Jorge Medina and Americo Garcia, aka Boombox Cartel, are two best friends who have been fortunate enough to live their dreams together. The two were born in different countries (Jorge – Mexico City, Mexico and Americo – Laredo, Texas), but moved to Monterrey, Mexico at a young age. While Americo aspired to become a drummer in a band, Jorge’s childhood dream was to be a professional soccer player. However, they both had a strong passion for music. Jorge had been studying music since he was just five years old and played guitar for many years as well. When he was 16, he developed an interest for electronic music and wanted to start DJing. Americo was the drummer in a band for several years, but they eventually broke up so he chose to start producing music on his own. The two formally met in high school where they began producing music together.
In 2012, Americo experienced a lot of confliction and questioning. He didn’t know what he wanted to do in life. His music career wasn’t panning out the way he imagined. Life was getting difficult and he needed to start making important decisions. He feared disappointing his parents, who worked in very different industries. His parents wanted him to become a part of their family business. Therefore, he needed to prove to his parents that his music career had potential and wanted to make both of them happy. Despite being on his last limb with music, one of his songs was posted on a music blog. This served as the biggest spark behind his motivation. From then on, he persevered. He was going to school in Mexico for audio engineering, but saw better opportunities in the United States so he looked into the likes of Full Sail (Florida), UC Berkeley (California), and McNally Smith (Minnesota). McNally Smith in St. Paul, Minnesota especially caught his attention so upon acceptance he decided to move and convinced Jorge to come along for the journey.
Shortly after their arrival, Jorge’s mom passed away. This was an extremely tough time for Jorge because he had already moved to the States and couldn’t really be with family to mourn and overcome this tragedy. In a sense, he had to overcome it alone. Fortunately though, Americo was by his side and really supported him through this difficult time. He encouraged him to keep producing in the studio, but to take time off when needed. Jorge’s mother is the one who pushed him the most so he continues to persevere in her honor. His charisma has helped him to overcome this and other difficult situations. He says that he doesn’t know how to be mean to people. Because of his kindness, he has been able to establish lasting, supportive friendships.
They both studied at McNally Smith in St. Paul, Minnesota for two years. During this time, they formed the electronic duo, Boombox Cartel.
Twin Cities Dubstep is one of two promotions company that produces the majority of electronic music events in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. It was a challenge for Americo and Jorge to build a strong local following because this area is not known for electronic music. However, this obstacle did not stop them. In fact it fueled their productions and DJ sets because they combined elements from all different genres. They had to cater to their audience so they did just that. TC Dubstep caught wind of Boombox Cartel and booked them as openers for some of the headlining acts that came through the area. As most artists do, they climbed the ladder. They served their time playing the bare bones opening spots and eventually became direct openers for most of the acts that came through Minnesota. At the same time, they had some really nice friends who helped to spread the word. Once they built a strong local following, they then started reaching out to other cities and began playing shows across the nation. When their lease ended in the summer of 2014, they dropped out of McNally Smith and decided it was time to pack up their bags and move to Los Angeles.
Since LA is so musically saturated, it can be very difficult to separate yourself from all of the other musicians and industry folks. You have to find your niche. You’ve got to hustle in all parts of this industry, not just the music. It’s tough for an artist to just have their music speak for itself. Not only is Boombox Cartel still an up-and-coming group, but also they are currently self-managed so it has been especially difficult to balance their time between producing and promoting their brand. They want to prove that they are not just your “typical” producers and that they are legitimate. It has been challenging to prove their originality. They still stick to their mantra of incorporating multiple genres into their productions and sets. Recently, electronic music artists have been breaking down the boundaries of having their music defined under one genre. Anymore, there are no boundaries. Genre hopping is now accepted and embraced. Therefore, Americo and Jorge are on the right track to a long-term, successful career.
The last thing they want is to disappoint their fans or not make it as artists. They want to be the coolest, most innovative producers in the game. They want to revolutionize music and utilize their different influences so that each song is unique and creates its own message. This is not just something that can happen over night. There’s a little bump between either making it or you’re stuck. According to both Jorge and Americo, they are really close to that bump and they have faith that they are going to make it. One day they want everyone to know who they are and say “I can’t miss Boombox Cartel’s set!” Additionally, they want to spread a positive message about dance music and this scene in general. According to Jorge and Americo, “It is EDM’s turn to avoid the drugs. Enjoy the music because it’s music. You don’t need anything else. We want to pursue this music career professionally.” Most importantly, they want to make people happy through their music.
At the young ages of 21 (Jorge) and 22 (Americo), these two are well on their way to inspiring the masses. Let their stories be a living testimony to the fact that we can indeed overcome our battles and live out our dreams. Keep your eye out because they will continue to make noise.