The Black Puma’s Rise into Stardom


Nick Molnoskey

The Black Pumas have over 9 hundred thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, where as a year ago, they weren’t even recognized on Spotify.

Nick Molnoskey

The Black Pumas, a band from Austin, Texas, are one of the most soulful artists of our time. They reincarnate the sound, soul, mood and feel of the 70s by capturing the essence of Sam Cooke and Neil Young, while using implementations of modern grit. This electrifying duo of Adrian Quesada (guitar) and Eric Burton (vocals and guitar) produces a fusion of light psychedelia mixed with revived soul and just a tad of urban harshness.

Quesada, a Grammy-winning renown music producer, known for his work with Brownout and Grupo Fantasma, reached out to Burton, who had made quite a name of himself in the music scene of downtown Austin. Quesada noticed Burton’s vastly capable and dynamically talented bluesy soulful vocals that would seamlessly blend with the classical R&B and reimagined funkadelic tracks that Quesada was working on. Burton and Quesada assembled together as the band, The Black Pumas, in 2018.

The Black Pumas worked a load in the studio and in live performances around Austin, gaining massive amounts of fans and recognition, and eventually signed off with ATO Records, who had the Pumas release a pair of wildly successful singles, “Black Moon Rising” and “Fire” in the beginning of 2019. The Pumas released their critically acclaimed debut album, The Black Pumas, in June last year. This album assisted in the duo achieving a “best new artist” Grammy nomination.

The band’s deep soulful bluesy mood and tone was super successful in Austin, for the Black Pumas were able to perfectly harness and encapsulate the city’s musical theme and intangible vibe. Austin is known to be the Live Music Capital of the World, because of amazing bands like The Black Pumas. Just as Hollywood is the Shangri-la of cinema, Austin, Texas, is the Valhalla of music. At a time, the city could have been considered the Blues Capital of the World (which is now a shared title between New Orleans, Chicago and Nashville) as well as the title of the Music Capital of the World (now bestowed on Memphis). It is no surprise that a band heavily focused on respecting and harnessing the outdated and defunct blues genre, as well as capturing the essence of funkadelic psychedelia, was able to thrive in such a “weird” city like Austin.

It is clear that The Black Pumas are going to be seen and heard by many for a long time, as they are one of the artists with the most rapid monthly spotify listeners. There have even been leaked rumors of The Black Pumas planning on playing in Saturday Night Live. Burton and Quesada clearly are masters of what they do, and there is no keeping them from making the beautiful music they do.