On Tour with Bomba Estereo

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Colombian Electro-cumbia band Bomba Estereo have been on “fuego” ever since they made their U.S. debut in 2009 with the album Blow Up (Nacional Records)—and they’re not slowing down. Vocalist Li Saumet and producer Simón Mejía are fast at work on their next album as they continue to tour the country, shaking things up along the way. Latina.com had a chance to chat with Mejía before the band hit the stage in Chicago, and here’s what he had to say:

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened since your U.S. debut?
Playing in Central Park last year was an incredible opportunity. We’ve built a strong fan base in the United States. It’s been amazing. One very good show was last Friday for Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. People were singing along. Every time we perform is like a new surprise for us.

What can we expect from your upcoming tour?
We have a few new songs. We’re playing the Blow Up album but we also improvise a lot live. We have a powerful dance show. We invite people from the crowd to get on stage and dance.

What’s your favorite song to play live?
For me, it’s “La Boquillo.” We end the song with a champeta improvisation, which is great.

What’s going on with your next album?
We’re going to explore new afro-indigenous rhythms and genres. It’s going to be a more powerful album in terms of electronics. I can’t tell you more than that. We’ll have to wait till we get into the studio. It’ll be out in 2011.

Any old-school Colombian bands you still love to listen to?
I’m a big fan of Joe Arroyo, El Grupo Niche, Diomedes Diaz, Fruko y Sus Tesos. In terms of pop music, I like Aterciopelados; they’ve been around for a while.

You guys have been non-stop. What’s home?
We’re always traveling and touring. My place is Colombia. We have social problems, political problems, but it’s the place I want to live for the rest of my life.

For info on Bomba Estereo’s summer tour visit myspace.com/bombaestereo

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About this author

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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