****** DJ Guelas ******
DJ Guelas (pronounced “Geh-Luss”) is one of the most prominent personalities in the African immigrant entertainment community, with fifteen years of experience in spinning music. His collaborations are a who’s who list of the Afro-zouk and Kizomba world of celebrities. Some of these notable names include Kaysha, Nelson Freitas, Ali Angel and Susana Lubrano. Guelas is an award nominated international DJ. From Lisbon and Rome to San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Guelas has attracted fans from across the globe with his diverse and exciting DJing sets.
Born to Cape Verdean parents in Lisbon, Luis Miguel, commonly known to his fans as DJ Guelas, is a phenomenon in the world of Afro-Zouk and Kizomba music. His passion for music began at an early age as he listened to his parents’ favorite albums from Cape Verde, Brasil, and United States, which included Morna, Coladera, Samba, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz. At the age of eighteen, Guelas immigrated to the United States. His curiosity and interest in spinning music began in the winter of 1997, after frequenting the local club scene in the New England city of Providence, RI and also in Lisbon, Portugal. Although Guelas enjoyed the music, he wanted to add a more diverse style of sounds that included Samba and Kuduro, for example. He made his DJ debut in May 1998, at a local club in Providence. As a result, he was invited by the promoters to remain as a resident DJ. Since then, his career has taken off to exciting heights.
In 2002, Guelas released Incognito, his first solo album comprising of mixes of popular Afro-zouk sounds by well-known artists. It received rave reviews from the African music community. DJ Guelas has played in venues in several cities including New York, Boston, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington, D.C., San Franciso, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, Mindelo, Paris, Sweden, London, and Rome. Some of the most distinguished places Guelas has played are SOBs (Sounds of Brazil) and Club Kilimanjaro (the mecca of African music in the U.S.), both in New York City. Guelas has also played in Paris at Palais du Congrais and Palacio (the mecca for Caribbean music in Paris) as well as Mussulo in Lisbon.
In the summer of 2003, Guelas became the first Cape Verdean DJ to be featured at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA. In 2005, Guelas participated in “Connecting the Global Cabo Verdiano Nation,” a conference on the Cape Verdean diaspora, held in Washington, D.C. He was part of a distinguished panel discussion on the global distribution market of lusophone music. During this conference, he also performed at a dinner gala attended by distinguished state officials such as the President of Cape Verde.
DJ Guelas is a founding member of the popular U.S.-based DJ group, Lights Out, with DJ Baby T, DJ Lefty, and DJ Chris. Founded in 2005, Lights Out’s mission is to expose and promote music artists, including DJs, in Cape Verdean communities and incorporate lusophone music in major worldwide markets. Since its inception, the Lights Out group has released over nine CDs and one DVD. They have toured various European countries as well as Brazil and Cape Verde promoting their work. The Lights Out DJs also launched crioloradio.com, a 24-hour online music radio station. Audiences can enjoy the sounds of and interact with each DJ on a weekly basis and in real time. DJ Guelas’ weekly show, Lusophone Vibes is on air Tuesday nights on crioloradio.com with audiences in all major continents. As a member of Lights Out DJs, Guelas was nominated for “Best DJ” for the 2011 and 2012 Cabo Verde Music Awards.
As Afro-zouk and kizomba music and dance become more popular among world audiences, Guelas continues to play at diverse venues in the United States and beyond, promoting and lecturing about the history of these music genres. His future projects include producing artists and becoming actively involved in projects that support music education initiatives, especially in his parents’ native country, Cape Verde and in the Cape Verdean communities in the U.S. Guelas has visited many schools in Cape Verde to talk to students about the importance of staying in school and working hard in order to pursue a music career.