On this week’s Bandpicked, the New York based duo Salt Cathedral have picked their favourite South American 90s dance hits. Mainly to prove that every country has their own version of Haddaway or Livin’ Joy.
Juliana Ronderos and Nicolas Losada were born in Colombia, and this upbringing along with the dancehall sounds and Caribbean rhythms heard in their current Jamaican neighbourhood have been a huge influence on their music. Their debut album Big Waves/Small Waves, slated for release later this year, will develop this sound even further and feature collaborations with dancehall singer Assasssin, dub legend Lee Scratch Perry and Matisyahu, who appeared on their outstanding single ‘Unraveling’.
As for the decision to pick their favourite 90s dance hits, I’ll pass you over to Salt Cathedral themselves…
“Have you ever stopped to think that if your upbringing had been in a different country or region of the world, the hit songs from your youth would be completely different? And there’s no way of knowing what that alternate reality would have been – how would growing up in Mumbai or Korea change your musical upbringing?
This list is a little musical window into growing up in Colombia – a country with an intense dance culture. Here are 10 South America 90’s dance hits that you missed out on (if you’re from another part of the world) and they’ll all make you go crazy!”
1) El General – El Meneaito
El General from Panama did this crazy song that involved a very sexy pelvic move. It was the “everyone break into choreography” moment at any given party. Now that I think about it, how come we were dancing like this in front of our parents?
2. King Africa – La Bomba
So this one is kind of the South American macarena where you follow instructions on how to dance. An all ages song for the holidays. Typically when this is played you would see everyone from your grandma to your brother dancing intensively.
3. Rikarena – Sueltame Gorila
Sueltame Gorila means “Gorilla! Let me go!” Kind of weird lyrics but the beat is fire so who cares right? This song is a merengue (a Caribbean style originally from Dominican Republic). The pace is super fast until you reach 1:46 when it gets slow and sexy. Rikarena was one of those bands where all the songs were merengue hits.
4. Latin Dreams – Vuelve
This is the most romantic and nostalgic song ever. The fact is, a lot of Colombians that I know have probably sung their heart out with this one, probably super drunk.
5. Latin Dreams – Quiero Una Chica
Similar effect, different song, Latin dreams have that power.
6. Big Boy – Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti
This used to be a rapping competition. The one that could rap the whole song and not get asphyxiated would win. Juli tends to be the winner. Wait out the slow intro, you’ll see what I’m talking about…
7. Juan Luis Guerra – La Billirrubina
Can’t leave out this incredible song by Dominican artists Juan Luis Guerra. If you could dance to this song, you would get all the girls. The thing about our culture is, when you’re 15, the boys that can dance get all the girls.
8. Carrapicho – Tic Tic Tac
The Carrapicho was the strangest phenomenon in South America. It was a hit song in Portuguese that everybody knew and used to dance to. Nobody discussed it. They just danced to it.
9. Chichi Peralta – Procura
The ultimate love song. This is when you’re super drunk and happy.
Well, that’s how I like to listen to Chichi. I guess if you don’t know what
he’s saying you probably won’t get it. Look for the lyrics in English.
10. Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song (Asereje)
Ok. I cheated. They are not from South America but, they had such a huge impact that I can’t avoid putting this song on any list.