Thousands of new music magazines come out every year, but statistics show that only one out of every ten survive. With such a gloomy outlook, why try to start another magazine in Cuba, where, along with the economic problems, one must deal with (sometimes impassable) bureaucratic obstacles?
For the Magazine AM:PM team — a group of friends who are uncompromising music lovers — the response to this question is as practical as it is ethical. Music is one of the strongest expressions of culture in Cuba, but that intense musicality of ours is not adequately reflected in the media, especially in music criticism and journalism.
Phenomena such as growing public access to computers and mobile devices, the development of informal content distribution services such as El Paquete, album and information sales via USB, and more widespread, cheaper email and Internet services have revitalized the whole media panorama in the last five years. Moreover, the range of media is progressively expanding, with new publications of all types and approaches appearing alongside traditional ones, including magazines about show business, news, and music listings.
However, we are still missing a magazine devoted completely to Cuban popular music. And based on that significant need, we saw an opportunity. Magazine AM:PM will be for talking about music, and also for engaging, with quality, in the attitudes and events that music brings to the reality of all Cubans.
Maybe some will notice a similarity between our name and the event that hosted the Cuban Art Factory for three years in June. The coincidence is not fortuitous. Magazine AM:PM is a consequence of those sleepless nights; like that one, it intends to attend and create bridges of contact with the sounds of the region and explore all the possible edges of music, understanding it as a set of aesthetic, creative, industrial and institutional processes.
Of course, this adventure goes beyond our efforts. The rhythm that will get this body moving includes the contributions of artists, in the first place, and those of a whole family of colleagues who are honorably trying to do music journalism today, in and outside of Cuba. We are also extremely fortunate to have the graphic collaboration of 10K and the group Nocturnal, integrated by five vanguard graphic designers. They will be responsible for our image on the web, and also for a PDF that we will periodically product so that our content can be passed around to the greatest number of people possible.
We did not appear out of nowhere; we are the children of the best traditions in music journalism, and in honor of that, we begin this issue with a brief look back at Cuban music publications that came before us.
This is where we’ll be, then, with our headphones on, day and night.