Come with me to sample some Chilean music! From traditional folk music to the music of hometown Chilean musicians, to the popular music that’s hitting the airwaves in Chile today, the music of Chile is as diverse as the country’s identity. Here is what Elder Archuleta might hear on the radio or audio system in a public place, or in someone‘s home where the music is playing.
Los de Ramón
Los de Ramón, a Chilean folklore group formed by the Ramón family of Raul, his wife and their two sons, was dedicated to preserving Chilean and Latin American folklore by interpreting its songs with the typical instruments of each country. During their shows they would interchange more than sixty instruments according to each country.
They gave over 90 concerts in the US, Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Los de Ramón have a special space in Chilean folklore history. Here’s a sample of one of Los de Ramón’s songs, “El Camaron”, (The Shrimp) In my opinion, between the rhythm, tempo and style, it resembles music from Italy. What do you think?
“Illimani” is the name of a mountain in the Andes. For over 30 years, this band, whose name means “Sun of Illimani” has been at the forefront of Chilean music, both traditional folk and contemporary. In the seventies they were very outspoken lyrically and were forced into exile for 15 years. They moved to Italy, continued to record and tour and became unofficial ambassadors of Chilean music. They performed with Pete Seeger and were included on the famous 1988 Amnesty International Tour with Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Sting. Catchy beat on this! “Bailando, Bailando” (Dance, Dance)
Current Popular Chilean Musicians
Los Bunkers (band)
Los Bunkers is an alternative rock band of five musicians that originated in Concepcion, Chile in 1999. Brought together by their common love for The Beatles, they’re known for playing classic rock music with a new freshness. They have released six studio albums and have covered several Beatles songs including “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Here Comes The Sun.”
Myriam Hernandez – solo artist
Singer/Songwriter Myriam Hernández hails from Santiago, Chile and is known for her romantic ballads. She has had an enormous career since the late eighties when she was eleven years old. She was named Best New Artist by the Chilean press before she even recorded her first album. Her songs spent months at the top of the music charts in Latin America and the US, and her albums have gone quadruple platinum in many countries including the US. Her second album, which she collaborated on with David Foster, went platinum. She founded the School of Vocal Arts with her voice instructor and voice therapist. In 1996 she was asked by Paul Anka to collaborate on an album of Spanish hits called “Amigas”. She was even named one of Latin America’s 25 most beautiful people in the June 1999 issue of People magazine en Español. With all these credentials and successes I was curious to hear her voice and see what she looks like! Que bonita!
Alberto Plaza – solo artist
Born in Santiago, Chile, Alberto Plaza is a singer/songwriter who is known as one of the main pillars of Hispanic music, with more than a thousand concerts in Latin America and more than a million CDs sold. He started singing and playing guitar at age five and began writing music at 17. His professional career began in 1985 when he performed before 12,000 people at a song festival and his song “Que Cante La Vida” (We Sing Of Life) became an all-time classic. Fifteen years later the same song was awarded “Best Chilean Song” and nine years after that, was chosen one of the top ten Chilean songs in all Chilean history. Plaza was named “Cultural Ambassador of Chile in the US”, a title granted by the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce. He has garnered numerous awards, including Best Songwriter, Best Album of the Year and Goodwill Ambassador of the Latino American Culture”, in honor of his valuable contribution to Hispanic music through his songs. Alberto Plaza is currently based in the United States, where he has lived for the last twelve years. I was curious to know why his song “Que Cante La Vida” was so popular. It’s a feel good anthem song and was sung by 28 Latino artists two years ago to come to the aid of victims of a Chilean earthquake.
“Que Cante La Vida”
Here’s another song I took a liking to by Alberto Plaza, “Bandito”. (Bandit)
Finally, I was especially interested in the music that plays on the radio in Chile, to see what Elder Archuleta might hear in his travels. I checked the Billboard charts to find the Top 20 songs that are currently playing in Chile. These are not necessarily by Chilean artists, although I see a song by Los Bunkers on the list. You’ll notice some artists on the list who are popular in the US too, like Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Adele and Pitbull. I found all the videos, played all the songs and provided the videos for my favorites. Hey, it‘s my article. Enjoy!
Chile Singles Top 20
Week 31, 2012
1. Corazon Sin Cara by Prince Royce
2. Amor Clandestino by Mana
3. Ven Conmigo by Daddy Yankee
4. Te Voy A Amar by Axel
5. Amiga by Alexander Acha
6. El Amor by Ricardo Arjona
7. Paisaie by Vincentico
8. Amor Del Bueno by Revli Barba
9. Respira by Luis Fonsi
10. Amarte Bien by Carlos Baute
11. You by Romeo Santos
12. Party Rock Anthem American by LMFAO
13. Rolling in The Deep by Adele
14. Estrellita De Madrugada by Daddy Yankee
15. Nada de Nada by Marco di Mauro
16. Ayer by Enrique Iglesias
17. Angel Para Un Final by Los Bunkers
18. Give Me Everything Tonight by Pitbull
19. Dame Un Beso by Fuego
20. On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez
Since Spanish is not my first language, I went into this project with the notion that I won’t understand the songs since I won’t be able to understand all the lyrics. Surprise. Surprise. I came away with a respect and an appreciation for Chilean music, from their traditional folk music to the music of their native musicians. It doesn’t matter so much that I don’t understand all the lyrics; their passion for life comes through loud and clear in their music. And I love that.
Razor TV interviewer to David on 2/8/12:
Are we going to finally see a Latin/Spanish album finally?
David: Oh man, you know, I keep wanting to do that but it’s like I want to be more prepared. I want to be really ready for a Latin album. I did some writing for some Spanish music but maybe I should at least record one Spanish song before I leave. When I get back I’m for sure going to. I’m going to definitely record a Spanish album when I get back just because I think I’ll have some influences when I’m gone.
Be very afraid.