Before Louda and before Los Bad Hombres, Laura “Louda” Camacho’s passion for music began to blossom in Chicago where she grew up.
As a high school student at Jones College Prep, Camacho’s musical education and interest in singing grew as she became involved with the school’s choir as well as their after school jazz vocal choir. She also had an affinity for volleyball, which made her question what she wanted to focus on throughout her high school career. She credits much of her ambition to pursue music further to her choir teacher, who provided many opportunities for her throughout her time at Jones College Prep.
“She kind of like cut me and curved me out. And really shaped me into the perfect college candidate,” said Camacho. “And so, throughout high school, she would take me and the other students to competitions.”
After graduation, Camacho attended Northeastern Illinois University, where she finished with a Bachelor of Music with a focus in vocal classical performance in 2013.
But two years prior to graduating, Camacho was already getting her feet wet as a singer in a ska band. It was here that she cultivated her ability to interact with the audience and perform live. In the ska environment, she felt like the ringleader to the audience and gained rapport during her performances. Additionally, being a part of a band challenged her to flex her creativity in songwriting and transported her to a different atmosphere beyond her classical training.
“I learned a lot on how to save my voice, how to perform for audiences, how to interact with them, and how to really make that connection,” said Camacho.
Camacho describes the move to California as warm. She feels very welcome in California and says the same about the city’s music scene. She arrived in San Francisco in October 2017 and since then has felt that the community here has been very supportive. She believes that the city has a history that makes it proud and welcoming to her.
“To say the least,” said Camacho. “San Francisco is a more musical city. More artistic, more progressive, more creative. It’s less about who you know.”
Camacho began working with Los Bad Hombres after moving to California. She met Leo Nava playing guitar on the streets of San Francisco. Jeff Gomez later came aboard and they began jamming together as a trio. Since then, Los Bad Hombres has expanded into a six piece group and done work with covers as well as created their own original music, blending English and Spanish music concepts with hip hop. The name Los Bad Hombres is a political statement, satirizing the derogatory use of the phrase.
Camacho released an eleven song EP in 2018 titled “Feedback” under her stage name LOUDA. She is looking to write more music and release more songs either as singles or as another EP.
On Aug. 10, 2019, Louda y Los Bad Hombres competed in Acción Latina’s first of this year Encuentritos mini-concert series, and won. As an Encuentrito winner, Louda y Los Bad Hombres performed as one of the opening acts at the 38th annual Encuentro del Canto Popular on Dec. 8, 2019 at The Chapel.
Camacho is studying Early Childhood Development at City College of San Francisco and aims to become an educator. Despite this, she is adamant in keeping music in her life stating that to not be doing music is to not be living.
Story by: Kirk Stevenson