Raza: Humana was started in 1996 when Claudio Betts and Daniel Betts, Panamanian born brothers living in Washington, DC, started to write Latin music. Fairly quickly, at that time, Raza: Humana obtained a loyal following among the Latin community in that city. These initial successes lead to the recording of songs such as Calle Verde and Campesino. Currently Raza: Humana is one of the most important and influential bands in the Panamanian music scene. Raza: Humana songs have been lauded for their insightful dissection of society, ingenious urban poetry, and continued redefinition of Panamanian music. In 1992, upon arriving to the United States, Claudio Betts was registered to go to a Maryland suburban public school. During registration into the school district, Claudio was asked what his race was. Confused by the never before considered question Claudio answered innocently that he was human. This episode has since then become a family joke that has inspired the name of the band that was later formed, Raza: Humana, which literally means Race: Human in Spanish. The name Raza: Humana is extremely significant in explaining the musical motivations of the band. Raza: Humana's music is characterized by it's miscegenated sound. This comes from the diverse musical backgrounds that the members of Raza: Humana consider theirs. In the music of Raza: Humana you will find influences ranging from Brazilian bossanova to US rap. This seemingly simple arrangement of diverse music into a common style, and in the process generating a new natural sound, is how Raza: Humana delivers one of it's most important messages. That is, the sole fact that the Americas exist as nations made up of all nations is undeniable proof that peace among human beings is attainable. The album Paradise is the latest production of Raza: Humana. In this album ten years of musical experiences are captured, from the music produced in Washington, DC to the latest music being produced in Panama, home base of the band. Paradise has received critical acclaim in the US and abroad. Lauded by many as a revolutionary album which changes the rules of what Latin music should sound like. The Panama America newspaper (second largest in Panama) reported Paradise to be: 'a musical work that is shockingly sincere, eternally romantic and irremediably brilliant.' Welcome to the other side.
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