Bachata is a way of life for people in the Dominican Republic. It isn’t a fad or quick way to make cash like some use it in the Americas or Euro countries. It’s a lifestyle. An attitude. An emotion. Bachata has come a long way since its days as an underground, fledgling music that was only seen in poor barrios of the DR, and was looked down upon by the “social elite”.
It was even censored for a time by the former D.R. President Rafael Trujillo in the 1930’s, and the music was considered socially unacceptable. It still carries a class stigma that is periodically felt in the country today.
Bachata has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past 6-7 years as both non-Dominican latino and non-hispanic audiences have embraced the music. Artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Joan Soriano, Aventura, Kiko Rodriguez and Prince Royce, among others, have helped give the music a foundation with the youth of today.
Benjamin de Amil (President of iASO records) is helping to continue that trend and take Bachata to a new level that has nothing to do with record sales, or concert tours. This project is just as important, if not more. He has partnered with the DREAM Project to create the worlds first Bachata school in Cabarete, The Dominican Republic. The DREAM Project is a non-profit organization in the Dominican Republic that seeks to improve the lives of the countries youth through a variety of social and educational programs. The Academy takes students ages 7-16 and gives them free instrument to practice with at home or school. As the students advance and grow in their music, they form bands with other kids. The program seeks to foster growth in the students musically, and deepen the appreciation for the music and the community as a whole.
The video below was done by veteran Bachata documentarian, Adam Taub. Adam is a bachata instructor and (in our view) one of the most influential individuals in Bachata.
To learn more about the Bachata Academy and how you can help/donate please visit the iASO Bachata Academy Page.
You can also visit the Bachata Academy’s Facebook page.
To learn more about the DREAM organization please visit DominicanDream.org.