DJ Lico: Los Angeles Own. Bringing New Latin Sounds to the Music Industry

Manuel Lico, better known as DJ Lico or Manuelito, is a DJ, music producer and composer, artist and recording engineer. He is also the CEO of the independent record label, Last Battalion Musica and the streetwear brand KYOS (Keep Your Circle Small).

As a music lover, Manuel started his path of djing at 15 years old. With determination and passion he improved every time to later obtain his degrees of composer and recording engineer. Still young at 19, he met many known and popular artists who gave him the opportunity to perform as DJ. He showed his talent and work and formally introduced him to the media and entertainment environment. 

Manuel is distinguished by his perseverance. Being an immigrant in the US, he saw many doors close in front of him due to his status and lack of economic resources. “But that did not end my dreams; on the contrary, it turned me into a bigger dreamer and every time I saw a dead end, I walked and looked for another entrance”, he shares.

Artists that have collaborated with him state how he helps them become a better version of themselves in the recording studio. Manuel doesn’t see collaborations just as work, but as a space to share ideas, suggestions, tips and opinions to always get a great result. This same energy is the one he portrays when performing to his audiences, connecting with them and providing an immersive experience.

During his career he’s had the opportunity to work with famous artists like Mac Miller, Nipsey Hussle, DMX and Wale. After working with US artists, Manuel wanted to immerse himself in his roots and started writing music in Spanish. This led him to collaborate with more Latin artists and create his first album “Manuelito”, from where he received his nickname. The album is available in his Youtube channel.

“You can find many music genres in this album, from west coast vibes, boom bap, trap and reggaeton. My grandfather, Jesús Antonio Mejía, was a music teacher, had a marimba orchestra and was DJ at parties in the 80s. So I grew up listening to hip hop, salsa, disco, classic rock, ballads and rancheras, among many other genres. I like them all, each for different reasons. I even believe I learn something from each genre and I used that as inspiration for my album”, he comments. 

Recently, DJ Lico finished his US tour with Gera MX, today Mexico’s greatest rapper. “It was definitely one of the best tours I’ve ever had. Gera is like a brother to me and we have many plans for the future”, he expresses.

Ten years ago, his initial motivation was his passion for music and to be able to economically support his family. A family that supported him on his way to achieve his dreams. This same sentiment is one that Manuel carries him and makes him want to help other people. For this, Manuel has been awarded for his community service by the Los Angeles’ mayor, the US Marine Corps, Los Angeles School District, and others. 

Right now, he is also working on finishing his artist’s projects in his music label, as well as finishing his own new album, which will be accompanied by a sponsoring tour through the US. Regarding his clothing brand KYOS, a new collection will  be launched in fall and winter. 

What keeps him going? His passion and strong mindset. “The long nights in the studio, nights without sleep, travels and tours around the country, the parties and many other things that we go through in the music business are reasons why having a strong and positive mind is super important because it is very easy to fall down and ruin everything.”

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