continental drift pt.4- colombia

Today’s episode is an exploration of colombian music, featuring my friend (and former dummy op) Carolyne! Playlist here, listen to the episode here.

Colombia is located on the northwest coast of South America. With a population of 51 million, it is the 29th most populated country and officially the biggest country (population wise) that we have featured in this iteration of the drift. With areas including the amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, it has the second-highest level of biodiversity of any country in the world (second to Brazil). 

Salsa arrived in Colombia in the mid-20th century, after Cuban salsa rhythms made their way across the ocean to Cali (a city that now has the highest number of salsa schools and teams in the world).

Salsa sample:
En Barranquilla Me Quedo // Joe Arroyo, La Verdad

The Embera rap brother duo Linaje Originarios released “Condor Pasa,” which became an unexpected hit and showed how Embera music based on their culture and teachings could become a popular genre. The Embera tribe lives in various communities around Panama and Colombia. However, they are often displaced by rebel fighters and paramilitary groups, which has “wreaked havoc for the spiritual and cultural lives of [their] youth,” according to Higinio Obispo, a leader of the Eperara Siapidara people, part of the Embera tribe. 

The younger generation of Emberas wants to show what “publicly goes unsaid” through their music. This track talks about native culture/environmental preservation.

Embera sample:
Condor Pasa // Linaje Originarios

Cumbia is a mixture of spanish, native colombian, and african music that arose on colombia’s atlantic coast among the african population in the 18th century. Originally, the music contained only percussion and vocals, but the genre grew to include saxophone, trumpet, keyboard, and trombone as well. Cumbia really took hold in the 40s and the 50s ushered in a “golden age of cumbia.”

Cumbia segment:
La Pollera Colora // Pedro Salcedo Y Su Orquesta
Colombia Tierra Querida // Lucho Bermudez
Casate Conmigo // Silvestre Dangond, Nicky Jam

Vallenato means “born in the valley.” The valley influencing this name is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in north-east Colombia. The Vallenato genre traces its roots from Colombia’s coast and incorporates indigenous, African, and European cultures through indigenous and African percussion instruments, and the European accordion.

Vallenato sample:
Dejame Entrar – Vallenato // Carlos Vives

Estoy Aqui // Shakira
Nuqui (Te Quiero Para Mi) // ChocQuibTown

Hip hop is experiencing a surge in South America, but Colombia is doing it differently. Colombian journalist Santiago Cembrano has described this movement as ““La epoca del rap de acá.” It is characterized by old-school hip hop elements, incorporating techniques such as boom bap.

LA ETNNIA - Lyrics, Playlists & Videos | ShazamHip Hop/rap de aca segment:
Yo Voy Ganao // Systema Solar
De la Cuna al Ataud // La Etnnia, Full Nelson
In Da Building // Sabez, Ansu

Indie segment:
Al Fin Llegaste Tu // El Gran Martin Elias
Cosas que probablemente no van a pasar // Ev
Suenos en Rosa Reverberado // Hipsum

Special thanks to Margot Cecilia Bernal Dornheim Materasso for her input on this episode!