April Outlook: Bolivia
By sounds from here
April brought us a lot of musical activity, and every weekend in the main cities of the country we have a varied offer of concerts and presentations, dividing the not so large public that attends cultural shows. Little by little, Santa Cruz de la Sierra began to become a city of permanent musical movement, and April was marked by two festivals that began that month: the now traditional Misiones de Chiquitos International Festival of American Renaissance and Baroque Music, which brought together to groups and ensembles from twenty countries for 10 days, and the debutant Música con M de Mujer, which celebrates the talent of 24 female artists over four weekends; To this we must add the constant activity in venues that offer live music together with young talents who join forces to carry their message and make themselves known.
It is evident that today there is a lot of music being created in the country. Now comes the difficult task of developing audiences that, for many years, had limited options.
These are some of the biggest releases of the fourth month of 2022.
Suddenly, without making much noise, and without promotional songs, Grillo Villegas released a new studio album, the successor to Music should lift us September 2019. The third work of the singer-songwriter after dissolving You arrive, brings nine songs and marks the end of one of the longest breaks between albums for the musician from La Paz, in his more than 30-year career. Posted on April 12, Hermeticism had Villegas recording guitars, pianos, keyboards, percussion and vocals, in his home studio in La Paz, while the bass and drums were recorded by the Argentines Matías Méndez and Pablo González in Medio Naranja, Buenos Aires. El Grillo will play live again in May, after more than two years away from the stage due to the pandemic; his customary annual tour will take him to seven cities in the country.
Leo Camargo, musician and producer based in Salta, Argentina, premiered meet again, another of the advances of Chepiagui, an eight-song work that will be released in the coming months. The Santa Cruz, author of songs like Intense and flowing, includes in this new proposal instruments such as sax, legüero bass drum and donkey jaw, and confirms ⸺once again⸺ that he is one of the most interesting exponents of new Bolivian music. The song has a video designed and directed by China Gómez, who was in charge of the previous two clips of the singer-songwriter
Mariana Rueda, former vocalist of the Santa Cruz band Las Lesbis Futbol Club, officially presented her first solo song, after a couple of singles with Matone in April of last year. In I do not like you, the 22-year-old singer brings a proposal that flirts with the shoegaze and punk, within an aesthetic lofi. Barely over two and a half minutes long, it's one of those songs that we put on repeat, over and over and over again.
A year and a half after The umbrella, the musician and poet from Oruro Vadik Barrón published the first promotional Valley, work recorded in the city of Cochabamba with Mao Khan (Quimbando) as producer. As part of a seven-song album, Karma has the Russian-born singer-songwriter betting on a fresh start, after leaving the album incomplete Kitchen in 2020. According to Barrón, his most recent song talks about "farewells, of forgiving, of wishing well, of wanting to be better, of cycles that are renewed."
Luciana de la Torre, known by the artistic name of Lu de la Tower, presented a new song/video under the joint production of Jesús Oliva and Maurizio Alessio. As her first song released this year, the breakout soloist of 2021 brings us an infectious pop number that features a video clip directed by Freddy Arteaga of Onze Estudio. At 22 years old, the Santa Cruz bets everything on her music, standing out for her elaborate videos and the careful production of her songs.
Radio Cutipa, a project that brings together Álvaro «Conejo» Arce in programming, synthesizers and samples, René Hamel on charango, Andean flutes and voice, Imilla Kózmica on voice and charango and Luis Daniel Iturralde on percussion, published his first song on platforms on April 1st. under the title of Wara Wara, was composed by Arce and Hamel and is a morenada that serves as a sample of the sound that Radio Cutipa will bring, merging native rhythms from northern Bolivia with electronic music, using native instruments such as toyos, moseños, quena, tarkas and others. The quartet is preparing its first album for August this year, with 10 songs produced by Arce.
Singer-songwriter Mateo Cuiza released his second EP, a four-song work entitled The foam of the days. Produced by JOF, the successor to Songs in the Bunker 2020, was recorded in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, unlike the first mini album that was recorded in La Plata, province of Buenos Aires, the city of residence of the young Santa Cruz musician. Included on the disc are I wait you outside and tkm, which served as promotional.
La Paz Sercha Ramírez, one of the most important voices of his generation, and one of the few who continues to make music to this day, presented For all of us who were, his first solo song. The former Ragga Ki, exKimo and current singer of Son Fusión, is putting the finishing touches on Astrolabe, a four-song EP that was produced by Jotape Villalba, a Bolivian musician based in Mexico. Ramírez comments that it is a reggae/pop song born in a pandemic, as a tribute to those who are no longer on this earthly plane, but who remain in our memories. The theme has a video clip directed by the filmmaker Diego Cowks and the production company Ska Films.
Mila Magal from Santa Cruz continues to promote her self-titled EP, this time with a new video directed by Mariana Domínguez. The clip for what i never said, the third track of the mini album, had the participation of the film actor Quim del Rio (You manques me, 98 seconds without a shadow) as the main protagonist, together with the model Luisina Erro. Magal's debut EP is available on all platforms from streaming.
On April 20, in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the Music Festival with M for Women began, an initiative of Sounds from here that brings together 24 female artists from different cities in the country. Over four weekends, renowned artists such as Vero Pérez, Mayra Gonzáles and Ale Lanza (Timpana) share the stage with more recent names such as Las Majas, Mila Magal, Mariana Massiel, @Noni, Irene Torrico and Lu de la Tower, and emerging musicians such as Fer Villarroel, Belén Bowles, Feluval and Nia Cole. More than 40 women in total will pass through the three stages of the festival, the Meraki theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Altillo Beni Museum. On the two weekends of May 6 and 13, Las Majas, Fer Villarroel, Becky Blue, Mayra Gonzales, La Otra Minina, Viudita Moderna, Mila Magal, Color Jausí, Mariana Rueda, Fer Gómez, Feluval and Ciara Crapuzzi. You can find songs from several of them in the playlist next.
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