Orishas are a Latin rap group of Cuban expatriates whose debut album, A Lo Cubano (2000), was internationally acclaimed and whose subsequent albums found them furthering their fusion of Latin rhythms and melodies with hip-hop. Comprised of Roldán (born Roldán González Rivero on June 1, 1971, in San Felipe, Cuba), Ruzzo (Hiram Riverí Medina; May 26, 1972; Havana, Cuba), and Yotuel (Yotuel Omar Romero Manzanares; October 6, 1976; Havana, Cuba), the group was formed in Paris, France, in the late '90s. The original lineup also included Flaco-Pro (Liván Nuñez Alemán; December 24, 1973; Havana, Cuba), who left the group after its debut album. Prior to moving to Paris and forming Orishas with Roldán and Flaco-Pro, Ruzzo and Yotuel had been members of the pioneering Cuban rap group Amenaza. In collaboration with producer Nicolas Nocchi (aka Niko Noki), Orishas made their full-length album debut in 2000 with A Lo Cubano, a groundbreaking Latin rap album that fused Afro-Cuban rhythms, hip-hop beats, melodic singing, and socially conscious raps to international acclaim. Reduced to a trio after the departure of Flaco-Pro, Orishas refined their musical fusion on their second album, Emigrante (2002), which was more melodic than their debut, to the chagrin of some fans who favored the group's rapping to their singing. El Kilo (2005), the third Orishas album, was a further refinement of the group's musical fusion. Moreover, El Kilo continued to broaden the group's popularity, particularly in Europe, where the album charted in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. A triple-disc CD/DVD compilation, Antidiotico (2007), was subsequently assembled, compiling highlights of the group's three albums to date alongside remixes, non-album material, and a couple new recordings, plus videos. Cosita Buena (2008), the fourth Orishas album, followed a year later and again found the group evolving musically.
After lengthy touring that took the trio to numerous music fesitvals in Latin America and Europe, Orishas went silent witrh each of its members living in a different European city and pursuing individual songwriting, producing and arranging projects. In January 2016, Yotuel took to the band's Facebook page to announce that the trio were recording an album of new material tobe issued later in the year.
~ Jason Birchmeier