Originally we (Imani Streets) were a family of DJ's, Musicians and Fans physically located in the US but from all over the caribbean
(Trinidad, Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Granada etc,...). We had a few informal groups
representing a seemingly broad range of genres, traditions and styles(generically labelled Calypso, HipHop, Reggae, Salsa, Classical, Jazz, Soul, etc,...).
At some point while we were diggin in the crates, playing or recommending the music (or cultures) we loved, we realized that we all had a LOT in common. The colonial language might differ,
but the music traits would be the same or similar, the culture would be the same or similar,...the stories would be the same or similar. We realize that a lot of the good stuff you don't get to hear in the defacto national distribution circles.
You do get to hear the "real" when you travel around the Americas and especially when you get the history from whatever old heads are around. This is probably why a lot of music "fusions" traditionally take place all over the Americas (Urbano, Reggae en espanol, Jazz variants, Meren-House, etc)
Throwing a party, BBQ, flow, or any set (get together) in a diverse crowd really invites dominoes, cards, dance, music, drink, stories and a collection of experiences that teaches or reminds us that we have some pan-american or at least a trans-national history in common,
(how did your family get to the Americas? Where are your grandparents from? Many government and business approaches divide us into neat consumable groups that prevent or dicourage discovery, ownership or sharing, but take advantage of the fact that if a record is hot in Panama, it'll probably be hott in Puerto Rico or New York (and vice versa).
So,...we get an idea! What if we consolidated all these seemingly separate groups found in the Americas and just promote and distribute what we as a community like from the collective. We don't really need the standard labels at this point
to share, or even to buy what we like; and definately not with all the rules when it's OUR music, OUR dance, OUR style and OUR cultures that eventually get copied, re-branded and sold. What if we decided to own all of it
(the music we make and play), shared it, sold it,
lived it and worked our asses off to offer an alternative to be created, heard, distributed and paid? So this is an experiment to see what happens,....