Camilo Rodriguez is a guitarist and percussionist. Originally from Colombia, Camilo founded the genre-defying M.A.K.U. Soundsystem along with a group of Colombian expats. M.A.K.U Soundsystem has released two full-length albums and toured the U.S. with their signature blend of Caribbean grooves, psychedelic rock and traditional folk.Lyrically, the group addresses social issues facing Colombia and the diasporic experience in the United States. Outside of M.A.K.U., Camilo performs with the sublime latin dub group El Combo Chimbita and La Cumbiamba Eneye, an ensemble that plays traditional music from Colombia’s Atlantic Coast. “I play music because it’s a need. It’s a way to express to others my views of life and my experiences,” says Camilo. “Music is a space for honesty, a participative tool that unifies people and connects us with our spirituality.”
Camilo Rodriguez received a OneBeat Accelerator grant for his project ‘Espiritus y Plantas de Poder en movimiento/Spirits, and Herbs of Power on the Move‘; a series of multidisciplinary installments and portraits of the spiritual and musical traditions that have traveled alongside Venezuela and displaced Black and Indigenous communities, and landed in the city of Cali, Colombia.
The project highlights works and knowledge from migrant artist and healers, giving them a chance to share their own stories and knowledge. In Colombia, many mainstream media such as the national news and newspapers focus mainly on the negative aspects of migration, dehumanizing, criminalizing, and demonizing the existence and spiritual practices of migrants. The goal of this project is to create material that educates, and helps others understand the reality of immigration and forced displacement. The project also seeks to bring new perspectives to the conversation, and question traditional and colonial concepts of territory as well as the idea of “land ownership” and mobility.