“El Mismo” ChocQuibTown’s new album

“El Mismo” ChocQuibTown’s new album

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Afro Colombian trio

Afro Colombian trio, ChocQuibTown, shatters the extreme stereotypes associated with their country through the use of music in their new album, “El Mismo.” Their ‘violent rhythms’ force listeners to heed caution, listen and head to the dance floor.

Hailing from Chocó, located between Cali and Medellin in the tropical northwest of Colombia, innovative sound trio ChocQuibTown is reclaiming the splendor of their country and its traditions through their new album, “El Mismo.” The trio’s fierce coastal electronic sounds do away with negative portrayals and stereotypes attributed by media to their country. The summer debut, which includes several versions of their first single, “Cuando te Veo,” transforms traditional Afro Colombian rhythms into lush alternative sounds experimenting with champeta and dubstep, chirimía with electronica and a base of timbales and congas for salsa choke.

CQT-Album-ArtworkThis is ChocQuibTown’s newest release after the success of 2012’s “Esto Es Lo Que Hay,” which was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the ‘Album of the Year’ category. The band received their first Grammy in 2010 for the tropical hip-hop single, “De Donde Vengo Yo.” EXTRA spoke with the band’s lead vocalist, Gloria Martinez aka “Goyo,” via phone call from Bogotá.

“This first single released is about the beauty of love. It’s a joyful song about all the wonderful moments you experience when you’re in love. It’s urban in sound, with plenty of horns, and heavy with danceable rhythms. This music is an invitation to dance,” she explained about the song, “Cuando Te Veo,” which is one of four versions included on the album.

When asked about the choice in offering different versions of the song, Goyo explained, “Well, we asked our family and friends because they know us best and it’s nice to get a reaction from different generations. We really liked the song and knew we had to have a salsa version, but, we also offer it in pop and urban and it’s worked out really well. It caught on quickly and now there are so many versions of the song because DJs really liked it and, thanks to God, it’s been a hit since its release,” she said. The single has been in the No. 1 slot in Colombia for over 14 weeks now.

The trio, formed by Goyo, her husband Miguel “Slow” Martinez and her brother, Carlos “Tostao” Valencia, aren’t shy about sharing experiences about where they come from and the struggles they’ve seen and lived. They understand the opportunities they have to speak about what’s often ignored and also the power they have to make a switch in people’s thinking when it comes to their country. In the song, “Ritmo Violento,” for example, they sing about “savage” jungle rhythms and the “violence” in their folclor.

“We like to say our rhythm is violent, just like our Chocó culture, because it comes to you with strength, like a force. We give it all we’ve got. We want to change the use of the word [violent] and have it become associated with the power of our words and the command of our rhythms. It’s a reminder of the rhythms of Africa when slaves were brought over on boats and thoughts of freedom are explored through beats on tambor. Our words are strong but it’s what we know, what we’ve seen and lived and we present it in the context of the power of music and sabor,” she explained.

The band also spoke on the connection they feel with audiences and how that, in turn, fuels their music making. And, despite the success they’ve experienced, they speak humbly of their accomplishments giving praise to family, friends and fans for continued support. “You discover what you want and what feels best on your journey. This is what calls us and what allows us to share special moments with so many people. It allows us to become closer with those who listen,” she explained.

You can find more information on ChocQuibTown and their album, “El Mismo,” at www.ChocQuibTown.com.



This post is also available in: Spanish