Posts Tagged With: Danza Kuduro

Brazil Strikes Again – The World Listens

I don’t speak Portuguese. But I have a Portuguese language program loaded on my laptop and I’m learning.

Don’t know what it is about music sung in Portuguese – specifically Brazilian music – but it grabs me and I want to listen to it all.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had a birthday and she gave her guests a CD loaded with a variety of Brazilian music. I play at least a couple of songs on that CD everyday, sometimes over and over. I speak Spanish, so I have some idea of what the singers are saying, but vaguely. I was playing the CD in my car with two visiting guests from Brazil listening. They told me the music was not the best of Brazil, in fact one of them said the music downright sucked. Well, to my ears it all sounds good. But you know the saying – everything sounds good until you know something about it.

I don’t know much about Brazilian music, I confess. But I do know what I like. So when I first heard “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” by Michel Teló, I was instantly taken.

I first heard this song as I made my way on a bus to Southern Chile. Then I got to Argentina and I couldn’t get away from it. Uruguay same thing. It blared from buses, passing vehicles, stores, you name it. It was obviously a huge hit for  Teló, a Brazilian singer-songwriter who has been performing since the age of six. This song has made him an international sensation. And now I am in Miami and of course we’re a little behind, but the song is all over the place! And people can’t seem to get enough of it.

Not since “Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar featuring Lucenzo (handling the vocals in Portuguese) has a Brazil-linked artist struck it this big in recent times. Sure, Brazilians the likes of Sergio Mendez have been around for years, but in this age of social networks and YouTube, an artist can become an international sensation literally overnight.

Incredibly, there have been more than 330 million views of a single Danza Kuduro video alone, and when you add other views and other sites the number easily is a staggering 500,000 million views. I must say, Danza Kuduro, after more than two years from its release, still gets me going, even more so than Ai Eu Se Te Pego. Danza Kuduro is simply a brilliant collaboration and mix of various latin forces.

So here’s the video. Let me know what you think.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE DANZA KUDURO VIDEO

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Reggaeton’s Bad Rap

Since traveling through South America I have gained a new appreciation for Reggaeton.

I love all kinds of music and there has been some reggaeton that I have enjoyed and even bought. I still love Angel Y Khriz‘s “Ven Bailalo”. I sing it all the time.

Reggaeton blends reggae, rap and latin music. The haters say it all sounds the same and its monotonous and a tad obnoxious. I knew there was much love for reggaeton across Latin America but I never knew there was such dislike for the genre.

I joke with my friend Kahyda Rivera all the time about her dislike for reggaeton. Kahyda, who is from Ecuador, doesn’t mask her distaste for the music. I thought she was an oddball – after all what Latina doesn’t love reggaeton?

Then as I traveled more I began to hear from others in South America who despise reggaeton. Even some young people who are the ones attracted most to the music say there’s only so much of it they can take. Wow. What’s going on here?

As I thought about it some more I began to realize reggaeton was suffering the same backlash rap and Hip-Hop had suffered. Across the world it’s not hard to find people who despise Hip-Hop. And yes, millions love it.

Another problem is that some people classify as reggaeton music that is not, as is the case with Chino and Nacho, whose “Mi Niña Bonita” is heard 50 billion times a day blaring from cars, from clubs, from homes, from shops, from every street corner. This song isn’t exactly reggaeton but because the artists are young and fit the reggaeton artist look they get labeled as such. “Mi Niña Bonita”  is closer to merengue than anything else.

But hip-hop and reggaeton seem to elicit some serious hate in comparison to other types of music. I mean, I know some people who don’t like jazz but they don’t wear t-shirts or display the word REGGAETON on their Web sites with an encircled bar through it. It feels like the same backlash disco music suffered during the 1970s.

While my love for reggaeton was limited, it now has expanded. I guess being exposed to it everywhere I go does that. I have several favorite reggaeton artists and tunes, but my absolute favorite – the one that gets me out of my seat – is “Si No Le Contesto” by Plan B. It’s a catchy tune, alright. Not a day goes by without me singing a line from the song. Before “Si No Le Contesto”, “Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar, featuring Lucenzo. Can you believe that one video of that song has garnered 159,243,835 views on YouTube? And that’s not even counting the other videos of the song, including remixed versions. “Danza Kuduro” recently became the most viewed music video on YouTube in Latin America. So somebody out there likes the genre.

Recently in Cuenca, Ecuador, I went out with a bunch of friends. We were all ready to go dancing. We, however, spent a great deal of time on the street trying to decide where we should go because some in the group wanted to avoid reggaeton like the plague. They were insisting on finding a dance club with a wide variety of music, and if that included reggaeton so be it as long as it wasn’t playing all night.

So this journey has opened my eyes to the love and hate relationship Latinos have with a form of music that’s all their own. And strangely, instead of making me like the music less, I like it even more.

 

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