Got to a lazy start today, so to pick up the pace I’m blasting some electro-cumbia (not sure how I survived pre-Spotify). One of my favorite electro-cumbia artists is Li Saumet from Bomba Estéreo -this woman is pure energy. I discovered Bomba Estéreo in 2014, when they played at the Joshua Tree Music Fest. I was right in front of the stage, in awe of her energy… pure magic. Here’s one of the blurry pictures I took:
From the beginning I loved Bomba Estéreo’s tropical power, but it was the girl-power anthem “Soy yo” (Amanecer, 2015) that made her music a staple in our family. I consider the video, dropped in 2016, a must-watch for young girls.
One more song that I love is Somos Dos; the romantic video is shot in the National Park of Tayrona and in Santa Marta where Li Saumet is from. As she explained in an interview with People en Español, the video is inspired in her real love-story experience and screams Caribbean – this island girl is definitely swooning. Also, I want everything she wears in this video.
And last, they just released this very Salvador Dalí inspired heartbreak video, which I absolutely LOVE!
Before we left on our trip, my husband introduced me to Jain. I was impressed with her catchy sound and she immediately became a family favorite.
Her music and videos brought up a lot of questions about her background. When I looked her up, some articles questioning if she was guilty of cultural appropriation came up. After some reading, I was impressed with her multicultural upbringing: she is French, but grew up in Congo, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
I felt bad questioning if she was guilty of cultural appropriation, as if I were preemptively judging her -I guess my own issues can make me paranoid at times. I grew up in a colony that to this day suffers from people taking away without giving the credit that is due, so I am sensitive to cultural appropriation.
We are a multicultural family; I am Puerto Rican and my husband is of Greek-Italian ancestry. We live in Southern California, and travel to Mexico frequently, so our family is inevitably influenced by that as well. My kids do not speak Spanish, which gives me impostor syndrome around my Latin American friends and family. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fully belong here or there, so I am fascinated by Jain and the magic that comes from her sounds.