Fusion artist releases new album featuring Peru’s folk sounds

By February 15, 2016

Peruvian fusion musician Jaime Cuadra’s new album, “Raza,” features electronic and funk mixed with traditional Andean music.

The artist known for “Cholo Soy” and “Mi Propiedad Privada” has deviated from his traditional mixing of Peru’s Creole waltz music to the Andean highland sounds of folklore. He collaborated with Cusco band Ukukus Brothers to fuse the sounds of flutes and small guitars into his own electrofunk style.

“This time I wanted to create a powerful project the presents the sound of Peru,” Cuadra told El Comercio. “People abroad, when they hear the flutes and panpipes, they do not think of Bolivia or Ecuador, but Peru.”

The artist who has won various awards for his music dismissed criticism that the album is a marketing ploy aimed at coffee shops and cocktail lounges of the English-speaking world.

“I do not think of the commercial side when I make music, as if doing a jingle, even though I worked in that for years,” Cuadra said. “When I compose I like to do things that really make me feel and fulfill me as a person … You have to create something, and I want to leave the country and with the name of Peru up high. It does not have to be with Andean sounds, but I like them and I think it is something that has not been done.”

Cuadra emphasizes that the album also incorporates pop, funk and hip-hop.

“Andean pop funk could be [the genre],” Cuadra said. “Andean electrofunk if you want to put something ‘electronic’.”

Cuadra produced his first album, “Jaime Cuadra,” a fusion of Afro-Peruvian music in 1992. He has produced 10 more albums before releasing “Raza” this year, including “Cholo Soy – Peruvian Waltz Chillout” in 2005, which won the Independent Music Award for Best World Music Album. Three of the album’s song were featured on the 2008 film, “Quantum of Solace.”

Watch the video for the album’s title track, “Raza,” below:


Jaime Cuadra: “Cuando hago música no pienso en lo comercial” (El Comercio)

Biography (Jaime Cuadra official website)