Nueva Era

03/05/2018Cuba's Daymé Arocena Is A Vocal Force To Be Reckoned With

Today, we would like to rewind to an album released in 2015 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings, being the debut longplayer of then 22-year-old Afro-Cuban singer Daymé Arocena entitled "Nueva Era". Arocena has since released her equally enticing sophomore album "Cubafonía" in 2017, but "Nueva Era" in our humble opinion deserves another look or rather listen.

"Nueva Era" sees the classically trained Daymé Arocena combine "the intertwining musical legacies of her native Cuba" with electronic production, to create a rich and powerful tapestry of sounds, including influences from jazz and soul yet rooted firmly in traditional rhythms and folkloric Santería music as she "strives to forge a cohesive musical language from Cuba’s distinct musical dialects" (which becomes all the more evident on her second longplayer "Cubafonía").

That being said, Daymé Arocena can be seen as introducing a new era in contemporary Cuban composition. You can listen to title track "Nueva Era" in the SoundCloud player above, or watch her perform a mesmerising Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music below. Her music is available via Bandcamp.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom