Five artists putting a new spin on traditional Colombian sounds

Colombia is a country of diverse musical influences. Even though traditional Colombian rhythms are much loved, and much celebrated, there […]

Colombia is a country of diverse musical influences. Even though traditional Colombian rhythms are much loved, and much celebrated, there are plenty of artists keen to fuse the sounds of yesterday with those of tomorrow. Here are the Colombian bands and singers changing the sound of a nation and taking it to the world:

Bomba Estereo

Bomba Estereo are all about fusion, mixing some of the country’s best-known beats, including cumbia and champeta with international music like electronica, reggae and rap. The band formed in Bogota in 2005 and have since released four studio albums and an EP, with Fuego, Que Bonito and Pure Love among their biggest hits. The five-piece were nominated for a Latin Grammy for Elegancia Tropical in 2013 and Song and Record of the Year for Fiesta at this year’s awards, at which they took to the stage with Hollywood megastar Will Smith.  Bomba Estereo were influenced by Colombian groups in the 1990s, who first mixed rhythms like salsa and cumbia with electronic beats and dance music.

Colombian sounds

Systema Solar

Systema Solar is a colorful Colombian band, formed in 2006 by Colombians and international artists who wanted to bring Colombian sounds to the world. The band has a strong Afro-Colombian influence and combines dance, hip hop and breakbeat with rhythms including cumbia, champeta, bullerengue (an African sound originating with slaves on the Caribbean coast) and porro, which has indigenous origins. The band’s biggest hits include ¿Quién es el patrón? and Mi Kolombia and they like to focus on serious issues.

Colombian sounds

(You may also enjoy: The sound of music, traditional Colombian instruments)


Humberto Pernett, who grew up in both Barranquilla and Bogota, is another Colombian artist determined to infuse traditional beats with a modern sound, mixing the rhythms of the Caribbean with electronic music. He was a member of world music stars Sidestepper, touring with them in the United States, Mexico and Europe, before deciding to go solo. Pernett has since released five albums, including Musica Pa’ Pick Up with the hit Caribbean Raver. He has a passion for percussion and has collaborated with artists from bands including Calle 13, Son Palenque, Malalma and ChocQuibTown.

(You may also enjoy: Songbirds, Colombia’s rising songwriting stars)

Maria Mulata

Singer Maria Mulata was born high in the Andes, a few miles from the Magdalena River, where she was raised on bambuco, cumbia, porro and vallenato. She completed that magical musical mix by graduating from Bogota’s Javeriana University with a degree in music and opera singing before she began to study the African influence on Colombian sounds. Maria has recorded four critically-acclaimed albums, including Los Vestidos de la Cumbia and De Cantos y Vuelos and toured Europe, Asia, Africa and America, singing in Spanish, Palenque, creole from San Andres and various indigenous languages.

Colombian sounds

Palenke Soultribe

Energetic and original, Palenke Soultribe (also known as PST) are a live electronic music collective who blend Afro-Colombian rhythms with electronic music. PST have released three albums, including Oro in 2009, which was reviewed by Billboard Magazine and nominated for an Independent Music Award. The group, who invite guest producers, singers, songwriters and musicians to perform and work with them, are now based in Los Angeles but returned to Bogota to film the video for their single Te Veo, which became one of the most-watched videos on MTV3.

If you liked this article please feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.

Rate this post
Artículos recomendados
Mountain Climates, Colombia, beautiful views, geography and climate, colombia climates

Colombia's Diverse Mountain Climates

Colombia is famed for its great climates diversity, including its deserts, tropical rainforests, savannas, prairies and mountain ranges.
carlos vives, Colombia, talento, Santa Marta

Carlos Vives, a great ambassador for Colombian folklore

The artist from Santa Marta was the first Colombian to receive a Grammy. 
Colombian religious museums, Museums, Tourism, Religion

Six museums filled to the brim with Colombia’s religious treasures

Colombia has a vivid religious history and houses some of the most beautiful religious art, artifacts, furniture and jewelry in...
Selección Colombia, copa América

Colombian National Football Team stars that shone at Copa América

Modern day legends James Rodriguez, David Ospina, Yerry Mina, Falcao Garcia and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado are just some of the...
Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, classical music, Bogotá, Colombia

Where to see classical music in Colombia

Colombia is a famously musical country, but with all that cumbia, vallenato, ranchera, salsa, merengue and pop, you might be...
Colombian Food

10 Key Ingredients in Colombian Cooking

Colombians have a deep love of family and enjoy nothing more than gathering as many relatives as possible around the...
Cumbia Colombia, Colombian music, Colombian rhythms

Everything you need to know about Cumbia

Cumbia is Colombia’s national dance, one of its most representative rhythms and the source and inspiration behind much of the...
The Columbus Theater in Bogotá, one of the places to visit in Colombia | Colombia Country Brand

Discover the magical architecture of these places to visit in Colombia

The cultural heritage sites of Colombia are a true testament to the history and identity. This places will always be...
Tejo, Games, Turmequé, Colombian games

Colombia’s most beloved sports: Tejo and Chaza

Football isn’t the only sport that Colombians go mad for. Across the country, local sports that have been played for...
Valledupar Colombia

Vallenato, the history of an entire region

Valledupar is the hottest place in Colombia, a city built on scorching plains that stretch between the region’s huge snow-capped...