They formed virtually by chance and relatively recently, but they already have four Grammy nominations, a euphoric hit with more than a hundred million views on YouTube and, as NME wrote, they gradually made their journey from busking on street corners to becoming one of the USA’s most beloved new bands. They have performed in perhaps every well-known television show, sold out multiple tours across North America and Europe, thanks to a massive fanbase now known as the Puma Pack, and organiser are pleased that BLACK PUMAS will play their mix of psychedelic soul and R&B also at Trenčín Airport in early July 2022.
In 2017, Californian busker and music nomad Eric Burton headed to Austin, Texas. The singer, who grew up singing in church and then got involved in musical theater, set up his busking spot at the corner of 6th Street and Congress. At the same time, producer Adrian Quesada (Grammy winner and guitarist of the band Grupo Fantasma) was looking to collaborate with someone new. What he failed to find in LA or London, he eventually found near his birthplace. A mutual friend mentioned Burton to Quesada, saying that he was the best singer he had ever heard. Quesada contacted Burton, but it took a while to the latter to respond. Finally, he called Quesada and sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,”
Quesada has played in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout and has accompanied artists from Prince to Daniel Johnston, while with Burton he found a perfect match in the direction they wanted to go in music. The US station KCRW described their sound as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown.” From the moment they entered the studio and Burton sang “Black Moon Rising” (a song Quesada produced on the day of a solar eclipse), they both knew this was it: not a one-time recording session, an album or a project, but the formation of a new band.
Rolling Stone praised “the tireless, charismatic energy of singer Eric Burton,” and Pitchfork raved “The duo’s flair for drama is so stirring, they can seem acutely cinematic.” The Guardian wrote that this was “a debut so perfectly realised by the standards they’ve set themselves that you wonder what could possibly come next.” Then followed the reactions of the audience. Their anthemic single “Colors” has been streamed more than 100 million times on Youtube and 56 million times on Spotify.