Santa Fe Klan is the alias of charting songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and rapper Ángel Jair Quesada Jasso. His restless, diverse sound melds gritty trap and hip-hop with the Mexican Regional folk sounds and Latin rhythms he learned as a child. His stage name is drawn from his barrio, as well as his former musical group. They formed in 2013 and splintered in 2016 after recording five albums that all appeared posthumously in 2017: Por Costumbre, Seguimos Radicando, and the three-volume El Encio. Keeping the group’s name out of respect, he released the regional hit solo album Bendecido in 2019 and collaborated with Lefty Sm on Necesidad in 2020. He issued the regional smash Santa Cumbia in 2021 on his newly formed Cuatro Sieste Tres Music and 2022′s charting Mundo included collaborations with Reik, Jacky Jack, and Tornillo.
Born in Guanajuato, Sinaloa in 1999, Jasso grew up in Colonia Santa Fe. He showed an interest in music at a very young age, and his parents encouraged him by purchasing toy instruments for him. He grew up listening to rap, inspired by the experiences of his barrio’s streets, urban graffiti, and breakdancing.
At 12, Jasso began writing songs. With assistance from a laptop and the internet, he posted them to social media. He issued his first single at 13 and shortly thereafter signed to Alzada Corps under the Rap Trap imprint. That same year, he helped form the hip-hop group Santa Fe Klan — all of its members were from his barrio. They played local and regional shows, put on events, and recorded songs. By 2016, they began to splinter and in 2017, they completely split. Alzada issued their complete output on Rap Tap with the albums Por Costumbre, Seguimos Radicando, and the three-volume El Encio. Quesada kept the name as his solo moniker out of respect for his neighborhood and the experience provided him as a member of the group.
In June 2019, he released Bendecido, his debut solo offering. Containing ten songs, several music videos, and a short film directed by Jose Macias, the set was a hit at regional radio as well as Latin radio in the U.S. Jasso followed with the singles “Tu y Yo” and “De la calle Somos.” The collaborations “Ni Ángel ni Demonio” with Neto Peña, Akapellah, and Gona, “Te iré a Buscar” with Nanpa Basico, and “Infiel” with Afaz Natural all appeared in 2019. He also contributed the song “Mi Guanajuato” to the original soundtrack for the award-winning film Huachicolero.
His videos attracted attention from music fans drawn to his use of Mexican Regional songs from cumbia sonidera, mariachi, bolero, corridos, and other folk forms such as vallenato from Colombia. In 2020 he served as Lefty Sm’s collaborator on the duet offering Necesidad and its smash single “Mi Decepcion.” The set drew attention from other producers and rappers. They dug the seamless interaction and Santa Fe Klan’s carefully constructed beats and charts. That year he also issued the collaborative cumbia/norteño/rap single “Dobo Entondre” with Neto Peña and Yoss Bones. Its video registered more than half-a-billion views. In 2021, he collaborated with Run the Jewels’ on “Ooh La La” that also featured Mexican Institute of Sound. Santa Fe Klan left Rap Trap and formed the Cuatro Siete Tres Music label.
In February 2021, Santa Fe Klan hit the Mexican charts with their seminal long-player Santa Cumbia thanks to production by Camilo Lara and Toy Selectah, and the singles “Vuelve” and “Soledad.” The album drew attention across Latin America and the U.S. It featured no rapping but instead delved deeply into cumbia sonidera grafted onto hip-hop production and beats. It also showcased Jasso’s remarkable accordion playing. He issued no less than 15 singles under his own name and collaborated on a large number of other tracks including the smash “Grandes Ligas” with Lupillo Rivera, Alemán, B-Real, and Snoop Dogg, Calibre 50′s “Cuiando el Territorio,” and “Dos Mundos” by Banda MS de Sergio Lizarraga, to name just three. He took home his country’s Premio Juventud for “Best New Artist: Mexican Regional.
2022 followed apace. In January he appeared on Gera MX’s “Problematico,” and Chrystemc’s “Phiesta” with Macrodee. Just before the month ended, he issued “Callejera” in collaboration with MC Davo. At the end of February he and Gera MX released two four-track EPs entitled Socios 1 and Socios 2. In April he issued the pre-release solo single “Mar y Tierra” (his first entry on the Hot Latin Songs chart) followed by a second, “Eres,” in May, and “Quedate” and “Luka” in June. The following month he contributed the track “Soy” to Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue EP, and issued the non-album single “Yo Vengo de Abajo” with collaborators Los Dareyes De La Sierra and Locura Terminal. The full-length Mundo was released in August, and entered the Latin Pop albums chart at number four and number 11 on the Latin Rhythm Albums list. The set comprised a dozen tracks featuring collaborations with pop duo Reik on the single “Llevame,” Tornillo on “Me Ire con Ella,” and “Triste Realidad” with Jacky Jack and AXS Axel Santos, as well as a new version of “Debo Entendre.” ~ Thom Jurek