The Highsnobiety Soundsystem Curator Series invites metropolitan DJs, curators and musicians to guide us through the unmissable sights, sounds, stores, and food spots of their city – each time with an exclusively curated playlist. Subscribe to Highsnobiety Music on Spotify and Apple Music now, and catch Rosa Pistola on October 12th at Burg Schnabel, Berlin, with Mike Q and Citizen Boy. Presented by 3’Hi with Highsnobiety Soundsystem. 

Rosa Pistola is the embodiment of the frenetic energy of her adopted hometown of Mexico City. Her style, her tattoos and her confidence reflect the punk, DIY style that is ingrained so deeply in the proud culture of her beloved reggaeton. Her DJ sets are fast paced, eclectic and unmissable, and her mission is to celebrate the sounds of the latin underground with the entire world.

Born in Colombia, Rosa’s creative ambitions were initially realised in fashion design until music, and the demands of a rapid ascent of becoming most in-demand reggaeton DJ in her adopted hometown, lead her to commit full-time to perfecting her craft as a curator and party-starter. As part of the Perreo Pesado crew – a trio whose mission statement is to ‘expand the sound frequencies of the Ghetto’ Rosa carries her unavoidable aura with her around the city’s satellite communities – densely-packed neighbourhoods notorious for high-crime rates and gang activity, as well of course, as their own vibrant cultural identities.

We caught up with her ahead of a string of European dates to discover Mexico City from her perspective, inviting her to curate a Highsnobiety Soundsystem playlist in tribute to the city. Listen below.

dj rosa pistola curator mexico city soundsystem
Rosa Pistoal

Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

I’m Rosa Pistola, a creative person with many abilities and ambitions, but right now I’m committed 100% to music, specifically reggaeton. But yeah, I’ve always been inspired by art, music, and culture.

What makes Mexico City different to any other place on Earth?

I think what makes Mexico City so special is the people… The creativity they have to solve bad situations with warm hearts. These are warrior people with strong hearts and this makes the city very colorful and full flavor. It’s also a place where very surreal things happen, so you kind of have to learn to live in different realities.

What restaurant do you go to when you’re tying to impress?

Well, I’m vegan so I would choose Los Loosers in La Colonia Roma or Indian Town in 16 de Septiembre Street, in the center of the city.

What’s the best option for local comfort food? 

Any Fondita or Antojitos place can offer delicious dishes and a variety of options. My favourite is La Pagoda it serves 24 hr. in Av 5 de Mayo.

dj rosa pistola curator mexico city soundsystem
Rosa Pistoal

What spot in the City do you never get tired of visiting? 

La UNAM. It’s the most important public university of Mexico, and is surrounded with native nature, landscapes, and sculptures you can climb and relax on.

What’s your go-to store for picking up some new clothes? 

Tepito obviously. The market is super fun and you can find crazy bootlegs and outfits at accessible prices.

What’s your most coveted grail?

Right now I would say all the equipment I have in my studio. It gives me the chance to be creative, to fly into my world to express my self without words.

Please talk us through your playlist – what are some of the tracks that remind you of Mexico City, and why?

My playlist is all ghetto songs, because well I live in the ghetto so that’s how I feel my surroundings. The songs talk about police, the rush of the cities, corruption, sex, guns, smoking weed, and fighting to live a better life.

dj rosa pistola curator mexico city soundsystem
Rosa Pistoal

Check out Rosa Pistola’s ‘Sounds Like Mexico City’ playlist below, and get tickets to her upcoming show in Berlin, here