A new star of the Mexican alternative music scene and afro-futurist Caribbean rebellion.
Folkloristic electro pop from Mexico meets Columbian afro-futurism when Pahua and Ghetto Kumbé play a double feature at Blå during this year's Oslo World. Ghetto Gumbé from Bogotá had to cancel last year's concert at the festival, but now they are finally ready for us, together with one of the fastest rising stars of the alternative Mexican music scene. After the concerts, the evening ends with Oslo World favorite DJ Bacalao - all on one ticket!
The Colombian trio Ghetto Kumbé is calling on people from all around the world to rise up, and join their digital rumba. Their almost ritualistic concerts are based on a powerful blend of percussion, Caribbean house beats and traditional afro Colombian rhythms inspired by West Africa. The Colombian alegre drum and African djembe played by Juan Carlos “Chongo” Puello and the dundun played by Andrés “DocKey” Mercado intertwine, while Edgardo “Guajiro” Garcés mixes electronic beats and samples. Before the band was founded in Bogotá in 2015, the three musicians played together on tour for years with bands like the legendary fusion pioneers Sidestepper or the Salsa band La 33.
Edgardo “Guajiro” Garcés mixes electronic beats and samples. Intertwine with the dundun played by Andrés “DocKey” Mercado, while the Colombian alegre drum and African djembe played by Miguel Guerra Guerrero.
All three musicians hail from the Caribbean coast, and in Ghetto Kumbé, they use musical motifs from Africa and Colombia’s Caribbean coast, coupled with electronic production, creating Afro-futurist soundscapes.
Inspired by different revolutionary movements emerging all over the world, Ghetto Kumbé have become one of the most important bands on the alternative Colombian scene. They have played killer sets at some of the biggest festivals in Europe, such as Roskilde and Glastonbury. Dressed in fluorescent masks, their concerts are both otherworldly and grounded in uncomfortable realities. They address the unjust divide between the poor and the rich, the rising prominence of dirty politicians, and the ethics of the capitalist system. When Ghetto Kumbé performs, the will to protest meets the urge to dance.
Colombian and Mexican cumbia, folkloric sounds and electronic beats - it all comes together in Pahua, the brainchild of the Mexican percussionist, singer, composer and DJ Paulina Sotomayor. With four EPs under her belt, she has become recognized as a Mexican pioneer of alternative electronic folk music, with deep roots in the tradition and a keen ear for the current trends in global Latin rhythms.
Sotomayor’s career began at the age of 7, when she became part of Mariachi Charanda, a traditional group which performed popular songs in Nahuatl and Purépecha. She was a member for 12 years, learning to play percussion along the way. In 2011 she founded the band Jefes del Desierto, where she was the singer and drummer, and in 2014 the electro-Latin project Sotomayor followed. With it, she recorded three studio albums and toured Mexico, the United States, Central and South America, and Europe.
Pahua was created during the pandemic in 2020. It’s a mix of electronic music with Latin rhythms, empowering lyrics and a message of positivity. It is also a success - her tracks have become regular fixtures on editorial playlists at every streaming platform, and collaborations have ensued with artists such as Terror/Cactus (ARG), CERO39 (COL), La Dame Blanche (CUB), Gizmo Varillas (ESP), Klik & Frik (ARG) and Jitwam (US). In 2023, Pahua will release her first album, Habita, which includes collaborations with artists from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica and Venezuela. This autumn, a breakout star of the Mexican alternative music scene will perform her very first concert in Norway at Oslo World.
DJ Bacalao from Colombia mixes indie disco beats with alternative African rhythms from soukous, afrobeat and champeta, all part of the Colombia's African heritage. He plays cumbia, classic salsa and Latin jazz, mixed with sounds from Haiti and Brazilian funk, a DJ sets that moves between both sides of the Atlantic.