For decades confined to Colombia’s poor coastal regions and condemned by conservative politicians as violent and corrupting, the African-Latin fusion sound of champeta is finally cracking into the mainstream.
Obviously the fact half of the planet saw it at the Superbowl when Shakira danced to it and made a whole challenge that gave a completely new audience that otherwise would have never knew about this hidden genre in the Afro-Colombian community.
There are several theories about the origin of the word champeta, but it likely stems from the champeta knife used by workers in Cartagena’s Bazurto market. In the ‘70s, these workers would meet regularly to listen to African music on picós, but over the decades the word has been
deliberately sullied by conservatives seeking to attach connotations of violence to the music. This kind of prejudice against the country’s black population has stifled the genre’s growth over the years, with Colombian politicians even attempting to enforce a national ban on champeta, accusing the music of encouraging violence and teenage pregnancy.
In fact, our brother Lucas Silva, who did 2 compilations with us and owns perhaps the most significant Afro-Colombian label: PALENQUE RECORDS says about champeta’s significant raise to become Shakira’s superbowl halftime most talked dance: “It was a very tough fight. There is a lot of racism in this county and champeta was too new – people didn’t understand it, it was a shock, like with any revolution. I remember coming back to Bogota in the mid ‘90s and everybody hated champeta. They all said it was ‘stupid’ music and too sexual. But the lyrics were just covering normal things about life. Bogota was a very white city in the ‘90s – everyone was listening to rock music at the time. Rock music was for rich people and cumbia and champeta were for the poor people.”
Latino Resiste unveils THE HIDDEN RAVES OF CHAMPETESBURG which is a continuing part of the electro-champeta movement we began a decade ago, this time expanding Champeta’s DNA towards newer subgenres which could include Aleteo, House, bits of moombahton, and acoustic champeta..
Each track takes one of the elements most relevants of the genre. Whether the heavily Abelardo Carbono’s influenced guitars, or the Roland Dogs, or the percussive patter or simply its lyrical content, champeta is always expanding, it can’t be contained or defined by just few parameters, and our responsibility in Latino Resiste is to expand our Latin Music diaspora.
Enjoy THE HIDDEN RAVES OF CHAMPETESBURG for #ZEROPESOS