Louwop makes peace with his Ghosts in his cathartic new single — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Fuelled by a headnodding groove flecked with Latin-flavoured guitar curlicues and horn swells, the latest single from the Toronto rapper’s upcoming album La Ofrenda, Ghosts finds Louwop — with assists from Cheko7 and David Ariza — coming to terms with the past by letting go instead of holding on:
“Is this the feeling of revealing
Inner demons we’re concealing
Is this the process of healing
Spirits in the room hands to the ceiling
Deeper than prayer deeper than kneeling
Finding a way out
No longer villains, remedy dealers, teachers and healers
Trying to bring back memories
Remember your histories
We are them and they are we
Fighting to be free
Dying to be free
Trying to just be.”
Louwop says the track grew organically during the recording: “I invited Cheko to the studio to come hang and jump on a track. Prior to him arriving, David and I made the beat. We then had lengthy conversations about generational trauma, PTSD from the war in El Salvador and how dealing with our demons is maybe coming to accept them and learning from them, not just getting rid of them. Many of our people who have come north have come unwillingly and carry ghosts with them and if we don’t come to terms with them our children will. Cheko then laid down the hook “Dime que quieres de mi!!” (Tell me what you want from me!”) The energy was seance-like and we all came to terms with a few ghosts that day.”
Louwop represents the migration of music and poetry brought as gifts from immigrants and refugees to cities such as Toronto. His lyrics are drawn by his immigrant experience, fuelled by the desire to celebrate his Latino heritage, driven by passion for hip-hop, and empowered by his community, Louwop bridges the gap between first and second-generation migrants of all backgrounds.
Like the poets whose words first painted the social and political landscape of Latin America, Louwop lyrically captures life’s beauty, intensity, anguish and hope from the far-flung street corners of his birth country El Salvador to Canada, where he found his voice. His is both a personal and universal journey that resonates no matter your language, location or lineage.
This is what Louwop is poised to offer: A musical link between where we’re from to where we are and to where we want to be. Identity as an immigrant growing up in Canada is not often explored in music, yet it is an integral part to what makes our communities so beautiful. Residing in the Kawartha Lakes outside of Toronto has given Louwop a chance to share his story as an entrepreneur with an independent cafe serving Salvadoran coffee. In Toronto Louwop curated two events pre-Covid for his Pa’lante nights at Basement 254, featuring international Latin artist such as RebelDiaz (Chile/NYC), Equis (Ecuador) and local Juno nominatees and winners New Tradition (Toronto) and Boogat (Montreal). This sense of community building — sharing stories and experiences — has inspired Louwop‘s musical expression.
Louwop is the founding member of Los Poetas, a Latino hip-hop collective whose first two projects were executed independently at a grassroots DIY level. They were able to tour Central America with radio rotation abroad and at home, and began to build relationships with other like-minded artists, DJs and presenters. During their trip to Louwop’s native El Salvador, he had a reawakening and intensified desire to connect with his roots via music and words. He witnessed firsthand how music from urban North American cities gave life and voice to marginalized indigenous communities in Latin America.
At this stage of his career, Louwop is ready to explore and translate the immigrant experience, the struggle of entrepreneurial growth in a foreign land, the resilience of passing down cultural legacy as a parent, and what it means to be Canadian in present time. In this way, he will connect and share the story of millions of people of all ages and backgrounds who have planted roots in a new country and are unrepresented in the modern music landscape.