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Bomba Estéreo’s Li Saumet on Unhealthy Bunny and Manu Chao Collabs

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As Bad Bunny rampages throughout North America on his “World’s Hottest Tour” and his “Un Verano Sin Ti” tops Billboard’s albums chart for a whopping 10 weeks, one of many set’s extra surprising collaborations, “Ojitos Lindos,” feat. Bomba Estéreo, has confirmed to be a pacesetter of its personal.

“Ojitos” was certainly one of seven tracks from the album to succeed in Spotify’s most-streamed “Global Songs of the Summer” playlist — and of the 20 songs on the listing, half of them have been Spanish-language hits. It’s the kind of staggering statistic that has catalyzed the Latin music panorama in 2022, however for the Colombian duo — instrumentalist Simón Mejía and singer Liliana Saumet — the attain of “Ojitos” highlights their versatile, collaborative essence whereas additionally spotlighting the persevering with emergence of modern-day Caribbean music onto the worldwide stage.

Their most up-to-date group effort comes with veteran Barcelona-based musician Manu Chao for his or her new single “Me Duele,” which arrived Sept. 13 alongside a colourful Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea-directed music video. A portion of the tune’s royalties shall be donated to Costeño Social, a faculty in Guachaca, close to Saumet’s house.

Lengthy earlier than they have been Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominees, Bomba’s story started in Bogotá some 15 years in the past. The Colombian music scene hadn’t but caught the reggaeton wave, and as an alternative, sounds and kinds like the favored folk-driven vallenato dominated over the nation’s airwaves.

“Many bands have paved the way in which for Colombian music to be entrance and middle,” Saumet explains to Selection. “After we have been beginning, there wasn’t a lot different music. The scene was very restricted, so we performed lots outdoors of Colombia, and I feel that was what helped us. Bomba grew to become a band that internationalized and opened up the market. A path that at the moment didn’t exist, or was very restricted, inside different Latin music.”

By the point the group had began releasing music beneath the moniker Bomba Estéreo, different Latin music was dominated by the thriving rock en Español style. Fellow Colombian native Juanes and Mexican rockers Maná rose to prominence throughout the style’s growth within the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Bomba is at the moment on a headlining tour with 33 dates throughout North America, Europe and Mexico, with upcoming reveals from New York’s Palladium to Berkeley’s Greek Theater, in assist of their full-length studio album, 2021’s “Deja.”

Just a few days earlier than the discharge of “Me Duele,” Saumet spoke with Selection in regards to the music scene in Colombia and her personal creative objectives, as she plans to launch her personal “feminist” challenge as a solo act.

What was your response upon listening to “Ojitos Lindos” on the album for the primary time?

I used to be very shocked as a result of I listened to the tune [for the first time] 5 hours earlier than it got here out — it hadn’t been despatched to me. I despatched my half first and I got here to hearken to the Benito half on the final day. I used to be very shocked — for optimistic causes, after all. Every part match so properly collectively.

Why do you assume the tune has resonated with so many individuals?

The collaboration was very pure. It’s a really lovely tune and romantic too, very heartfelt. I really feel prefer it’s a kind of songs that folks fall in love with, and that’s a vital side of it. Like, generally music goes past. It’s not simply music — it’s an vitality, an vitality that spreads. And I feel that this tune, above all, is on this album as a result of it’s the solely tune that basically talks about love about being in love, and I feel its totally different from all the opposite songs he’s made. So it was very good to be those so as to add these parts of romantic love, and actually convey that out inside him.

What sorts of emotions have been connected to the tune for you?

Simply pure happiness, as a result of Bomba has been working for a very long time and it’s nice to see the fruit of our labors and figuring out that it’s a band that folks love and respect. Though we’re thought of an alternate band, it’s a band that may additionally collaborate with very large artists and with smaller artists. I really feel very pleased with how our historical past has flowed and the way far we’ve got come with out shedding our essence.

Who’re a few of your favourite Colombian artists coming from the same musical house?

There are various fascinating issues taking place in Colombia. There’s a lady from the Pacific [coast] that I like whose identify is Verito Asprilla, and there are some ladies known as Las Añes too. It’s like one other sort of music, however on the identical time it’s additionally very Andean [from the Andes mountain chain in South America] music, like mountain music. It’s additionally very Latin, however inside one other stage.

What would you say is your private recipe for a strong collaboration?

Respect what every individual does, admire one another’s work, and allow them to be. I really feel that when one limits the artwork of the opposite, then it’s not a collaboration.

I imply, I’ve labored with artists who inform me “I need you to do that, I need you to sing like [how you sang in] ‘Fuego’,” and I’m like however “I already sang ‘Fuego.’” I’m not going to make the identical tune three extra instances. More often than not, if an artist is bringing you to a challenge, it’s as a result of they know you may contribute one thing — it’s like including vitality. It’s not like I need you to do what I need, however including the energies of every one.

Many artists say it’s onerous to write down and file music whereas on tour — however what’s your expertise been like?

All the time engaged on music. In truth, this yr we’ve got carried out probably the most collaborations that we’ve got ever carried out, and we’re persevering with to take action. We now have numerous new music popping out quickly too. I even have my challenge — I’m going to launch my very own album.

With out giving an excessive amount of away, what can we count on from that file?

It’s a really feminist album — there’s lots within the works. However this shall be all mine and actually, I simply wished to discover and experiment, so that is me doing that my manner and in my very own course of.

You lately carried out alongside Unhealthy Bunny at his Puerto Rico stadium present, what was the vitality like there?

These reveals have been unimaginable as a result of there’s numerous love there. It was very nice to be part of that and clearly once we exit to sing “Ojitos,” it’s amplified. Somebody proposed throughout certainly one of our performances — it’s like numerous emotions — actually particular.

What are you able to inform us about your collaboration with Manu Chao?

Effectively, actually this occurred a yr or extra in the past. We now have recognized one another for some time so we have been at my home, on the seaside, simply spending the times stress-free, and I confirmed him a tune and he began taking part in the guitar. I wrote lyrics after which he added his vocals.

Why have you ever determined to launch it now?

Bomba is kind of a “current” artist and Manu Chao is the type of artist that everyone is aware of — he’s a legend. The tune is actually good, I feel it’s a success. I feel it’s the right tune to finish the summer season and simply dance and neglect all the pieces, just like the tune says “Hasta que no me duele más,” [Until it doesn’t hurt me anymore]. It’s fascinating to combine these generations and opinions collectively for a tune that’s catchy and, once more, facilities round love.

This interview has been edited and condensed.




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