Afro-Peruvian Collective Novalima Reinterpret the Past

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Novalima was founded in 2001 by four young Limeños who were inspired to propel traditional Afro-Peruvian music into the future by fusing it with nu-jazz, dub, electronica and other disparate genres and sharing it with audiences around the world. To do so, they enlisted local black musicians; dusted off centuries-old slave chants; and added some serious dance floor–ready grooves.

Their third release Coba Coba (Cumbancha) is a smattering of all these things in one seamless package. The song “Libertá” imagines equality between blacks and whites, a notion that has unwittingly become the collective’s mission every time they snare a new listener. If you want the full-on effect, check out the video for “Coba Guarango,” a funk-driven track that was filmed on the bright streets of El Carmen, an Afro-Peruvian village south of Lima. The song and the sights are earthy, rhythmic and very inviting.

 

 

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About this author1

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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