Bomba Estéreo came together as a project organized by Simon Mejia in 2005, forming within the rich underground electronic scene that has become Bogota, Colombia. Recruiting fierce singer Liliana Saumet to join the group, Bomba Estéreo expanded its sound and captivating live show. The group plays an explosive dance-fusion of electronic dub and hip-hop, in a similar vein as M.I.A. and Santigold, mixed with Colombian rhythms like cumbia and champeta.
Bomba made their U.S. debut at SXSW 2009, an experience that helped establish the group and their latest release, “Blow Up.” In the last several months, the group has toured everywhere from New York and Brazil out to London and Dublin. In the summer of 2009, they rocked the European festival circuit, with ecstatic crowds like the 10,000 at Denmark’s prestigious Roskilde Festival.
“These recent experiences have been amazing,” Saumet says. “They’ve literally changed my life. Performing in front of 15,000 people, many who don’t understand what you’re singing yet they dance for the love of the music. It’s inspiring. It made me realize that our band needs to keep growing and building. Every day we need to get better and better while still keeping our musical essence.”
MTV Tr3s launched Bomba Estereo as their “Discover and Download” featured artist for the entire month of August 2009, adding the “Fuego” video into heavy rotation. This exciting news followed the group’s 7 electrifying shows in 5 days across New York City in July, which culminated with a set at Central Park SummerStage with Puerto Rican hip hop icons Calle 13. New album ‘Blow Up’ was also added to rotation at influential radio stations like KCRW (Los Angeles), KUT (Austin) and KEXP (Seattle).
The song “Fuego” was also recently spotlighted as iTunes’ “Song of the Week.” and was also featured during the fall 2009 as part of a McDonalds advertising campaign. Saumet describes the inspiration behind the fiery track: “We wanted to make a colorful song. It is all about the sun and getting sucked into the world. It’s about being in another state-of-mind.”
The influence of Afro Colombian rhythms and the coastal sounds is especially important to Bomba Estereo’s music. Saumet grew up on the Colombian coast in a city called Santa Marta. “It’s a small city with a beautiful and mystical force,” she explains. “The indigenous people call it the ‘heart of the world.’ Ever since I was young, I had the opportunity to listen to such a wide variety of music, from local folk music to sounds arriving from Africa and the United States. I think that mix is reflected in our own music.”
“Bomba Estereo ended the year focusing in the recording of the new album and began 2011 with performances in the Colombian Llanos Orientales, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. This part of the tour included the Chilean Lollapalooza and Vive Latino in Mexico. They then mooved on to perform in over 30 cities across the U.S. including the Coachella Festival and Austin City Limits.” “Between July and September of 2011, Bomba Estereo played in countries such as Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, U.K., Spain, and Sweden. Performances included greatly notorious festivals like the Eolica Festival in Spain, WOMAD and Village Undeground in the U.K., Les Scales in France, and the Paleo Festival in Switzerland. At the end of September, the band once again toured around the U.S. when they returned to Colombia to perform in Bogotá, Cali, and Medellin, among others.”