5 Things You Need to Know About Moombahton

When discussing favorite types of music and I bring up “moombahton,” it’s usually met with one of three reactions: A) a blank stare, B) an “Oh, okay!” with a smile and nod clearly meaning they have no idea what I’m talking about, or C) a simple “What’s that?” Even though moombahton has expanded significantly in the past five years, there’s clearly a good percentage of the population that has no clue what the hell it is. Here are a few key things about moombahton that you should know:

1. Moombahton is essentially a blend of Dutch house music (think Hardwell, Chuckie, R3hab) with reggaeton, dancehall, and Latin elements (think Sean Paul without the obnoxious vocals).

2. Its founding is generally credited to Dave Nada (pictured) circa 2009, when he took DJ Chuckie’s track “Moombah” (hence the moombah in moombahton) and slowed it down from 128 to 108 BPM. Since then, several subgenres have emerged, like moombahcore and moombahsoul, to name a few. Beatport recognized moombahton as an official genre in 2012 and now most streaming services have a moombahton radio.

3. The tempo is usually slower, around 105-115 beats per minute. A lot of moombahton is at 108 BPM like Dave Nada’s pioneer track. Back in 2009, Nada found himself playing a high school party where the kids were listening to reggaeton – he didn’t want to kill the vibe and come in with hard-hitting, 128 BPM electro, but he also didn’t have any reggaeton or latin tracks. So, he took a track he already had (Moombah), slowed it down, and boom! Moombahton was born.

4. It’s pronounced “moombah-tone,” not “moombah-tahn.” The Spanish suffix “–on” means big, and we already discussed the moombah part. But seriously – it’s like coming into Nevada and calling it Nevahdah. Just use the long O or you risk sounding like a dumbass.

5. Almost any producer can put out a moombahton track. All it really takes is knowledge of the “dem bow riddim” and some Ableton tact. Sure, Dillon Francis, Diplo, and Porter Robinson have all put out successful moombahton tracks, but I’d recommend checking out Munchi or some other artists with real Dutch or Latin roots.

So, now that you’re an expert, use your talented ears to pick out the moombahton track in your favorite DJ’s next set. Chances are, there’ll be one in there, and they tend to be a foolproof way to get a crowd moving!

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