Updated 10:01 AM EST, Fri, Jan 21, 2022

Electronic Music Gaining Popularity in Havana as Cuba's Internet Isolation Lifts

  • +
  • -
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE

The last time Cuba and the United States had trading relations, it was in the 60s and life wasn't as fast paced as it is now. So when the two countries restored their relationship and started lifting embargos, it's like a brand new world.

With the new world came the launch of a broadband internet service that Cuba can no longer deny, especially considering that cultural and business travelers are now going in and out of the region in growing numbers. The past year alone showed an increase of up to 17.4% of tourists globally and about 77% of them came from the US, as reported by CNN.

The arrival of the internet will allow residents in Cuba to get clearer signals and will probably end the country's title as one with the lowest penetration rates in the world.

Of course, Cuban citizens are not ignorant about the internet -- after all, there is still limited access. 3.4 percent of households have dial-up internet connections, but some have been able to circumvent the law. They have even been able to create apps and circulate "Internet in a box" type of service, but connectivity has always been slow due to government regulation and high prices.

Businesses in Cuba can now take advantage of having internet access to widen their reach. Vice.com reported that Cuba now has an active nightlife, with former factories becoming the new venue for nightclubs and restaurants. More than that, the arrival of broadband access also opens a wider music scene -- something that the country has been deprived of for so long.

With Internet access being very expensive, few are able to afford small luxuries like searching for new tracks, let alone download them.

A DJ in both the underground and commercial spheres, Obi Gonzalez, expressed his difficulty in finding new tracks, to the point of having to ask his friends outside Cuba to send him music as a favor. Now, however, music -- especially electronic music, can easily be brought to the masses, and not just the cultural music that they are known for. The internet is opening Cubans up to the rest of the world, of which they are eager to learn more about.

Currently, the biggest hit is electronic music, which they haven't been aware of until lately. Cuban culture has been preserved, but their ways, as Vice noted, have been stuck in another era. Electronic music that is now very popular in clubs around the world is new to them.

Now, DJs like Gonzales and Rasiel "DJ Ra" Portilla are starting an independent music movement in Cuba, even starting a Sarao events company, which throws parties to help bring electronic music to the masses.

© 2015 Latin One. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE


Real Time Analytics