Orishas Reunited For New Album

Orishas only did two things that troubled me during their 11 years together creating stunning, one-of-a-kind Cuban hip hop music. The first was featuring Pitbull on one of their tracks “Quien Te Dijo” – and there ain’t no way of ever undoing that.

The second and much more devastating thing was their decision to split up in 2010.  All five Orishas albums have been on high listening and dancing rotation since- well and truly part of my Love & Appreciate For Forever-After Music Collection. But each listen still made me wish for new Orishas music to add to it (I’m greedy I know).

Six years on and the trio has remedied that selfish trouble of mine by delivering the super-exciting news of their reunion.


How far that reunion goes beyond the recently-recorded single is anyone’s guess. Hopefully it involves the recording of many more Orishas albums to come and the blessed opportunity for fans around the world to have themselves the live Orishas experience. It’s one I never got to have- and since the split thought I never could. With this news Orishas goes back up high on my Live Music Bucket List, in hope.

Orishas are Yotuel Romero Manzanares, Roldán González Rivero and Hiram Riveri Medina (“Ruzzo”). If their music-making history is at all reflective of what’s to come, the world is in for a special treat. The elements that make up their distinctive sound – the very different rap flows of Ruzzo and Yotuel, the heavenly singing voice (+ guitar & bass) of Roldán and the beautiful sounds of traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms seamlessly fused with modern hip hop beats and live instrumentation – with lyrical stories, sentiments and slang dearly particular to Cuba…ain’t found anywhere else in this wide world of music.


If you don’t already know and appreciate the musical goodness of this group check out these sample tracks from their albums past- and watch the Orishas space to hear new music they’re gifting the world in 2016.

Orishas - A Lo Cubano (1999)“A Lo Cubano” – A Lo Cubano (1999)


Orishas - Emigrante (2002)“Niños” – Emigrante (2002)


Orishas - El Kilo (2005)“Al Que Le Guste” – El Kilo (2005)




Antidiotico (2007)

“Que Vola?” – Antidiotico (2007)


Cosita Buena (2008)

“Machete” – Cosita Buena (2008)


Get any or all of those hard-copy Orishas albums into your own music collection here.

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ChocQuibTown Demonstrates The Power of Music

Back in Bogota from Medellin a few hours – all other plans for the night cancelled when a friend told me ChocQuibTown was playing a gig in Bogota.

I had to go yes? Six years on from my 1st ChocQuibTown gig in Bogota –my introduction to Colombia’s amazing fusion music bands. I love their Pacific Coast hip hop/Afro Colombian/funk fusion music.  I had to choose to have the live ChocQuibTown experience again.

ChocQuibTown at La Puerta Grande


So, what was different in 2013?


The 2007 ChocQuibTown gig was at Quiebra Canto– a bar well known for live music in a very down to earth (some would say dodgy) central area of Bogota.

The 2013 ChocQuibTown gig was at La Puerta Grande – a very upmarket bar in a very affluent Bogota suburb known as Parque 93.  My 1 drink of the night was truly the most expensive drink I’d bought anywhere in the world before.  La Puerta Grande might be a little pretentious – but it’s also a really nice space with some cool decor, beautiful ambient lighting, even big palm trees growing out of the floor. ChocQuibTown @ La Puerta Grande - Bogota 2013 - Beaver on the Beats


Much less than at the 2007 gig (30 mil pesos tickets-alot of $ in Colombia-might have been why?). Selfishly it meant more space to dance.

Vibes were fine, vibes were good.  Slightly subdued maybe? Lacking a fire perhaps?

Basically the overall Quiebra Canto experience in 2007 was much more fun and lively than La Puerta Grande one.

ChocQuibTown Music

Chocquibtown’s songs were awesome to listen and dance to in 2007, and even more awesome to listen and dance to in 2013.

The quality of singing, rapping & toasting by the 3 principal members of ChocQuibTown (Slow, Goyo & Tostao) was faultless.

ChocQuibTown @ La Puerta Grande - Bogota 2013 - Beaver on the Beats

Slow, Goyo, Tostao

There was 1 big difference between the 2007 and 2013 gigs. As well as Slow on beats, ChocQuibTown also had a fantastic, funky live band (including horns) with them.  For me that made all of the music (including vocals & raps) sound more full and alive. The band was a great surprise.

ChocQuibTown @ La Puerta Grande - Bogota 2013 - Beaver on the Beats

The songs they played seemed to have more funk flavours than before – and I loved that cause in the end funk’s probably my most favourite music genre, just.

Set Time

I am guessing that ChocQuibTown’s set was about 45 minutes long?  However long it was it felt really, really short.  I wanted much more.

ChocQuibTown @ La Puerta Grande - Bogota 2013 - Beaver on the Beats

Check out these videos of ChocQuibTown’s La Puerta gig yourself…

 “The Power of Music”

One last thing I want to share about the ChocQuibTown gig: A friend I went there with said this to me afterwards (referring to some comments made by ChocQuibTown about the recent killing of a U.S citizen near Parque 93 and the government and media propaganda around it:

If people talk about those type of things in a political discourse in Colombia they can be killed.  If musicians say them it’s okay. That’s the power of music. 

ChocQuibTown live in Bogota, Colombia 2013

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