Christmas is gone now and so is New Year’s Eve, and guess what? We are still alive. And we are in 2013. The world has not ended (phew!) so I thought a post about music would be a nice introduction to the new year to come.
Being a music lover since a young age (I still have a picture of me playing on a bright orange keyboard, age 3, trying in vain to impress the family), I’m the happy owner of 3 acoustic guitars that I hardly ever play because I’m too lazy to learn the major and minor chords and I also convinced myself that playing a song on one string is perfectly acceptable, as long as you’re the only one to hear it; I’m also a regular -mostly bathroom- singer and even venture to sing lullabies to my little niece lately: the fact she didn’t look at me with fright, asked for more then fell asleep made me realize that music can really soothe everyone’s heart.
To me, music is a natural medicine that gives a real boost, helps with the concentration or gives a way to escape when needed – when you can’t do it physically. And in Colombia, it’s everywhere! It’s a real expression of the culture, a subtle mix of African, Native indigenous and Spanish rhythms, with Cuban and Caribbean influences as well: a real musical voyage. The first thing I heard on the taxi that took me to the hostel in Bogotá was indeed a crazy vallenato played at top volume, maybe to cover the screamof the tourist who discovers for the first time the amazing confidence of Colombian taxi-drivers, playing bumper cars in the traffic… still have to figure this out. Every time I hear the first notes, it brings me back there in no time. To Colombia, not the taxi.
Among all the different styles of music, salsa, vallenato, cumbia and champeta are the most renown. Of course, there’s also rock and pop music and everyone has probably heard about a curly and curvy blond-haired girl whose Hips don’t lie and a hot latino from Medellin who’s wearing La Camisa Negra; But Colombia is much more than that: I’m talking about Joe Arroyo, Toto La Momposina, La 33, Bomba Estereo, Carlos Vives, Monsieur Periné and so on.
If you don’t have enough already, or if you’re just curious, I listed more links below*. Click at your own risks!**
- Toto la Momposina, during La Mar de Musicas festival, in Cartagena: nice footage taken during the festival, showing this amazing little woman spreading good energy and happiness everywhere she goes. I saw her live once, she’s a bomb of cheerfulness, the best therapy ever!
- Fruko y sus Tesos, El Preso
- Grupo Niche, Mi Machete
- Guayacan Orquesta, Cada Dia que Pasa
- Diomedes Diaz, pure vallenato
- Quantic presenta The Flowering Inferno, Cumbia Sobre El Mar
- Bomba Estéreo, a band who mixes traditional Colombian music with electro cumbia. Nice live in Bogotá.
- Choc Quib town, De Donde Vengo Yo
- Systema Solar, Bienvenidos
- Soul’d Gabanah
- Juanes, Me Enamora live at A Decade of Difference concert and Fijate Bien unplugged
- Shakira, Loca
- Maluma, La Temperatura
* Of course, this is just a sample of what you can find music wise in Colombia and there are many other artists worth knowing in the country.
**I’m quite aware that latin music is not for everyone. But since you’re reading this post, I assume you might be interested in immersing yourself in the heart of Colombia. And to me, there is no better way than listening to its music!
Feliz Año Nuevo 🙂 !!