Pelada is a musical duo made up of DJ and music producer Tobias Rochman and vocalist Chris Vargas. Though the partners are based in Canada, Vargas’s singing (and therefore, the titles of Rochman and Vargas’s tracks) are all in Spanish. The duo are known for their punk-influenced take on techno, creating a unique, gritty sound which places philosophical ideas and social justice at the center.
Rochman and Vargas got their start, as many do, as unknowns who shared a few tracks to Soundcloud and waited for the world to catch on. And catch on the world certainly did. Since Pelada came to recognition through some of these early releases, they’ve performed across the globe from Paris, to London, to Milan and in venues including New York City’s Brooklyn Bazaar, Berlin’s Berghain, Panorama Bar, and Säule, and a variety of venues across Canada.
They’ve also been behind a great number of notable releases, including their breakout 2019 debut full-length album, ‘Movimiento Para Cambio,’ released on PAN, which was hailed by Resident Advisor as one of the best albums of 2019 and listed by Mixmag as one of the best albums of the 2010 - 2020 decade. They’ve also released an EP, called ‘Ep1,’ which features four tracks, including a remix of their original “Ten Cuidado” by Jock Club.
In addition to making waves onstage, Pelada has also become a darling of the press, attracting write ups in top outlets like VICE, Pitchfork, DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, and Mixmag. They also stayed very active as part of virtual music events and livestreams during the COVID-19 lockdowns, sharing their music at online events like Club Quarantine, which became widely recognized as a gathering place for LGBTQ individuals during COVID, as well as through Chimbites, an LGBTQ and Latinx organization that Vargas is heavily involved with.