting bass tracks with fast-paced 808 beats and raunchy rap lyrics made specifically for twerking called Miami Bass. With artists such as Uncle Luke, 2 Live Crew and Poison Clan, this new sound began to take over the hip hop world and radiowaves, giving birth to the freestyle genre as well. This compilation features some of the best songs of that era.
Afrobeta - Illusion Motel (2020)
Miami duo Afrobeta has been tearing up dancefloors in their hometownsince 2006 with their dance-pop electronic sound. The duo's mutual love of catchy songwriting, Cuban pastries, and dancing til' 5 AM, is what initially inspired them to make music together. This is their fourth full-length album Illusion.
John Jolt - Spooks & Apparitions (2021)
Miami, FL is a city that if you get deep into it you’ll find that it’ll give you the chills, especially when it comes down to exploring its mystical/magical side and applying it to your life. Spooks & Apparitions by John Jolt - the owner of Jolt Radio, an online radio platform based in Miami - focuses on that theme and mystique of the city with its sci-fi boogie and proto-house tracks.
Exposé - Exposure (1985)
The freestyle sound of the 80s and 90s will forever live on as a favorite sound that hailed from Miami and New York. When you think of Miami freestyle, the girl group Exposé comes to mind, most specifically with their crowd-pleasing track “Point of No Return” featured on this album.
Willy Chirino - Subiendo (1983)
Recorded in Miami by Puerto Rican artist Willy Chirino, this record is filled with fun salsa tracks to satisfy your party’s salsa needs.