Champeta is the riotous Afro-Colombian street sound of Colombia's Caribbean coast—a powder-keg of rhythms from local slave descendents brewed together with Congolese soukous, Ghanaian highlife, and Nigerian Afro-beat. Three years in the making Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land is finally set for release September 10. The album finds Colombian Champeta stars Viviano Torres, Luis Towers and Justo Valdez jamming with African legends Dally Kimoko, Diblo Dibala, Sekou Diabate, Nyboma and Rigo Star, bringing Afro-Colombian grooves back home to African soil. Afro-Latin rhythms have never sounded like this before.
In 2003, Lucas Silva “Champeta-Man Original”—a well-known figurehead of Afro-Colombian music— brought some of the great talents of Afro-Colombian music from the Caribbean coast, alongside their African brothers. Bopol Mansiamina, a Congolese guitarist and arranger, and the Cameroonian drummer Guy Bilong traveled to Cartagena to work with the three Afro-Colombian singers Justo Valdez, Viviano Torres and Luis Towers. Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land is the product of their talent and hard work that continued in Bogotá and Paris with other well-known talents from the Congo, Guinea, Angola and Cameroon.
Part of the Valdez family—a musical dynasty from Palenque—Justo Valdez was the founder of Son Palenque, a legendary group of Palenquero and Afro-Caribbean musicians. Viviano Torres was the founder of the group Anne Swing and during his career he has recorded several pioneering Champeta works. Valdez, Torres and Luis Towers all grew up in Colombia listening to the music of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, the Haitian compás, calypso and soca. It is these influences that they fuse with their own cultural background and musical heritage to create this dynamic and breathtaking sound.
Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land fuses the energetic sounds of Colombia's Caribbean coast with some of the greatest guitarists of Africa, including Diblo Dibala, Caien Madoka, Dally Kimoko and Rigo Star. A star soukous guitarist, Dally Kimoko has recorded hundreds of albums in Paris, after moving there at the age of 26 from Kinshasa. The legendary guitarist Sekou “Diamond Fingers” Diabate, founder of Bembeya Jazz, also took part in this musical adventure and features on the song “Kumina.”
The album also features the sonorous voice of Nyboma, who traveled with Kimoko to Paris and is best-known for his work with the Kekele Orchestra. He shines as a special guest on “Mama Africa,” “Jaloux Jaloux” and “Tus Huellas.” Bopol Mansiamina, who originally became famous with his group Les Quatres Etoiles, is also known for his countless other productions, many of which are among the best-loved African hits in Colombia.