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Reviews Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023. Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Wampi's farewell in La Tropical

At nine o'clock at night on Saturday, October 14, the entrance to the Salón Rosado of La Tropical is astonishingly quiet. If it weren't for the containment fences and the bulky police presence, nothing would give away that in three hours not a soul would fit in the place. A sign announces Wampi in concert; the golden boy of the cast is going on tour to Europe and wants to say goodbye to his local audience —the real one, not the fashion one that could be found at Johnny's or in any of the trendy clubs— in the home of Cuban popular dance music. 

In the migratory context that the island is experiencing, a concert like this is a rare opportunity to get close to the heart of the most vibrant genre of Cuban popular music today, so, like so many thousands, I decided to treat myself to a Wampi concert.

People, who know the rituals of Cuban music, arrive very slowly, but at 11:00 p.m. a human tide fills the enclosure. The DJs of the Sarao project, who know their job, warm up the dance floor with reggaeton songs and the cast of the moment and leave the stage ready for the hero of the night to make his triumphant entrance around 12:00 p.m.

Behind the scenes, Dasiel Mustelier Oruña, aka Wampi, he makes the sign of the cross as he prepares to enter the scene. He wears a Chicago Bulls jersey and shorts with Michael Jordan's number 23 on the back, white shoes, as well as a white cap and a towel around his neck. set immaculate, highlighting and combining the black and red beads of its necklace of Eleggua, and the characteristic shiny cover of its microphone.

Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

At this stage he wears glasses that completely darken his eyes and give him a demonic appearance. After the opening of the band, Wampi appears on stage at La Tropical singing the chorus of XPhis hit from last year. Next to him, thousands of people chant "soft, slow, against the pavement", while Datway dancers dance hypnotic choreographies. 

Seeing him on stage singing, dancing, and putting the audience in his pocket with his charisma, makes me think of Wampi's meteoric artistic growth, of the career he has cemented in just four years, and of the career he has built in just four years. which has made him one of the apostles of the cast and one of the figures who has done the most for its internationalization. In it the melody is synthesized with the street (Tony Dize said), and that may be one of the keys to his success: the combination of his Gen Z aesthetics with the "thuggishness" of his native Arroyo Naranjo.

Wampi's band sounds great, with a notable timba brand -which I guess is the trump card of reggaeton artists and live delivery- and the work of DJ producer Chico Frank, who subtly varies the original tracks, makes the experience not the same as listening to the album. The energy is so intense that one even forgets the playback that always accompanies these presentations (I wonder if the day will come when someone in the genre will get out of this habit). 

For almost ninety minutes, La Tropical is a sea of joyful bodies repeating the tunes sung by this twenty-year-old boy -I had to do the math three times, and I still find it hard to believe that Wampi is only twenty years old-. Papa John, Maleante, Roma, Suéltate Puty, Climax, Tóxica, Por Nosotros (2 and 3)... the collection of hits is proof of the overwhelming popularity it enjoys. I am struck by the absence of guests, but reviewing his latest hits I realize that most of the artists with whom he has collaborated are not in Cuba. Wampi himself is just settling here; the next day he will say in his networks: "Thanks to all my people in Cuba 🇨🇺 yesterday we spent DP at the Tropical 🌴🔥...It was a very special day because I know that from now on I go around the world 🌎 with the blessing of God and my Saints". Papa John, Maleante, Rome, Let go puty, Climax, Toxic, For us (2 and 3)... the collection of hits are proof of the overwhelming popularity it enjoys.. I am struck by the absence of guests, but reviewing his latest hits I realize that most of the artists with whom he has collaborated are not in Cuba. Wampi himself is just settling here; the next day he will say in his networks: "Thanks to all my people in Cuba 🇨🇺 yesterday we spent DP at the Tropical 🌴🔥...It was a very special day because I know that from now on I go around the world 🌎 with the blessing of God and my Saints".

For a long time, I am just another fan who sings the songs of a little boy who, against the tide, has turned the cast upside down. A boy who has closed many gaps and unites styles, cultures, and ages that seemed irreconcilable. During this concert, I lose any trait of singularity and I am one with the crowd, I forget that there is a structured world out there and I follow no rules other than the clave.

Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Wampi concert at La Tropical's Salon Rosado, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

At about two o'clock in the morning, with the entire Salon in a trance, arrives WashypupaThe recent song of El Taiger in which he collaborates, released a few days ago but already half of Cuba is already singing along to it. With the sound of "tú tienes que pagar pa' verla" (you have to pay to see it), everything is ready for a closing that will be provided by For usthe classic of Raymel Perez's then "trident": Wampi, Wow Popy and Fixty Ordara & Ja Rulay. Now that Rami Record's catalog has been scattered, it feels strangely nostalgic to hear this song that was launched less than two years ago.

La Tropical is emptying, and there is a euphoria that smells of Parranda beer and sweat, of the debauchery that the music provokes. The people who came here, almost all of them young, almost all of them of modest means, are taking with them a piece of a Wampi that we don't know when it will be like this again. On 41st Avenue, among the many groups marching and chanting songs, I spot a girl with Wampi's cap on her head. Surely it will be a trophy that she will show off to her friends, maybe she has already uploaded something to the networks. Tomorrow she and I will have to deal with the hangover, the tribulations and dilemmas of living in Cuba, but today the world, for a few hours and thanks to Wampi, was perfect.

Avatar photo Rafa G. Escalona Father of a music magazine. Professional procrastinator. His goal is to be a DJ for a station at dawn. Prince of random. More posts

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