RMXKNZ - "Canvas"

RMXKNZ: Salvador Santana and Asdru Sierra’s Love Letter To Los Angeles

The bond that musicians make with each other while out on a long tour together can be incredibly strong. Many lifelong friends and partnerships have developed from musicians being out on the road together. So it is really great to see a partnership that has been 20 years in the making between Salvador Santana and Asdrubal “Asdru” Sierra. Salvador was playing alongside his father, Carlos Santana, on the Supernatural Tour and Adru’s band, Ozomatli, was the supporting act. The two immediately became friends which sparked the creative collaboration that eventually became RMXKNZ (pronounced “remix-icans”).

Their single, “Canvas” which is billed as Salvador Santana (Featuring Asdru Sierra) is an absolute banger. The song has an old-school, jazzy hip-hop vibe that brings us back to artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Guru, and Gang Starr. And like their predecessors, RMXKNZ’s music is out there to not only entertain but to inspire and ignite social awareness and change. “Canvas” addresses the issues that are affecting communities in their hometown of Los Angeles like LGBTQ+ rights and immigrant rights.

“‘CANVAS’ is about allowing a space to create a life and a world we want to build and live in together,” Sierra says. “RMXKNZ is about unity and the beautiful sides of life. The project is not just meant for one type of person, but for everyone. If we can dance together, we can live, work and be together.”

“RMXKNZ is a love letter to L.A., Latinx culture and what we call La Resistencia, the Resistance,” Santana adds. “Los Angeles is a multicultural melting pot, which influences how we play and the many styles we implement into our music and our sound. We don’t just play one style — we play life. Our music has no limits as to who can enjoy it. This is music for the world.”

Salvador and Asdru both have had extremely successful careers in their own right.
Salvador Santana has worked with artists like Juanes, GZA (Wu-Tang Clan) and El Chicano, among others. And in 2000, he garnered his first-ever Grammy, for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, for his work on “El Farol,” off his father’s 1999 album, Supernatural. 

Alongside Ozomatli, Asdru was named Cultural Ambassador for the US State Department in 2006. The band later became the first musical group to speak at the revered TED Conference in San Francisco in 2010. Asdru and Ozomatli performed for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Award Gala in 2009. In addition, Ozomatli is a two-time Grammy-winning collective, among many other achievements.

There is history here which is both impressive and inspiring. But all of that history aside Salvador Santana and Asdru Sierra are at the forefront of the conscious hip-hop movement and we are looking forward to whatever is next from the RMXKNZ.

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*Photo by J.A. Moreno

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