To understand Carlos Mena and his music, you must understand his background.
Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Brooklyn, and childhood summers in the Dominican Republic, Carlos soaked up the vast array of sounds and musical idioms —from Djing house to hip-hop to salsa—to help form a unique foundation for his music sensibilities that can be heard throughout his music today.
Carlos Mena is a music producer and DJ that has produced music for platinum selling artist Arrested Development, Tre Hardson (The Pharcyde), Osunlade’s Yoruba Records, Vega Records, Got Soul Records, Deeper Soul Records, and Phuture Soul, as well as many local bay area artists, including Zion I. He also lead the popular Bay Area group 10BASS T, to many accolades and opening stints for Counting Crows, The Roots, and Lollapalooza. His Solo debut “Hip-Hop Meditations” fuses Afro-Cuban music with hip-hop and has received wonderful reviews from major hip-hop publications across the country. Carlos recently received an artistic fellowship grant from the City of Oakland for his work on Hip-Hop Meditations. He was also included in URB MAGAZINE’s NEXT 100 (up and coming artists) for 2006.
Carlos is also the founder and president of CASAMENA, an independent production house, and Ocha Records, a record label, based in South Beach, FL, that works with uncompromising artists to produce music that feeds our souls. CASAMENA is currently in production on a new project that further explores the relationship between Afro-Cuban (bata) rhythms and contemporary urban music with partner and award winning, master percussionist Michael Spiro. Also keeping him busy is the launch of Ocha Mzansi a sub-label in partnership with Soul Candi focused on the house music of South Africa. Ezel deep house album and an Mzee afro-house album. He has also recently released albums for Tamara Wellons, Ezel and Mzee, yielding hit songs like, “Oh Well”, and “Like Rain”, “Flores Blancas”, “In My Lifetime”, and “Mahuwuelele”.
His eclectic DJ sets continue to garner him the label of one of the hottest DJs on the U.S.A. circuit, while his organic approach to remixes have him working with artists such as, Grammy winner Louie Vega, Atjazz, Osunlade, and DJ Spinna.
A DJ and producer of deep and soulful house, hip-hop and latin music with over 25 years experience, as well as being a priest within the Afro-Cuban spiritual tradition called Lukumi, Carlos Mena is poised to bring forth new fusions of genres while respecting and maintaining traditions. Catch him at his celebrated monthly party BEMBE in SF, LA and MIAMI and NY, his new weekly residency, “Yoruba Dance Sessions“, and one of the most popular podcasts worldwide, with over 20,000 downloads monthly.