Latin Mafia

 LatinMafiaCostaRica.jpg.

Feature photo: Latin Mafia’s concert in February in San José, Costa Rica was their first performance outside of Mexico. Photo by rodvel. Via Latin Mafia’s Instagram.

Latin Mafia’s Emotional Music and Art Portrays Their Humanity

Latin Mafia is a Mexican band composed of siblings Mike (producer), Emilio (singer), and Milton (singer) De La Rosa. They dive deep into their soul to create music and art that resonates with people on an honest, real, and human level while portraying their humanity. Their music and art in Spanish speak to millions of people around the world, which have taken them around different music festivals in the United States and Latin America, including Coachella, Estéreo Picnic, Lollapalooza, Tecate Pa’l Norte, and Picnic. They’ve emerged as a disruption in the music industry with some of the greatest achievements ever with no record label behind them and in an extremely independent manner.

When siblings Mike, Emilio, and Milton De La Rosa were growing up in Mexico, they’d play on their patio pretending they were singing on a stage in front of a big audience. Mike and his identical twin brothers—Emilio and Milton—did not know at the time that their childhood game would later be a dream come true. That simple and fun experience foreshadowed the creation of their astounding and successful band, Latin Mafia.

“We’d be here on the patio, on top of the chairs, pretending we were singing on a stage with lots of people and playing. And now, I think we’re still those same kids. We’re still those same people, but now we have a voice,” Milton said. “We have the fortune that that voice is listened to, and it can transmit a message. It can transmit something.”

LatinMafiaChildren.jpeg. Mike, Emilio, and Milton De La Rosa when they were children. Via Latin Mafia’s Facebook.
 Mike, Emilio, and Milton De La Rosa when they were children. Via Latin Mafia’s Facebook.

Having a voice that reaches millions worldwide results from an ongoing and lengthy process where Mike, Emilio, and Milton have been crafting their music and art. It all began in a room where the three brothers started experimenting with their music, heavily influenced by electronica, pop, and indie. Their experimentation is one of the defining aspects of their music and art because it means that they can play with their tastes but also with the process it implies when composing, producing, and getting ready for a live concert.

“It’s something that reaches a lot of emotional levels. We’re very fortunate people because we can use emotions and feelings to create. That’s something great. Suddenly, you feel something, and you don’t have to keep it to yourself. You can do something with it,” Emilio said. “You can create something, and I think music is a great medium for that.”

The three brothers understand their music as a medium through which they can speak to their audience while they voice their feelings, emotions, and life experiences because their music and art are their humanity. Their music allows them to channel the emotions that are sometimes hard to express or speak about.

 LatinMafia.jpg. Latin Mafia. Via Latin Mafia’s Instagram.
Latin Mafia. Via Latin Mafia’s Instagram.

For the trio, music is synonymous with rest, support, and a shoulder to rely on because it represents an environment of tranquility and calm. In that calm and serenity, they’ve also built a space where they can create fun, experimental, and constantly changing music and sound.

“I think [our music] is changing every day because we’re always trying out something new. We like to have fun every day. We like listening to this and that,” Milton said. “Trying to land our music is asking: how would Latin Mafia sound with this? I think it’s something that changes, and it’s very fun. Very personal. Everything we’ve written or done has come from us.”

Experimenting With Life and Music

Writing and creating from a personal space allows the brothers to dive more deeply into their music and art. They use their energy and anxiety to constantly search for the melodies and sounds that they feel are perfect for expressing what they’re feeling. Their anxiety results in their movement as a projection of themselves in their music and art.


That’s why their process depends on the environment they're immersed in when they create a song. If they’re at home in their studio, they work daily to create, but it's different if they’re in a session with other artists. It involves more people in the process, and it requires collaboration with people who might have different ideas.


However, when the three of them are together, they start out with a note, which then reproduces a sound sequence. Then, Mike starts placing the sequence in the program or plays with the instruments that might become the instrumental track. After Mike comes in with his productions, Emilio and Milton start humming over the track and thinking about a melody they feel is pleasant.

LatinMafiaCreating.jpg. Latin Mafia hard at work creating their music. Via Latin Mafia’s Instagram.
Latin Mafia hard at work creating their music. Via Latin Mafia’s Instagram.

Within that process, they also understand that each of them has a different way of listening to music and dividing the content of what they listen to that inspires them. That means they listen to the instrumentals, lyrics, melodies, tracks, and the delivery of the message. They understand the melodies as a channel to transmit their message and dive deep into themselves to find their own experiences they want to talk about.


However, the tricky part comes for Mike, who, as a producer, has to find a way in which he can transform their brother’s mood into sounds and beautiful music.

“They come to me and say: I’m nostalgic or in a certain mood. So, it’s always about understanding what they’re looking to portray. We have to sit down and land something in the studio,” Mike said. “Everything is based on moments and moods. If they’re in a very nostalgic mood, it’s impossible to take that away from them. It’s about going for the mood that the three of us are in.”

To turn a mood into a sound is a highly conceptual and abstract process, but that’s the magic behind Latin Mafia. They’ve honed their craft so much in the past years that they’ve attained a sound that speaks directly to the audience in a strong emotional manner. It reaches your deepest feelings, and it’s a sound that they don’t seek to define or label.

“Defining yourself is limiting yourself. I think we’re people who don’t limit ourselves, and we’re in constant movement. In constant change. We’re not the same person we were yesterday and we will not be the same person tomorrow. That defines a lot of what we want to do on a musical level,” Emilio said. “Tomorrow I won’t like what I do today. So, who knows.”

Disrupting the Music Industry

In avoiding self-limitation, they find that there’s no correct or incorrect way to make music. It just is, but they pair this limitless music and art with ambition. Even if they can be called an “emerging” band formed by a producer and two singers, they’ve created an outstanding career in a short span of time with songs on Spotify that reach 100 million people and fill up stadiums in Mexico.

They’ve performed in international festivals in Costa Rica (Picnic), Colombia (Estéreo Picnic), Chile (Lollapalooza), Argentina (Lollapalooza), and Mexico (Tecate Pa’l Norte). They performed at Coachella for the first time this past weekend and again next weekend.


These impressive achievements have been executed independently with no record label behind them, only ten songs published, and the creation of an audience that exploded through TikTok and brought them millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube.


They’re the epitome of a disruption in the music industry.

“Practically, [before] there was a need to be with a record label to make it [as an artist.] The industry would demand you to do things in a certain way and it was very fun for us to take it this way. Completely independent,” Emilio said. “You can give certain hope to people who start or started out like us. That there’s not only one way to make something in music or land a song successfully.”

But you might be wondering what it is about Latin Mafia that has taken them so far. It’s their talent, their humbleness, their frivolous passion for creating human and relatable music and art, and their genuine love for what they do. It’s making dreams come true that they didn’t even know they had, like performing at Coachella, as Emilio said.

“We’ve never been to the United States,” Milton said.

To that, Emilio answered,

“We’ve never been to the United States. The weekends we’ll be at Coachella, it’s a suitable scenario for many artists. You see it very far away. I saw it so impossible that I didn’t believe it. It’s something very crazy for us and even at this point in our career where we have 10 songs. We’re very thankful.”

CoachellaPoster.jpg. Coachella’s 2024 lineup poster. Via Coachella’s Instagram.
Coachella’s 2024 lineup poster. Via Coachella’s Instagram.

Gratitude is part of their genuinity and keeping themselves real in their music and art. Humility is a factor that strongly describes their project as a whole. Producing from their raw emotions moves them and takes them on a creative trip that ends up being relatable for their audience.

Being “Más Humano” or More Human

“You can’t say that something has to forcefully come through because things never come that way. And even more when we move a lot with feelings,” Mike said. “We like feeling what we do and when we do it. There’s a certain taboo that you have to always force yourself and lock yourself up to do things.”

They let their art flow from within. They don’t force it, and they explore the emotions they think empathize more with the audience, whether sadness or happiness. They feel very contrasting emotions that let them express themselves easily.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve all experienced a negative moment in our lives. Something. A not-so-pleasing emotion. Some sadness. Something, whether it is depression or dysthymia. Whatever way in which it presents itself,” Milton said. “I think it’s valid to talk about this because there’s always been a taboo regarding mental illness and disorders.”

For them, it’s important to use their platform, music, and art as a safe space where their audience can feel comfortable enough to experience their humanity. To let them know that it’s normal to feel a certain way.

“All these mental disorders are so common and normal in people, and especially in such an emotionally unstable generation like ours. That even though this has always existed, I think there are many stimuli that have affected us,” Milton said. “We’re a generation that feels a lot. It’s not fair that such a common subject is taboo. It’s something so present in our society.”

Such a deep connection with their emotions is one of importance for them when creating. It’s a self-imposed responsibility, which you can see in their song “No digas nada,” where they portray their most raw and emotional selves on a musical and visual level. The song speaks about their feelings, intimacy, and sexuality. The music video shows them crying in front of the camera.

“No digas nada” can be interpreted as a direct reflection of what intimacy means to them and how they express their feelings as men. It’s a raw, emotional masterpiece that connected on a deep level with their audience, given that the music video has garnered 19 million views. It’s a true reflection of intimacy.

“Many times, intimacy has been related to the sexual sphere. The physical realm. The great reality of our messages is its communication and being able to speak about what we feel,” Emilio said. “The simple fact that you can communicate about what you’re wearing. What you’re carrying. What you’re feeling. What you’re keeping to yourself. Being able to open up yourself with someone beyond the physical. Being able to open up with someone beyond being naked.”

It's about baring themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually with someone else. Knowing they have someone present who won’t judge them and understanding what vulnerability really entails. Grasping the concept that feeling is much more intimate than having sexual relations, as Milton said.


Or, as Emilio said,

“What a shame you can see me naked, but not a shame at all that you can see me without clothes. More so, what a shame because you can see me vulnerable. Because you can see me as who I am.”

Or, even maybe as Mike said,

“What a shame that you see me naked because I’m more ashamed that you see me bare of the soul.”

“No digas nada” or Saying Everything as Men in Latin America

Reaching that level of vulnerability has not been an easy feat for the siblings, and even more so in a Latin American context, where machismo reigns. A region where machismo – “a strong sense of masculine pride and exaggerated masculinity” – is the norm and where men expressing their feelings is not common. It means, to a certain extent, they’re a disruption, are changing the narrative, and are creating a safe space for people to freely express themselves.


This comes from their need to be vulnerable and honor their deepest emotions and feelings as a means to have a stronger connection where they feel they’re truly compassionate beings. That they’re real and honest.

“For me, it’s very intimate being able to cry with someone. Crying with someone and being hugged while you’re crying. Being covered with their arms when you’re not doing well and that person understands your feelings,” Emilio said. “I think that’s something very intimate, and I think that’s something very beautiful that goes beyond the physical sphere.”

For Milton, it’s about having his soul embraced.

“Allowing yourself to have your soul embraced. Let them hold you with chopsticks while you’re in a moment that you know you’re fragile. I think that’s something that goes beyond maybe having a sexual relationship with someone,” Milton said. “Being able to be intimate on that level of being yourself without taking your clothes off. Taking off each part of you that you hide and each layer that you use to hide the aspects that are not so nice. I think it’s that. Showing yourself just as you are.”

NoDigasNadaVid.png
NoDigasNadaVid2.png
NoDigasNadaVid3.png

Frames from Latin Mafia’s music video for “No digas nada” showing Mike, Milton, and Emilio crying. Via Latin Mafia’s YouTube.

That’s how they showed themselves in the music video for “No digas nada.” Using the metaphor of heavy clothing to speak about men’s feelings, but also about the sensual aspect of two people sharing an intimate moment taking off their clothes. Yet, the metaphor came out very poetic for them.


The song came to be when Mike showed Emilio and Milton the instrumentals, and then Emilio wrote the first half of the lyrics. Afterward, Milton read the words and they hit him hard because they conveyed how he felt at the moment. Then, Milton wrote the other half, and the song was done.


With the video, they wanted to create its visual concept and a poignant point of view with a SnorriCam, which is also known as a chestcam or bodycam. This device is placed on the body so that the person wearing it has the camera pointed at them and they appear in the center of the frame. The frame is such a close up shot that for the viewer it feels as if they’re in there up close and personal.


That was one of the elements to create a more emotional video. Another one was that they were speaking about their feelings while filming it. In that moment they were releasing their emotions and how they really felt.

“That’s why we’re very happy with “No digas nada.” We were in a very difficult moment of our lives. When that song came out, we were very happy that we connected with the correct people. With people that listened,” Mike said. “We shared our biggest feelings when writing and composing it.”

It’s a positive disruption to the traditional narrative that men are not emotional beings. For them, it’s about understanding that for a long time, they were told not to express themselves because that’s not what men do.

“If a man cries, as they say here [in Mexico,] you’re a mariquita [crybaby.] A man does not cry because that’s not a source of strength. When you’re a child, you’re a blank canvas. You’re a sponge. Anything you’re told stays in your mind, and it’s constructing itself when you’re older,” Milton said. “Maybe at some point they told you erroneously that you can’t cry because you’re a man. That unconsciously generates a trauma, and, even though you know it’s not correct, you feel that way.”

With this in mind, they understand that emotions make no distinction gender-wise. They’re not less valid because you’re a man, a woman, or however you identify. They’re human beings who feel.

“Sadness and emotions don’t decide to hit harder or lighter depending on who you are. I think we’re people who decide to do what they want to do because of where it comes from. If we want to cry, we’ll cry. We’ll do whatever we want. It’s simply about allowing ourselves to feel,” Emilio said. “We’re people who feel a lot.”

Creating a Face for Their Songs

Those emotions and feelings are also transferred to their visuals, specifically the covers they create for their singles. These covers are colorful mixed media artworks that have a specific visual style reminiscent of children’s drawings.

Perlas.jpeg
 SalRosa.jpeg
PatadasDeAhogado.jpeg

Latin Mafia’s cover art for their singles “Perlas,” “Sal Rosa,” and “Patadas de Ahogado.” Via Latin Mafia’s Deezer.

They’re bright and vivid “characters” that engage you immediately when you’re listening to their music on Spotify or when you watch their visualizers on YouTube. They’re happy and fun. They were created to become a song’s face and representation.

“I think each song involves a feeling that in some songs is given a representation. Not all songs have characters, but if you take a closer look, certain songs have a face or a character. For example, “Flores,” “Continuo Atardecer,” “No digas nada,” and “Se fue la luz,” Milton said. “There are some [portrayed] as if it were a representation of what that person or character is saying. So, we feel it starts becoming a universe in itself.”

Flores.jpeg
ContinuoAtardecer
NoDigasNada.jpeg
SeFueLaLuz.jpeg

Latin Mafia’s cover art for their singles “Flores,” “Continuo Atardecer,” “No digas nada,” and “Se fue la luz.” Via Latin Mafia’s Deezer.

But you might be wondering how these vibrant artworks come to life. Milton and Emilio are the ones in charge of creating them. They listen to their songs, lay out the canvas and paintings on the floor, and then start painting. Whatever they feel, and the first impression they have of the song is what comes through the canvas.

“It’s the representation of each song. Sometimes, we forget that a song has a lot of hours of work. There’s a lot of effort invested and many nights of sleeplessness. I feel that this way of representing a song is a great idea for people to identify with it and not forget about it so easily,” Mike said.

Sparking Emotional and Euphoric Mosh Pits

In that effort and many hours of work spent creating their music and art, Latin Mafia has generated masterpieces where the musical process, vibrant art, and deepest emotions merge to create a genuine human connection with their audience. A real, honest, and intense connection that comes to life when they perform their live concerts.


They’re in charge of the show's creative concept, and their team works hard on the technical side of the performance to deliver the best concert possible. They’ve created a safe space for their audience to be vulnerable with them. For Latin Mafia, their concerts are about an exchange of energies. They’re giving the audience something from themselves, and the audience gives them back an energy they take with them.

 TecatePalNorte.jpeg. Latin Mafia performing at the Tecate Pa’l Norte music festival in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Skyler Greene. Via Rolling Stone en Español.
Latin Mafia performing at the Tecate Pa’l Norte music festival in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Skyler Greene. Via Rolling Stone en Español.

“Concerts are the most tangible way to consume what your project is generating in someone because you see it. You witness it. You witness that maybe a song that makes you cry can also make someone else cry. Or a song that makes you smile can make someone smile,” Emilio said. “I think it’s something strong and beautiful at the same time.”

It’s a space for them to be human and show their audience that they’re real, but it’s also a space where their fans get to feel everything way too intensely, as it happened in their concert in San José, Costa Rica. It’s a magical experience where their fans demonstrate their euphoria ecstatically, especially if they’re in the front row.

It’s an audience where a simple cap or bracelet being thrown at them can provoke a major mosh pit where their fans throw themselves at each other, trying to reach for the objects. It’s a contrasting experience because of the emotional songs about being vulnerable with soft beats and melodies sung in the background, but the fans move as if it were a punk or rock concert mosh pit.

“I think our audience, just like us, is very devoted. Very energetic. I think we’re very polarized people. So, suddenly, things can get out of hand. We’re thankful people are as energetic as us. A couple of weeks ago at a festival in Colombia, during the calmest song we have, someone flashed [their body,]” Emilio said while Mike and Milton laughed. “A woman took off her shirt in “Patadas de Ahogado.” I was trying to sing and turned around to laugh because I was very concentrated on the song, which is very sentimental.”

Their audience’s euphoric response in a concert is the culmination and result of their emotional music and art that portrays their humanity. It’s the result of a Latin Mafia that dives deep into their soul to create music and art that resonates with people on an honest, real, and human level. It’s music and art in Spanish that speaks to millions of people around the world. It’s also a Latin Mafia that is extremely grateful to connect with their audience and that appreciates the privilege and responsibility of creating genuine musical and artistic masterpieces.

“Me, Emilio, personally speaking, it’s something I’m afraid of. Your voice is reaching many people. It has a repercussion on someone, and it’s a responsibility. It’s something very beautiful that you can generate on someone, but it’s a responsibility and something of respect,” Emilio said. “Every day, we wake up saying we have to go out and work. We have to find new ways to do it with the mentality that every day, we keep learning. We’re not going to stop, and we’ll always be faithful to being ourselves and being real to who we are.”

Currently, Latin Mafia is working on their first album. To keep up with Latin Mafia’s emotional music and art that portrays humanity, follow them on Instagram at  @itslatinmafia, on Spotify as  LATIN MAFIA, and on YouTube as  LATIN MAFIA.


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