28-year-old Paul Marmota was born in Chile and moved to Mexico City in 2010. He is co-founder of the label and collective NAAFI. Upon his arrival in Mexico City, he began organising the earliest of the operation’s small club nights. Now, as the A&R manager, he is responsible for defining NAAFI’s eclectic output, and as a signed producer and touring artist, he personally represents its vision.
Marmota’s music combines the complex vibrancy of Latin American rhythmic conventions with the metallic determination of European club music, therefore exploring Latin American identity and musical tradition and reflecting contemporary visions of a more interconnected world culture. His six-track EP Nueva was released by NAAFI in 2013 and incorporates dancehall, plena, “future reggaeton,” house, grime, and the chaotic aural influences of urban environment. He tours in Mexico and internationally as a DJ and producer, often together with zutzut and on the same bill as artists from the Night Slugs or Fade to Mind collectives. He’s collaborated with Overdrive Infinity, Mixpak, Beats1, and NTS, and is one of the artists active in the NAAFI residency at the Mexico City’s Jumex Museum.
NAAFI oversees the production of eclectic styles from ballroom house to grime to Jersey club and tribal. Whereas other local initiatives that create ties to European and U.S. cultures are dismissed by fellow Mexicans as “malinchisto”, or colonial and identity-rejecting, NAAFI manages to focus its gaze outwards while staying loyal to its home soil; rather than importing expensive DJs whose productions have little to do with musical trends in Mexico, it cultivates its own style.