Artist Spotlight: La Vida Boheme

Quartet from Venezuela Leave Their Mark on Alternative Rock
Nicole Duque

Rafael Perez (bass guitar and vocals), Daniel De Sousa (guitar and vocals), Sebastian Ayala (drummer and vocals) and Henry D’Arthenay (guitar and lead singer), are a quartet from Caracas, Venezuela who have marked their territory in the alternative rock world, in 2006 with their band La Vida Bohème. The band’s music takes influence from the late 80’s disco, punk, jazz, salsa, reggae, dance music and funk, creating hits that have placed Argentina on the map.

For first time listeners, recommended tracks would include, “Radio Capital“, “El Buen Salvaje“, “Cigarro“, “Danz” and “Calle Barcelona“.

The band’s name was chosen by their first drummer, while the band still practiced in downtown Caracas, said to be chosen from either Giacomo Puccini’s opera, La bohemia or from the book on which the latter was based, Henri Murger’s La Vie de Bohème. The band used to practice in warehouses without electricity and wrote songs in parking lots, hoping and praying for their official start.

In need of expanding their name, the band performed at local night life events and festivals in 2007, leading to their first EP, La Vida Bohème EP, with three songs including, “Aprendido.a.apagar.un.cigarro.con.los.pies”, “Luz” and “I.p.o.s.t.e.l.”.

Their first debut album Nuestra, was produced and recorded in their motherland by Rudy Pagiluca (guitarist of Malanga), mixed by Leonel Carmona and mastered by Andres Mayo. This album became one of the first albums in Venezuela to be released for free download, followed by a limited-edition CD in the summer of 2010, sold by the band at their shows or similar events.

With great success in sales, the band signed a licensing deal with National Records who later on distributed Nuestra in the USA, Canada and Mexico, spreading and branding La Vida Bohème.

The band also produced videos for two singles off Nuestra : “Radio Capital”, released in December 2009 and “Danz!”, released in August 2010. Due to the inclusion of nudity in the video, YouTube censored “Danz!” in November 2010. “Radio Capital” sparked much attention, as it’s pounding drums, booming guitars, high notes and the Ramone’s 1997, “gabba gabber hey” combined to deliver a restless sound depicting a peaceful protest in Caracas.

In 2011, the group made it to the MTV IGGY’s 2011 awards as the Best New Band Finalist. This allowed for the group to travel to New York City and perform their hit songs in front of hundreds of fans at the Blockbuster Theatre in Manhattan, for the awards ceremony. The space being small and intimate allowed for the band to get close to their foreign fans, feeling their energy and hearing them all sing along to their words – regardless of the language barrier.

September 2011 brought great success for the quartet as they received two Latin Grammy nominations from the Latin Recording Academy. Nuestra was on for nomination under the Best Rock Album category and “Radio Capital” for the Best Rock Song category. In November 2011, Nuestra was nominated for a Grammy Award under the Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album category.

The boys released their second studio album Sera in April 2013, earning them their very first Latin Grammy Award for Best Rock Album that November. Currently, La Vida Bohème has not made much news, however judging by the love and support their fans have been giving them and their recognition on an international basis, La Vida Bohème is here to stay.

Check out the video for “Radio Capital” down below to catch up on the scoop!

Radio Capital

La Vida Boheme Myspace

Montclair State | New Jersey

Nicole Duque

Undergraduate student with strong passion in journalism and editing. High interest in digital media and television production. Quick thinker, creative, determined and strong under pressure while maintaining organization. Hands on experience with professional broadcast production equipment, editing software, interviewing and writing for a newspaper.