Colombian band Bomba Estereo finally released their highly anticipated album “Deja” four years after their last album “Ayo” in 2017. In a time as uncertain as ours right now, “Deja” is a breath of fresh air, as a moment of anchoring in music where we manage to be present and to connect to our planet with music. In the words of singer Li Saumet: “We made this album so that you can dance to it in a club, but at the same time, it has a deep meaning. It is for you to dance the perreo with a conscience.
In an exclusive interview for cream by mitú, we spoke to Li Saumet about the inspiration behind the album, conceptually dividing songs with different themes based on the elements, how the pandemic shaped the creation process and more.
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The launch of ‘Deja’ gave fans a taste of the album’s themes which are: agua, tierra, fuego & aire.
‘Deja’ is conceptually divided by the four elements: water, earth, fire, air. Earlier this year, Bomba Estéreo started giving fans a taste of the album by releasing the songs of ‘Tierra’ leading up to the release of ‘Deja’ today. The decision to have a different deployment for this album seemed very natural for Li Saumet.
“We didn’t want to follow the models of the music industry by releasing a single here, another there. Also with our current times right now [with the pandemic], we also didn’t want to rush with the release of single after single, we wanted to follow the flow of nature this time around, because as humans we are always on the move. We never get the chance to really digest a work. In Latin music, I feel like we’ve lost that essence and that feeling that we get from albums, to follow a concept, ”Li explained.
To record the album, Bomba Estéreo met a community of collaborators who gathered in a beach house in Santa Marta. On Colombia’s Caribbean coast, where the Sierra Nevada mountains meet the sea, they dropped everything and recorded ‘Deja’, which captures their alternate tropical essence. “We recorded the album in a place that we consider sacred, where the energy is extremely powerful, we were connected to our surroundings and let nature speak to us.”
For Li, it was about taking their time to create something that they are truly proud of, something that doesn’t feel rushed. “With this album, Simón and I wanted to showcase the different elements and processes of nature that don’t have to be dictated by a release date or a label, so we took our time to create this album. It was very nice for us to have a different roll out and show the fans the elements, and also since everyone was home in their 40s, so now with the full album they will have the full experience. Li explained.
“The album is about connecting and disconnecting human beings – from the planet, from yourself. It’s about how we are disconnected, more connected to electronic devices and virtual things than to real things. So we decided to use the four elements, because they are part of the balance of human beings. – Li Saumet
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The album explores different themes including mental health, love, grief and living in the moment.
Deja’s spirit is found on “Ahora», Which broadcasts a message of mindfulness and being in the present. “I am sitting in the right place / At the right time / At the right time”. For this one, Simón made field recordings that included natural sounds of birds and crashing waves. For Li, she sees herself as nature’s platform for expressing her feelings in her songs.
“My songwriting process is very spiritual, it’s not really me who writes the songs, I channel them, they come through me. I spent a few years preparing myself spiritually so that the message could be delivered more directly and purely to the people listening to us, ”Li explained.
“The lyrics have to say something positive, because at the end of the day, music is a mantra.” – Li Saumet
On “Agua”, “Tamborero” and “Conexión Total”, Bomba Estéreo highlights Afro and indigenous sounds
Bomba Estéreo has always been true to the Afro-Colombian and indigenous roots of their sound that captures the vibrant lifestyle of the Colombian coast. On “Agua”, we can hear bullerengue and a mixture of tropical sounds, paired with Colombian artist Lido Pimienta and the voice of OKAN. On “Tamborero”, percussionist Pacho will take you to the Carnival of Barranquilla with his drums in one of the most catchy tracks on the album.
“Conexión Total” is one of the album’s rare collaborations with Nigerian singer Yemi Alade. About the collaboration, Li shared, “Our music is from Africa, so it was good to have Yemi on the song. When I heard the final song I was like ‘Wow’. It was the perfect match to have her voice with this song.
Stay tuned for our video interview where we go track by track with Bomba Estéreo on ‘Deja’ next week.
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