WASHINGTON D.C., U.S.A. – Bomba Estéreo, a Colombia-based band, started the year on fire, performing at two festivals in Latin America before rocking the United States during a 29-city tour.
“Our music is reaching new audiences,” said Julián Salazar, Bomba Estéreo’s guitarist, about their U.S. tour, which began in mid-April.
The name of the band’s tour, “Body and Soul,” couldn’t have been more fitting.
“When we are on stage, we try to give as much of ourselves as we can,” Salazar said. “When the fans start dancing and jumping, that in turn gives us a lot more energy.”
The effort exerted by Bomba Estéreo during a show moves and inspires the audience, which was evident during a recent show at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on May 5.
The band promotes its latest album, “Ponte Bomb,” which features the band’s version of Technotronic’s dance-floor late 1980’s classic “Pump up the Jam” as well as an assortment of innovative remixes for “Fuego” and “La Boquilla.”
The U.S. tour has been satisfying and a great platform for the band to gain exposure, Salazar said.
Bomba Estéreo’s music transcends linguistic barriers and no matter where it plays, the audience can’t resist moving to the band’s soothing sounds, Salazar said.
“We didn’t expect for people to know our music [before the show],” he said. “But the reception we’ve had has been quite surprising.”
Salazar said Bomba Estéreo prefers to play in small, intimate venues, which allows it to make a stronger connection to the audience.
“In smaller venues you are in direct contact with the crowd and you feel their energy,” he said.
This foursome of Bomba Estéreo came together during a project organized by Simón Mejía, the band’s founder and bassist/programmer, in 2005.
But Bomba Estéreo’s success didn’t come overnight.
The band originally was formed as A.M. 770, as an assembly of disc jockeys and visual artists, led by Mejía.
Mejía first teamed with Liliana Saumet, the band’s lead vocalist, and the two released Bomba Estéreo’s first album, “Vol. 1,” in 2006.
Mejía and Saumet were joined by Salazar as lead guitarist and Kike Egurrola on drums, completing the band.
Since then, the band found its niche with striking sounds of electronic music mixed with Colombian folkloric roots music mixed with hip-hop beats.
Bomba Estéreo’s musical style has taken them to key festivals like South by Southwest, Lollapalooza, Coachella, and many others throughout the world.
Salazar said the band’s hard work is paying off.
“People are realizing that we are a band that knows its identity and have come a long way,” he said.
Bomba Estéreo also is receiving praise from the music and movie industries.
The recently released American film “Limitless” features a remix of Bomba Estéreo’s “La Boquilla,” a song featured on the “Ponte Bomb” album.
Last summer, Bomba Estéreo was named “Best New Band in the World” by MTV. The group recorded a session with fans in a small downtown New York City venue for MTV.
Salazar said they will work on their third album, which is expected to be released later this year, when they’re done touring.
“We are still in the process of composing songs,” Salazar said about the recording of their third album. “There is still a lot of work to be done.”