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With Venues Closed, A DJ Goes Virtual

Before COVID, this DJ had several nights reserved at local businesses, but like everyone else during this pandemic, he’s had to go virtual. With an elaborate mix of cumbias, reggaeton, merengue, bachata and salsa, accompanied with funny quips, Erik Ramírez, better known as Sonido Pachangua will have you dancing all night and laughing too.

Ramírez is a local Humboldt DJ. Originally from Mexico city, later from the state of Oaxaca he got his love for music somewhere along the way. Before COVID, Ramírez played at the Goat on Tuesdays and at Blue Lake Casino on Thursday nights and if they were lucky enough, people could book him for private parties too. Ramírez arrived in Humboldt county 9 years ago, and while he never planned on becoming a DJ, he did always have a passion for journalism, however, because of the lack of financial support, Ramírez couldn’t pursue that dream.  

“In Mexico the journalism career is really expensive. So my mom, the first year that I was studying journalism, she told me I had to quit because my sister was coming up next and she needed to go to college,” Ramírez said. “So I had to stop pursuing the career because it was so expensive. But I really loved everything that encompassed communication science, I really liked photography and video.”

Ramírez found a way to keep his love for journalism intact through music. He started off his DJ career shortly after arriving in Humboldt in 2011 when his two cousins invited him to join them. They later had to step away to pursue other job opportunities.

“I don’t try to pretend anything,
I never show off what I have or what I don’t have.
I try to do it for the love of the art that is music,”

Erik Ramírez, Sonido Pachanguero

Ramírez headed on and decided to pursue this DJ opportunity. He described his experiences as one of the only Latino DJs in Humboldt county and explained that as he began to pursue this opportunity, he had nobody to look to. Humboldt is a mostly white area and Ramírez said he simply didn’t have anyone’s footsteps to follow. 

“There were people that had given it a shot, but they had fallen by the wayside,” Ramírez said. 

Throughout his career as a DJ, Ramírez has always stayed true to himself and pursued his career in an authentic way. He explains that his love for music spearheaded his career, not a need to be recognized. 

“I don’t try to pretend anything, I never show off what I have or what I don’t have. I try to do it for the love of the art that is music,” Ramírez’s said. 

Ramírez’s music inspiration comes from a variety of genres, but specifically, he focuses on genres that make people want to dance. He speaks on the current state of reggaeton, and the explosion of Latin music and its influence in U.S. pop culture. He notes that a lot of listeners don’t really understand the language, but that doesn’t really matter. 

“How is it that all the people south of the United States can like Michael Jackson? I mean, they don’t speak English. You see it’s not necessary, that is, to feel the music you don’t necessarily have to understand it,” Ramírez said. 

Finally, it’s Ramírez’s passion for music combined with his quick wit that allows for a mix of music that’s culturally intimate, good for the body, and great for the soul. If you wish to listen to Sonido Pachanguero’s music look for him on Facebook where he goes live Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at 6 with sessions dubbed “La Hora De La Pachanga” where he has sets that are reminiscent of the days when bars were still open. 

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