Cumbia, Musica Chicha and Grupo 5

December 26th, 2007

Cumbia is a type of music that originated in Colombia as folk music and has since spread across Latin America becoming hugely popular. You’ll find it slightly different in each country, listened to by different sections of the population. Readers from the United States might be familiar with famous Cumbia singers Selena and The Kumbia Kings.

In Peru, Cumbia is often called “chicha” music and can be listened to on tens of thousands of buses and in parties throughout the country. The term musica chicha is often derisory though – in Peru it is a favourite among the lower classes and is sometimes viewed with contempt by some in others (such things are fading rapidly though). One comment on the YouTube video below, for example, declared musica chicha an embarrassment to Peru. Most Peruvians though enjoy the catchy tunes even if they don’t take them seriously.

This year Grupo 5 have been very successful, their songs heard regularly on TV, radio, in parties, buses, taxis and everywhere. The group is from Monsefú, just outside Chiclayo where I have recently visited.

You can find out more about Grupo 5 here.

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