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

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So, what was different in 2013?

Venue

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

People

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:
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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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ChocQuibTown: First Taste of Colombian Fusion Music

I start with ChocQuibTown as opposed to any other Colombian fusion band I love, out of respect. A 2007 gig of theirs in Bogota was my first taste of Colombian fusion music.  An awesome taste of much more to come.

By the time I found ChocQuibTown I had already spent one month in Cartagena on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. I had found no original live music there.

To Bogota

A woman coming alone to Bogota? It’s too dangerous. My advice to you is not to come.

Having decided I should listen to the Colombian woman giving me that advice, I had ditched Bogota in my Colombian travel plans.  Until some Bogotanos I met in Parque Tayrona told me that if I loved music so much, I had to go to Bogota.

So to Bogota I went – and musically blessed for that I have been ever since.

But I need melody

My first night there one of those Bogotano friends took me to Quiebra Canto, a well known bar in Bogota for live music.

I saw the band setting up and was thinking Oh no, there’s only three of them, and it all looks really percussive. I need melody in my music. This will be shite.

I was so wrong.

Bogota, Yes 🙂

The ChocQuibTown music I heard was incredibly unique, like nothing I’d ever heard before. Percussion yes, but also with an abundance of super sweet melodies.

It was awesome to dance to, the performance was amazing, and made me very happy I had come to Bogota.

The Mix

ChocQuibTown make music that is a fusion of Afro-Colombian music, funk and hip-hop.

They hail from the Pacific Coastal region of Choco, and their music and their lyrics pay proud homage to that fact. Those regional flavours with the funk and hip hop, blended seamlessly; the awesome melodies in the music and in the vocals and raps of Goyo, Tostao & Slow – are why I love the music.

Albums

ChocQuibTown have a few albums and an EP. You can easily buy the real CD copies on-line. Or you could buy the MP3 versions on-line too I suppose, if you wanted a lesser quality version.

Sample ChocQuibTown listening tracks here…

Choc Quib Town - Somos Pacifico (2006)

Somos Pacifico (2006)

 

 

 

 

Macru

 

Choc Quib Town - Oro (2009)

Oro (2009)

 

 

 

 

 

Mi Musica

 

Colombian Fusion Music, Yes 🙂

I’ll always be grateful to my Bogotano friend Sebastian for convincing me I had to go to Bogota. He introduced me to the joys of Colombian fusion music via ChocQuibTown.  Gracias amigo.

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