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



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 frontrunner of its personal.

“Ojitos” was considered 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 crew 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 music’s royalties shall be donated to Costeño Social, a college in Guachaca, close to Saumet’s residence.

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 types 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 heart,” Saumet explains to Selection. “Once we have been beginning, there wasn’t a lot various music. The scene was very restricted, so we performed quite a bit outdoors of Colombia, and I feel that was what helped us. Bomba turned a band that internationalized and opened up the market. A path that at the moment didn’t exist, or was very restricted, inside various Latin music.”

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

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

Just a few days earlier than the discharge of “Me Duele,” Saumet spoke with Selection concerning the music scene in Colombia and her personal creative targets, as she plans to launch her personal “feminist” undertaking 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 stunned as a result of I listened to the music [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 take heed to the Benito half on the final day. I used to be very stunned — for optimistic causes, after all. The whole lot match so properly collectively.

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

The collaboration was very pure. It’s a really stunning music and romantic too, very heartfelt. I really feel prefer it’s a kind of songs that individuals fall in love with, and that’s an important side of it. Like, generally music goes past. It’s not simply music — it’s an power, an power that spreads. And I feel that this music, above all, is on this album as a result of it’s the solely music that actually 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 music 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 individuals love and respect. Though we’re thought-about another band, it’s a band that may additionally collaborate with very huge artists and with smaller artists. I really feel very proud of how our historical past has flowed and the way far we have now 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 occurring 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 similar 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 now 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 music three extra occasions. More often than not, if an artist is bringing you to a undertaking, it’s as a result of they know you may contribute one thing — it’s like including power. It’s not like I need you to do what I need, however including the energies of every one.

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

All the time engaged on music. In actual fact, this 12 months we have now carried out essentially the most collaborations that we have now ever carried out, and we’re persevering with to take action. We’ve quite a lot of new music popping out quickly too. I even have my undertaking — I’m going to launch my very own album.

With out giving an excessive amount of away, what can we anticipate from that report?

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

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

These exhibits have been unbelievable as a result of there’s quite a lot of 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 considered one of our performances — it’s like quite a lot of emotions — actually particular.

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

Properly, actually this occurred a 12 months or extra in the past. We’ve identified one another for some time so we have been at my home, on the seaside, simply spending the times enjoyable, and I confirmed him a music and he began enjoying 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 “latest” artist and Manu Chao is the sort of artist that everyone is aware of — he’s a legend. The music is basically good, I feel it’s a success. I feel it’s the proper music to finish the summer time and simply dance and neglect all the pieces, just like the music 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 music that’s catchy and, once more, facilities round love.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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