The first Real World album I held in my hands was Orquesta Revé’s La Explosión del Momento. As it turns out, it was the same year the label had been launched by WOMAD and Peter Gabriel. Since 1987, I had been co-hosting a Latin music program at KGNU, a public radio station in Boulder, Colorado. Record labels such as Luaka Bop, Mango Records and Real World, began to release music from all over and opening a wide window into a world of music I’d only imagined.
As a native of Veracruz, Mexico, I was already familiar with a lot of Latin American popular music but when I heard Orquesta Revé’s classic tune ‘Ruñidera’, with the singer’s nasal voz de vieja, I knew the label was onto something different. Within a few years, I started listening to all kinds of African, Middle Eastern and Asian artists, and then Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan! Over the years, I collected and still have many of the Real World titles that I felt essential to have. Twenty-five years later, I’m still listening to them. Gracias por la música!”