Chosen as two of 20 up-and-coming producers and musicians from around the country, the duo first met in 2017 as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s Bass Camp at Bonnaroo Music Festival. It was there that the duo bonded over their love for the tropical diaspora and began experimenting with their unique writing process—a four hour session per song, consisting of pure improvisation aimed at documenting the moment and translating the environment. Within a year of the bands first release, they found themselves praised by NPR’s Songs We Love and received an invitation to go on their first tour supporting renowned Latin-American band, Bomba Estereo during their 2018 Jungla Tour.
In the years to follow, Reyna Tropical found themselves with invitations to perform amongst various Caribbean waters including Puerto Rico, Colombia and recurring visits to the band’s birth country of Mexico. These experiences allowed Reyna Tropical intimate collaborations that enhanced their relationship to people and land within the tropical diaspora. These conversations ultimately guided them towards creating “music with a purpose.” Reyna brought her passion of uplifting queerness, multi-racial identity, women and gender expansive experiences, while Diaz focused on creating art that brought awareness towards and reflected the Afro-Mexican experience. Through this union, the two came up with the band’s tagline “Queer Love & Afro-Mexico” as a foundation for their music. During the summer of 2022 Reyna Tropical was able to bring that vision to life during their first self booked and managed headline tour, Tormenta Tropical, selling out venues in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and gaining support by artists such as Y La Bamba, Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta, and Portugal The Man.
Following the passing of Reyna’s “soulmate in music” and “partner in revolution” the decision to keep expressing and creating as Reyna Tropical came from a deep sense of intuition.
“One of the first things that came to me when he passed, and continues to feel true, is making sure that I’m healthy so that the intuition can be clear and that my practice, my ritual and my spirit is strong. Making sure that I can hear and listen to my intuition, write it down and see it through. Music is a way for us to continue to be in collaboration and conversation with our ancestors. He’s my ancestor now. He lives in my intuition.”
Today Fabiola Reyna is accompanied by what she calls “The Tropical Collective / La Colectiva Tropical.” A relationship between herself and fans, friends, musicians, DJs, and producers committed to uplifting the culture of the tropical diaspora, and creating spaces where Black, Indigenous and Queer joy can thrive.
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