Why Shakira loves this African beat

Why Shakira loves this African beat

If you go to a Shakira concert, you may see
her do this. It’s this part of her show where the drummer
starts soloing and she’s kind of freestyle dancing. And during this section, she’s dancing to
a variation of the exact same beat. In its most basic form, it sounds like this. “Cumbia de Colombia!” Did you catch that? “Cumbia de Colombia”. The music is called cumbia. You can even hear it in electronic dance tracks. And it has its own category in the Latin Grammys. And it all started here, up near the Caribbean
coast of Colombia. I traveled to the villages where cumbia comes
from. And I learned that this specific place, here
along the Magdalena River, was fertile soil from which this music could grow. But cumbia is in fact a blend of several strong
musical traditions. Mainly African and indigenous, but also European,
mixing together to make something new. Something totally unique to the time and place
from which it came. Okay now just watch what these two drummers
are playing. We can also look at this another way. This beat is the backbone of cumbia. And I wanted to find out where it came from,
so I flew to the beautiful Caribbean city of Cartagena and drove south to a village
that was founded hundreds of years ago. In the early 1500s, the Spanish came to Colombia
as part of their Latin American conquest. And with them they brought more than 100,00
captive Africans. But some of these slaves managed to escape
and build their own communities. And that’s how this village was formed. This place is the first known settlement of
slaves who rebelled and started their own community back in the 17th century. And so because of that, they were able to
maintain a great deal of their African culture. The residents of this village preserve their
history with music, which is based on the rhythms their ancestors brought over from
the homeland. These songs are a living, breathing part of
the town’s culture and history. And with time, these beats started to spread
in the region, influencing different styles of music. Does this sound familiar? This is the beating heart of cumbia and no
matter how many instruments are incorporated, or in what country it’s played, the beat always
stays the same. The drumbeat brought over from Africa is the
main ingredient of cumbia, but eventually the rhythm started blending with instruments
from a totally different musical culture: that of the indigenous people of Colombia. I came to visit the Gaiteros de San Jacinto,
a musical group that has been playing cumbia since the 1950’s. In 2007 they won a Latin Grammy for their
folk album and they’re able to continue by training up new generations, who keep these
old traditions alive. We’re in the backyard of one of the drummers, who’s showing me how they make their own instruments using the same methods their ancestors did,
like these maracas. And this flute, called the Gaita, which is
a quintessential indigenous instrument. So this is what the cultural fusion of the
root of cumbia looks like: you have the Gaita, a key element in indigenous music, and then
you have the drum section playing rhythms directly influenced by the African village
just an hour from here. Together they create this unique cumbia sound. In addition to the African rhythm and the
indigenous wind instruments, there’s one more ingredient to this fusion: the European influence. The cumbia is always evolving and there’s one more European influence that is more recent. It’s this instrument that Yeison is holding:
the accordion. And in fact, it was his grandfather, dubbed
the “King of cumbia,” who traded his Gaita flute for an accordion, thus changing cumbia
forever. But once formed in this region, it didn’t
stay put. In the past century, cumbia has spread throughout
all of Latin America, further evolving in the process. While I was in Colombia, I shot an extra bonus episode for our friends over at Eater. It’s about this amazing fruit market in Bogota
that I visited and it was really fun. I think you’ll love it. It’s gonna be published on Eater’s YouTube
channel, so head over there to subscribe and I hope you like the episode.

Comments (100)

  1. Want to see the behind-the-scenes content from Vox Borders? We're releasing exclusive footage from Johnny and all our other creators in the Video Lab:

  2. All these instruments are of West African origin not Native American, from the Maracas, drums, flutes etc.. Cumbia is a pure African musical style sang in spanish.

  3. Cumbia 101: Gracias gringos 😉

  4. jungle mooseek makes rain falls yall

  5. 6:50 Is that Mexican Keemstar?

  6. Bless the rain down in Palenque.

  7. Long live Afro Latin music!
    Que viva la música afrolatina

  8. Dude head over to #Guatemala

  9. It's a bit like sega…..

  10. Vox can you do o e on sega please?

  11. 5:51 Meanwhile in Germany, you can buy Hohner instruments for next to nothing cause nobody wants them 😀

  12. I think that’s in the Go Diego Go themesong

  13. Cumbia is popular across all Latin american countries.

  14. Your title is very misleading cumbia has morphed into a very important cultural piece of Latin America. For you to simply brush aside millions of people across 2 continents is demeaning and ignorant. Cumbia is a Latin American thing, Cumbia is not played in Africa, Europe, or Asia, so for you to say Shakira is in love with an African beat is ignorant.

  15. In Brazil we have Calypso! And also have accordion.

  16. Excellent video! Did you know that dancing Cumbia by dragging the feet supposedly comes from the slaves being still in shackles? And check this song: "Yo me llamo Cumbia" by Mario Gareña, sung by Leonor Gonzalez – It´s the quintessential cumbia.

  17. How funny that one of the drummers last name is Batata, like the rhythm, ba tata ba tata

  18. I thought this was a Mexican thing? I wish the US had cultures like this though

  19. Thank you for making such an awesome representation of my culture!! Respect!!!

  20. at least her freestyle looks way smarter than some modern youngster dance …

  21. these beats reminded me of music dj from sony ericsson phone <3

  22. Señor Landero’s ending words at the end of this video were just beautiful.

  23. Her song for the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP held in South Africa is the best world cup song period.

  24. I’m literally obsessed with Shakira screaming “CUMBIA DE COLOMBIAAA” I can’t stop laughing ??

  25. Thats why cumbia is lit!?

  26. as an african i am proud

  27. that's exactly why I'm hooked on La Yegros!! This beat!

  28. How can I be a part of the vox border team?

  29. Don't matter where Africans go, always take from Africans. Funny how all popular music styles take from African, yet jews profit from the culture. whatever i guess

  30. FWIW, the gaita mentioned is specifically the Colombian gaita. In the Spain the word refers to bagpipes similar to those used in Scotland and Ireland played in the north west of the country.

  31. Can somebody tell me what song is playing in minute 5:52

  32. I’m
    Colombian❤️❤️ mi Tierra Linda!

  33. This show and ear worn are the only redeemable parts of Vox/Verge. Sorry to block you. Hope you and the decent people working there move to a decent company.

  34. I love this really enjoyable

  35. Cumbia, the best colombian musica to the world

  36. Of course the Colombians make the most popular Hispanic form of music

  37. That's called gallop rhythm. And no, they did not invented it. To my knowledge it was horses.


  39. I’m so proud to have Colombia in my blood

  40. anyone else leave this video kinda swaying and bouncing a little? music just has such a power, I love it

  41. The flute actually sounds exactly like the flute used during traditional events in all of south eastern part of NIGERIA

  42. I love vox borders, learnt a lot these past days

  43. Aka like north America, South america music and culture is basically african diapora culture appropriated by whites. The maracas, flutes and singing arent "native" or "european" but african aswell. The instrument combo is standard for any african cultural group. How surprising. Even what is clearly african they attempt to deafricanize and include others to avoid what is obvious. Exploitation and obsession of african culture?. How sway.

  44. when you live there like me and you here that music more that 5 times you go insane

  45. Yo bryce harper why u sign with the Phillies??

  46. When I was young I lived in Colombia for a couple of years. I remember hearing the cumbia on the radio. I learned a lot from this video, thanks! You never get too old to learn!

  47. Love Colombian Cumbia! Finally someone recognizing the difference !!! Love it! Vallenato Next?

  48. Great documentary ? gave me a more appreciation for cumbia. Love from ?? thank you ??

  49. Got a Spanish target add for this which features the same beat

  50. Now thanks to bieber and drake we have our own Americanized version of it

  51. Glad to see they say it has African influences because my experience is Latinos will turn away from any implication of African anything. ( Not all just most). I did a DNA test ( I was born in USA of Jamaican parents) and typed in different countries throughout the Americas and has matched with me with most. I have Mexican cousins, Brazilian cousins and I can see the far reach of the slave trade. Be careful who you hate, they might be a distant cousin.

  52. ?beautiful (a proud Latina)

  53. Wonderful both the original Cumbia and the fusion.

  54. The first time I heard Yeison's grandfather, I was intrigued and my intellect went…pop!
    I love Cuuuuuuumbia!

  55. If music from different places can blend together and make a great new sound, does it show that people can live together and get along well, too? So why are there conflicts?

  56. White privileged people discovers cumbia. This is bigger than the black hole picture

  57. just subscribed great work on this series

  58. HI, What was you other chanel called? Eat….

  59. You know you should have warned us. I can't unsee what I have seen. Every song I listen to I notice the beat.

  60. This video is well done amazing work

  61. What a great video… Congratulations!!

  62. The guy who talks in these videos is what makes these videos awesome !

  63. So, who do we hate for creating these awful sounds? Some goddam South American who was eating ice cream and said, "is that mustard?! Lemme put that on ice cream!"

  64. Yes, the single beat of the African rhythm began it all.

  65. I almost thought this was an episode of earworm.

  66. 3:10 VIVA COKA VIVA COKA ❄️

  67. What’s the song at 3:46

  68. don't forget despacito

  69. which camera you used?

  70. When the drummer was beating the drum and repeating the word “Africa” tears welled up in my eyes , the way he was saying it reminded me of Malian music, and I thought of the terrible transAtlantic journey. Black people, I love you , I love my people. I always say African people and Palestinians are the most resilient and beautiful people. I love you my people. You are mothers of humanity , the first on this planet and we will be the last on this planet, keep being resilient, no matter what misfortune they do to us, they can never defeat our spirit. I love you black people everywhere.

  71. Reymix Oye mojer

  72. And that’s is why Shakira in her song says “ We are all Africa”

  73. i have used cumbia rhythmt without knowing it ….. "samanta – e jota" is the song and i am from europe so this true what he is talking about

  74. I love that other people get to know our beatiful and rich culture outside guns cocaine and pablo escobar btw. i love how this series shows the beautiful side of colombia

  75. Shakira dances mixing dabke and cumbia. Sharira is of lebanese origin, that is why she dances dabke so well.

  76. Do reggaetón and Brazilian funk

  77. Asi es como nacio el peor genero

  78. My cumbia ^^ I love that kind of music 😀

  79. Kudos to your video editor(s) and graphic designer(s)!!

  80. an amazing video! congrats

  81. Rhythm not beat

  82. And this is why Africans love shakira

  83. she latina of course she loves this. it's in latina culture like telenovelas and stuff.

  84. Selena used that in her music

  85. What’s the name of bomba estéreo’s song?

  86. I like this episode. Wish it was not a white man narrating it


  88. love this episode!

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