Bomba Estéreo are described as “a Colombian electro-folkloric dance band”; such is their varied, often eclectic and massively popular music. We mention that because they might well be the biggest band you haven’t heard of, with millions of followers and record sales, and hundreds of millions of YouTube views. The band started some 20 years ago, with founding member Simon Mejía releasing the first album Vol. 1, almost as a solo effort. Recruiting band members over further releases, Bomba Estéreo started making huge waves, voted MTV’s Best New Band in the World, and notching up plays on film (Limitless and TV series Dexter) and in video games including Fifa and Just Dance. They have also enjoyed major success in the US, with headline festival appearances and major brand ad soundtracks. So maybe Mejía’s particular production philosophy – where he doesn’t chase down the next big plugin and prefers to be led more by yoga rather than the brain – is something we should all aspire to. And having a studio up a mountain…
1 Tell us how you got into music
Simon Mejía: “When I was a kid I was curious about what my parents were hearing and their record collection. It consisted of Fania, rock and Motown music, mainly. Salsa music always intrigued me. That power and that sense of Latin. You cannot hear salsa without wanting to dance or move your body in some way. It was the door for me, as a kid, to the world of Latin music, which was the style I was going to explore through my life.”
2 When did you get successful?
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