The anthropological journey of Carlos Vives in “Cumbiana II”

(CNN Spanish) — Carlos Vives published “Cumbiana II” almost a month ago, the second part of an album that led him to discover the –amphibious– origin of Colombian cumbia. On this occasion and based on that first volume, samarium explores the miscegenation of the music of his land. With the production, he also pays tribute to lands, rhythms and colleagues very dear to the singer.

We knew we wanted a volume two of cumbian because we began to run out of songs. There is a limit to one album, so I started to run out of songs and I had the opportunity to Cumbiana Ito talk about the purely American pre-Hispanic origin, about cumbia,” Vives told CNN Pop Zone in an interview via Zoom.

In this second part, the Colombian somehow gets into cumbia and makes an anthropological journey through the melodies that weave the musical sound of Colombia, to find influences from the Spanish colonizers and the influence of the African continent in music, not only from your country, but from all of Latin America.

Cumbiana II It allows me to tell everything that happened in that original territory. When the New Andalusia arrives, the Castilla del Oro, which arrives in Spain with its traditions, with its religion, with its way of dressing. And from there we take many of those elements for our cumbias. And then our mother Africa arrives, from different aspects and as everything begins to intersect, to join drums from Africa with original drums from America, instruments that came from North Africa, we do not know if in pre-Hispanic ages or with the arrival of our Spanish ancestors and see how everything began to mix. That’s what counts Cumbiana II“, Explains the interpreter to Zona Pop CNN.

The tributes that Carlos Vives wanted to pay in “Cumbiana II”

In production, collaborations reign and, as we said, tributes. One of them was the one he did to the Colombian singer Shakira. In the “Currambera” video clip, Vives recreates the roots of the Barranquillera and gives us a review of her career, from the album “Pies descalzos” to her internationalization.

“It is important to pay tribute to Shakira, to everything she represents, to that territory where she was born, to the Barranquilla woman. It was like a debt and I wanted to make a very original song that would surprise her at first,” Vives commented. .

“It was like that dream, and well it’s Currambera in Cumbiana II that, in addition to talking about it, you also know that we worked in that territory, in the river delta, with all the towns, that entire region of the river that supplies the carnival with so much culture and so much music,” he explains.

One of the surprises for Carlos Vives was to have the Argentine rock star Fito Páez, a dream collaboration and that he confesses he did not imagine that the singer would get on this boat called “Cumbiana II”.

What unites it with Argentina and Puerto Rico

“Of course I began to make songs and I said I want to pay tribute to Argentine rock. I did not aspire to have Fito [Páez] and Fito ended up in the song, which is an honor for us and a great happiness,” Vives told CNN Pop Zone.

Something similar happened with Puerto Rico. He not only made the song “Canción Bonita” together with Ricky Martin, in which he names San Juan, but also paid tribute to the beaches of Isla del Encanto with Pedro Capó in “Pagamento”.

“I was making a very beachy song about this cumbian and I thought of Puerto Rico, I thought of Puerto Rico and I said this to Pedro Capó, surely he is going to love it. And well, you send the song and they give you back the definitive song, because in the end it’s like those marriages. And so we did with Dread Mar I and with our Gguitar player in love You will find in the album many connections that are born from the song that I am doing, with whom it connects me, surely with whom I will want to connect. And that’s how the album is made,” Vives explained to Zona Pop CNN.

(Credit: Sony Music Latin)

The Cumbiana goddess: this is how they discovered the Venezuelan model on the album cover

One element that unites this production is what Vives called the “Cumbian goddess”, who is that mother who unites all these rhythms, these influences, in a single spirit. That goddess, that mother, that beautiful mulatto is on the album cover, protecting Carlos Vives in some way. This woman, the singer tells CNN Pop Zone, represents musical miscegenation.

“Suddenly you have seen that cover where the Cumbiana goddess is, which is all the type of our miscegenation, from which all our music is generated and that nature of our music has to do with that, that is Cumbiana II“.

The model is a Venezuelan wife of one of the farm workers daddy, on the outskirts of Santa Marta, owned by a friend of Vives, where he took refuge during the quarantine. She was discovered by the photographer in charge of all the visual art for the album, Andrés Oyuela.

“We arrived with Andrés Oyuela, who is the photographer in charge of the entire photography part of the album, and he was struck by seeing the most humble houses of the workers and he went looking like a set there… and this woman appears with her son. She was the wife of one of the workers and had come from Venezuela. When Andrés saw her, she kind of fell in love with her. He said No, no, no, no, no…this is the Cumbiana goddess!” he said.

“A very special clothing had been designed for the Cumbiana goddess and she ended up being the protagonist of those photographs, she appears with me in a video. The truth is that she represented everything we were looking to find that Cumbiana goddess, who represented all the miscegenation that our music. All the mixture of that diversity, of everything that we are. She… [tiene] a magic and an energy in that face, that look is incredible. And well, look!” Vives tells CNN Pop Zone.

“Cumbiana II” is available on all streaming platforms.