It might be confusing tracking the mighty Los Kumbia Kings/Kumbia All-Starz franchise without a scorecard, but suffice to say that by fusing traditional Mexican music with the urban styles of hip-hop, funk, r&b and reggae, both groups have handily redefined the parameters of modern Latin music. The songs are key ingredients: hook laden choruses with a rich sheen of pure pop accessibility.
Luigi Giraldo, a former teen star and an accomplished studio master, is a key player in this evolving sound, co-writing signature songs with the two groups’ founder and mastermind, A.B. Quintanilla, including the BMI Award-winning “Shhh,” “Se Fue Mi Amore,” “Me Gente” (also recorded in collaboration with Los Angeles heroes Ozomatli) and recent tracks like “Chiquilla and the hit, “Dulce Niña (na na na)” as performed by the Kumbia All-Starz’s heartthrob lead vocalist, Pee Wee.
In light of Giraldo’s expansive credits, his remarkable proficiency across the board is even more evident as he adds to the mix as a vocal and keyboard arranger, producer, programmer, and engineer, with a broad collection of modern artists like Frankie Negron, Patricia Manterola and Raul Brindis.
Giraldo first came to the pop music forefront in the ’90s with the extravagantly attired teen group Los Fantasmas del Caribe (Ghosts of the Caribbean). And although he his left his glossy pirate costume far behind in his evolution into one of Latin music’s most proficient modern hitmakers, he has clearly found a map to new musical treasures.