Meet Ela Minus, the Drummer Who Built Her Own Synthesizers and Concocted a Magical Electronic Genre

This Colombian artist stars in the first episode of SONIC LATITUDES, an exploration what Latin America sounds like in New York City.

By Astrid Harders May 5, 2017

Lately, Ela Minus (born Gabriela Jimeno) has been using a lot of neon pink gaffer tape. It’s on her gear, on her shoes, and on her suitcase. During live shows, she uses it to write a potent message on the side of her synthesizer deck: "Bright Music, for Dark Times." It's exactly what 2017 needs.

Back in February, she released Adapt, the latest EP in a trilogy that first greeted the world in 2015—her first EP was First Words, followed by Grow in 2016. The delicately crafted quartet of songs on Adapt offer atmospheric melodies, canons of beats, and at times, an invitation to dance.

Ela’s self-dubbed “tiny dance” genre is unpretentious and honest, and yet, filled with musical know-how. That is why we invited her to record this intimate live session in the heart of Manhattan. Here you will see exclusive performances of two of her audience’s favorite songs: “Jamaica” and “Ahead.” We also talked to Ela about how these songs were born and what they’re about. Hint: There’s talk of a whale, a cabin in the woods, and an invitation to play. Her interview sheds light on how she got where she is in her creative process and what it really feels like to make music as a Latin American artist in the U.S. Watch that above.

Listen to Ela play "Ahead" and "Jamaica" in the TrackRecord office in the videos below. 

“Ahead” — a re-definition of romantic relationships

“Jamaica” — on how to confront those insecurities

Ela Minus will be on tour throughout May and has more upcoming dates in South America.

05.08 Brooklyn, NY - Good Room - for The Hum

05.12 Mallorca, Spain - Mallorca Live Festival

05.20 Valle de Bravo, Mexico - Festival Bravo

05.25 Monterrey, Mexico

05.26 Guadalajara, Mexico

05.27 Querétaro, Mexico

05.30 Cali, Colombia