Combo Chimbita’s ‘Babalawo’ Video Is An Insight Into Puerto Rican Ballroom

It’s a remarkable new single…

New York based latinx group Combo Chimbita have shared their new single ‘Babalawo’.

The band seemingly debuted the song during a show alongside Sun Ra Arkestra, and it’s a bewildering mixture of post-punk, indie rock, and a sense of freewheeling improvisation.

Out now, ‘Babalawo’ deals with the subconscious, while diving into shared mythologies; the circular guitar riff is hypnotic, while the percussive appeal lifts Combo Chimbita’s music to another realm.

“This song narrates a dream I had in which an Eggun (deceased person) assuaged my fears and encouraged me to continue down my path,” says lead singer Carolina Oliveras. “They said ‘Ponte pa lo tuyo,’ a directive to follow that which is already mine – a message I felt important to share forward … While it may seem that this song is dedicated to a particular Babalawo (similar to a priest in a Yoruban context), it’s also an homage to the many teachers who form the Yoruban culture and religion around me and continue to inspire a deeper exploration from me.”

The powerful video features Edrimael Delgado Reyes, a bold queer artist renowned as one of the fathers of the vogue and ballroom scene in Puerto Rico.

Reyes comments: “Interpreting this song was a challenge, it has so much power and energy for me to embody through my movement. My hope is that people experience the joy and intensity I felt while dancing.”

Tune in now.

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