La Chica Miami of the week is the front-woman of Afrobeta, Cristina Elena Garcia, 32. Her petite frame earned her the Spanish nickname “Cuci” for “Cosita.” “Amador,” she said, is for being a “Lover.”
You are likely to run into her infectious smile at one of the many 24 hour Cuban cafeterias in the city or at a club in Wynwood. She has become an icon in the undergound scene of the 305 nightlife. She “hearts” it.
“You feel it when you go out at night in other cities. People don’t dance like they dance in Miami,” she said during a Deco Drive interview last year.
She was born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents, and graduated from the catholic school St. Brendan. She abandoned her aspirations of becoming an Olympic figure skater to study creative writing at Florida State University. She gets her theatrics from a brief stint as an actress. She even did commercials in Spanish for brands llike Wendy’s and Wal-Mart.
Cuci thinks of herself as “a dreamer, a believer, mood maker” and “soul shaker.” She co-founded Afrobeta in 2006. After getting a MySpace Latin sponsorship, the dreamer teamed up with a local indie label. Experts have described her electronic Miami fusion beats as “80’s synth-pop,” “house/ghetto-tech/funk,” “retro nostalgia,” and “disco-house heaven.”
Cuci sure knows how to pump up a crowd of party animals. Reporters have described her as an “effervescent,” “cartoony,” and “fierce” performer. At a set during the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Cuci screamed: “We do this because we love you, and for the streets of Miami!”
We asked her to fill in the blanks:
My favorite best-kept secret about Miami is … (Restaurant Kon Chau) dim sum on la cuarenta
My favorite museum in Miami is … The Margulies collection. The MAM and The Museum of Science at Vizcaya.
My favorite beach is … 81st and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach
When I’m in the mood for coffee, my favorite spot is . . . La Carreta on 37th Avenue and 8th Street.
My favorite hair salon is … Contesta Rock hair in Miami Beach.
My favorite local star is … Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli
My favorite annual Miami event is …Ultra Music Festival. (She will likely be on stage again next year. The festival will be begin on March 22, and end on the 24th).