TCS Students, Future DJs in the Making

The explosion of music production in Colombia has arrived at TCS, and students are embracing it.


Starting out as a DJ is very easy with today's technology, anyone can try it. Here a TCS student is mixing two tracks simultaneously to create one consecutive song.

Mathias Echavarria, Discoverer Staff Writer

For the last few years, people at TCS have established a love for music and have developed it outside and inside school by making their own songs and performing at parties.

This new trend began with the arrival of electronic music to Medellin and the creation of new sub-genres that ensued. For example, “Guaracha”, a generalized sub genre of electronic music that encompasses a lot of the music produced here in Medellin.

This trend began in the early 1990s, a time when drug dealers could afford the newest equipment and could hire Disc Jockeys for their events. After the decay of drug dealing, the art of Disc Jockeying died as well, until its revival in the early 2000s when the it was reborn.

“The 2000s meant a growth in the national electronic circuit… a time of eternal parties, and good wages for DJs .” says Vice, in their article titled “Esto es la ‘Guaracha’”. The article goes on to talk about the new Medellin emergent “Zapateo” and “Aleteo” sub-genres. A quick google trends search shows a spike in their interest near the end of 2016, around the same time when Medellin artists like DJ Dasten and Fumarato Ferroso rose to popularity.

Jeronimo Arrubla, 10th grader at TCS and music producer, summarizes it simply, “A new genre “Aleteo” began and it was easy to make.” With prominent local DJs, and a common popularity for this type of music, it wasn’t hard for electronic music to grow the way it did.

However, by 2016, “Aleteo” and the such were still relatively underground, especially for high class TCS students. With the expansion of technology in the low stratums of Colombia within the last few years, underground DJs were able to upload their music online where people, no matter their class, could listen.

“Everyone has a love for music, but with more access to technology, some people could take it a step ahead.” Daniel Meneses, 11th Grader at TCS and Music Producer, said. Making music has become more accessible every year, Disc Jockeys no longer need big turntables and piles of cassettes or discs to be able to play. Anyone can try their hand with just a computer and a USB drive.

“A lot of people in Medellin are producing, and they are inspiring others.” Arrubla, said. Many in TCS were inspired by the DJs they saw in YouTube and Soundcloud. The roaring crowd and the excitement in the air can be felt from the computer screen, which made new DJs eager to begin making their own music.

As with any growing trend, it is unclear whether this hype will die down or if it will continue growing. Here Meneses and Arrubla contrast each other. “[Now] I only produce a little when I’m bored, and more as a small hobby” Arrubla said. Despite the excitement for this music, it is easy to get tired and saturated of this genre. After all, one of its main characteristics is its many repetitive and constant beats.

However, many people seem to still be interested. “People are starting to realize how this fits in with our culture so I think people will only begin to appreciate it more and more”  Meneses confidently said. Guaracha’s future is still uncertain and it can go either way but there is definitely a certain interest in Medellin right now. “DJs in a “toque” can earn in between 400 to 500 thousand pesos” Diego Guzmán, DJ known as Egypt-D, said in an interview with Vice. Many aspiring DJs from TCS are hoping to land spots in these events and perhaps make a living from it in the future.

TCS future DJs are no strangers to the impacting growth of the DJ scene in Medellin, but the fear of decaying interest is forever present. Only time will tell the future of Guaracha, but as long as DJs keep doing the work they do with passion and dedication, this trend is far from over. To some it may be no more than a hobby, but to others it is so much more. “It’s a passion that I cannot stop” Meneses said.