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Bomba Estéreo are bringing their tropical-electro to London this summer, performing at Latitude Festival on Sunday 15 July followed by a headline date at XOYO on Monday 16 July 2018.
Formed in 2005 in Colombia’s capital Bogotá, Simón Mejía and his band mates infuse electronic music and psychedelic cumbia vibes. The band released their fourth album back in 2015, with their lead single Soy Yo being selected for the FIFA 16 soundtrack, as well the 2017 film Pitch Perfect 3.
We chatted with band founder Simón about their upcoming summer shows, the future, and the best party he’s ever been to.
Are you excited to be returning to the UK this summer?
Yeah very much, y’know going to Europe is so special. We tour here like once a year, in summer mostly, so it’s always a surprise to see Latin music getting stronger every day and every year. People are getting more accustomed to Latin music, and we have to sing in English…no? It’s international in that way, especially for us, so we love flying to London and Europe and we’re very lucky.
What can fans expect from the show at XOYO?
We are varied people, and we have a lot of influences. We like tribe music, we like tropical music, we like dub, Jamaican dub and African music so the show is kind of a blend between all those genres. Everything from African music to Colombian music. In general, the music is summery dance and allows people to fall in love with Colombian music too.
You’re performing at Latitude this summer. What’s your favourite thing about playing festivals?
We love the festival vibe. We love sharing with other bands and learning and appreciating, being able to see shows that we’d never be able to see. It’s a great experience, it’s like a learning experience. We join in a lot and it’s very special.
Have you been working on new music?
Kind of. Like a couple of singles throughout the year, but we plan to go and make an album early next year.
Do the band have any pre-show rituals?
Yeah, more or less. We try to meditate a little, and concentrate the feeling you have before going on stage. We have a band hug, a circle of trust that we do. We just hug each other and try to keep the energy between ourselves, like concentrating before we go on stage and have a really good time with the audience. I try to be in silence before and then go for it.
What is your favourite part of touring?
The travel. Going to new places, trying new food, learning about new cultures, and sharing our culture is a big thing too. We’re really trying to bring a piece of ourselves and our music and culture, and hope that you like us. We love doing that.
Any other band you’d like to tour with?
Yeah for sure, we just toured with Arcade Fire last year and that was an amazing experience. We did a few shows in New York and in Latin America with them. In general though, I dunno. Probably another band we love. We love Arcade Fire’s music so that was such an experience, perhaps an African band, or an electronic band would be great.
Your band name translates to “Stereo Bomb” in English – and I read it’s a Colombian term for a really “cool, bad-ass party” can you elaborate on that?
Yeah, [Laughs] It’s kind of a joke! Because Bomba means bomb, so it’s like a stereo bomb, but in Spanish it means like explosion but also having a great time, or a ‘bomba’ time. It’s like an open word so you can choose what it means. It’s like a really good party, with good music. A party you can’t describe.
And what’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
I would say the Carnaval de Barranquilla in Colombia. It’s like parades and tropical music and culture, it’s the best party in the world. You should come!
Any more plans for UK tour dates after the summer?
We are touring all over Europe this summer. We’re playing Lollapalooza in Berlin and Paris in September, and then after we’re going to the States, Latin America, and then in January we’ll start on the new record. So maybe we’ll be back after that.
Ready to party? Tickets for Bomba Estéreo’s UK dates are available now via Ticketmaster.co.uk