Culture, Globe, Multiculture, Music, Our People, United Kingdom

Music and strength of an immigrant

In a journey throughout the impressive audio legacy of his hometown, Colombian artist Julián Mayorga releases his new album in which he seeks to go against musical clichés, in an act of protest that reclaims his roots with a unique style.

 

Daniela Arias Baquero

 

Born in Ibagué, the musical city of Colombia, he went to study in Spain when he saw there were few opportunities to live from this profession in his country. Now, from the old continent, he reclaims his own way of seeing the world through the rhythms that inspire him.

Julián is a multi-instrumentalist musician that blends cumbia and tropical music. His album “Cuando tengo fiebre veo la cabeza de un leopardo magnífico” (“When I have a fever, I see the head of a magnificent leopard”), is the last stop of a sound journey that evokes Tolima, now from the perspective of an immigrant.

His influences come from different parts. He remembers the sounds of Brazilian and tropical music, ranchera and Argentine rock that he had been listening to at home since he was a child. He had always been immersed in this relationship.

For Julian, music is a way of resisting the homogenisation of globalization, “a Western epistemic project that flattens the forms of life deemed unproductive” as he referrers to it.

For this reason, his musical approach is also a way of talking about the social context in his country from Tolima, a department located in the centre of the country.

During the time of violence in the 50s, peasants left the region due to the armed conflict.

“I want to talk about this because it is still happening. Even though the actors in those wars have changed, the situation is more or less the same”.

He also mentions his life in Colombia, and the villages of his grandparents, whose knowledge was passed on to generations.

“I’m sure there are ways of living and inhabiting the world that took time to develop, like that of the people of Tolima, which I believe is key to the humanity, and I don’t want it to disappear”, he states.

Julián associates his musical career with a vixen or possum?, given that he would like to perform musical genres like cumbia, mambo, plena or guaracha, but his experience has allowed him to approach them from the experimental.

On the other hand, he says that living off music is very difficult since there are no real working conditions, not even in Spain. Therefore, he admits that the first challenge during the pandemic was “to avoid dying of starvation first, and then of Covid”.

In his search for freedom through music and his need to reclaim his roots, he releases his album that states that “the ugly also have a soul”, and its echoes are huge.

More information: Cuando tengo fiebre veo la cabeza de un leopardo magnífico

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: cristinapopa83@hotmail.co.uk) – Photos by Marta Orozco Villarrubia, supplied by Charco Música)

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