ENTERTAINMENT

Electronic music duo GTA bring Latin beats and flavor to a worldwide sound

The bilingual duo is also influenced by non-Latino artists like System of a Down and Pharell. It shows in the music without boundaries that appears on its first album.

 

When Julio Mejia and Matthew Toth, who together form the electronic music group GTA, first met in 2010 through a mutual friend on Facebook, they never dreamed that they would eventually team up, tour with singers like Rihanna, and ignite crowds at the biggest dance music festivals worldwide. And now, that they would release their first record, named "Good Times Ahead," which is what the duo's name stands for.

"We've worked with so many big electronic artists like Diplo, A-Track, we've been on a tour with Tiesto and Calvin Harris," Mejia told Fox News Latino.

And that's just the beginning.

The 26-year-old Miami natives continue gaining popularity in the electronic dance space since forming GTA six years ago – bringing a unique Latino flavor to the genre.

"It is mostly electronic music like house, trap, or moombahton [a fusion of house and reggeton], anything like that, but we try to mix it with all of our influences, salsa, merengue, reggeton, System of a Down or rap," Toth said.

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Toth, whose parents are Cuban, went to technical audio school, and said he was exposed to music at an early age, citing artists like Celia Cruz and Joe Arroyo as musical inspirations.

"I remember my grandparents cooking and then they'd play a lot of El Gran Combo," he said. "We take all those rhythms and the trumpets, that Latino flavor and we put it into our music."

Mejia, whose family hails from Honduras, studied musical theory and grew up listening to singers like Héctor Lavoe and Arturo Sandoval.

"Growing up in Miami, I was in a bunch of local salsa bands and I was really into Latin Jazz," he said. "That is, still to this day, a major influence in all of our songs."

Although proud of their Latino roots, the bilingual DJ-producers say they are just as influenced by non-Latino artists like System of a Down and Pharell, proving that in music there are no boundaries.

"Our whole mantra, the way we approach music is this thing we call 'death to genres,' basically the way we absorb music, the way we appreciate music, it's just no holds barred no boundaries it's just enjoying the vibe, and that's what we are about," said Mejia.

The young duo have managed to build a musical empire, with over 250 million views on YouTube and musical collaborations with the likes Diplo and Skrilkex, and official remixes for Rihanna, Rick Ross and Jay Z.

But now they're getting ready for their biggest project yet, their debut album, which is released Oct. 7.

"This album as a whole is so different than anything we've put out before," Mejia said. "This is mainly targeted to different audiences that we haven't tried to tap into, I think as producers it showcase our talent."

Their eponymous full-length album features artists like Tinashe, Vince Staples and Wax Motif.

"We collaborated with some of our friends, like What So Not, and some new underground people, like Karina and RKCB and Jarina de Marco. She's coming up too, and she's Dominican," added Toth.

GTA also recently kicked off  its tour on Thursday which will take Mejia and Toth to major cities in Canada and the United States and concludes in Florida Oct. 22.

Naibe Reynoso is a freelance reporter from Los Angeles, California. Follow her @naibereynoso

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