Skip to main content

funk therapy: Cimafunk takes on America with a new Afro-Cuban groove

“Cimafunk” is the artistic name adopted by Erik Alejandro Rodriguez and a statement of his musical philosophy. “Cima” pays homage to the Cimarrones. “Runaway slaves fled to remote areas of the island in order to form their own free communities with a new culture, neither African nor colonial.” Cimafunk explains. “That Afro-Cuban identity has been essential to my music for a long time.” The name signifies an openness to sounds from all over that tradition, wherever music has the same zest for cultural mixing, joyful survival, and self-determination. From that perspective, American funk is another strand of African diaspora music, one that Cimafunk loves for its power to get people dancing.
Cimafunk’s love affair with American sounds started early, when a lone Lionel Richie cassette provided the soundtrack to childhood rides in his uncle’s car. After eating, digesting, and recombining American music ranging from Marvin Gaye to Prince for years, Cimafunk is finally visiting the U.S. for the first time on this tour. Is he feeling the pressure? Not really, he grins, “I just want to see how people respond. I’m going to enjoy it, and make sure everyone goes home in a good mood.”
“Me Voy” (I’m leaving), Cimafunk’s breakout single, fuses Afro-Cuban carnival rhythms with funky slap bass and a flavor of Nigerian Afropop. Cimafunk’s voice sizzles as he sings what happens after the party’s over with sly innuendo: “I’m going home, but if you want, I can go to yours.” An award-winning music video follows Cimafunk as he dances on the streets of Havana with school kids, hipsters, and old folks, accessorizing his signature flat-top with mirror shades and a cheeky smile that’s as infectious as his funky groove.
The rise of Cimafunk’s star has been meteoric, but he’s earned it with a musical apprenticeship that crosses Cuba and its music scene. After youthful flirtations with trova and reggaeton criollo and a couple of years of medical school in his hometown of Pinar del Rio, Cimafunk made his way to Havana. He scraped by painting and buffing cars until he got a break singing backup for fellow Pinareño Raúl Paz. Singing and songwriting with Interactivo, the acclaimed Cuban musical fusion collective, completed Cimafunk’s education and readied him to go solo.
Friends from Interactivo, including Roberto Carcassés and Brenda Navarrete, lent their talents to some of his album’s tracks, but Terapia is all Cimafunk: his personal love-letter to the sounds of Cuba and America.
Everyone who heard Terapia knew it was something new and exciting, but Cimafunk credits his band for the energy that powers his live shows. The stage at a Cimafunk concert is crowded—a drumset and a set of congas, keyboards, backup singers who also play trombone—but Cimafunk never considered touring with a smaller lineup. “We are like a family, and we need to share the energy,” he says. “The whole process is like therapy. When you feel the connection between the musicians, something starts to wake up.”
Follow the link below to stream/download tracks and view tour dates. And please let me know if I can get you any press materials to aid your coverage or arrange an interview with Cimafunk!
Cimafunk - Funk Therapy: Cimafunk Takes on America With a New Afro-Cuban Groove
03/19/2019
Cimafunk is an ambassador for the young Cuban movement that’s pushing traditional music in unexpected directions. His unique contribution to that scene draws from 1970s funk and African beats to create playful.
Play - Download Album

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Flutin Puts Emerging Artists Where They Need to Be: In Music Fans’ Playlists

App boosts indie musicians via AI-powered playlists and engaging UX

Austin-based Christophe Lavigne had been working on his music for years, leading the rock band Arrows to Fire. Like a lot of indie artists, he’d done all he could, but the results were disheartening. An album’s worth of tracks on Spotify would garner less than 50 listeners.

Lavigne discovered Flutin, an app that tunes into users’ locations and habits, and things shifted. As his songs popped up in hundreds of thousands of users’ custom playlists, he got stream after stream, racking up half a million plays in just 10 days.

“Christophe had spent money on ads and boosts on social media, but was really struggling to find the right channel,” says Flutin CEO Vishu Gupta. “He was dealing with what lots of emerging musicians face in the market without a network. They struggle to find a relevant mass audience and build a financially viable career. On the other side, listeners who would love their music only se…

Cultivating Wild Data: How Entertainment Intelligence Is Bringing Meaningful Analytics to the Streaming-Age Music Business

It’s fun to talk about data, its ubiquity and importance. It’s not so fun to make sense of a billion lines of data from multiple service providers for an entire label roster.
That is unless you’re Greg Delaney, the founder and driving force behind data analytics platform Entertainment Intelligence (Ei). The service has been quietly helping independent labels and distributors work with data like the majors do, analyzing playlist performance, setting meaningful benchmarks, and tracking spikes that pop out of deep catalog. Clients include Domino, Secretly Distribution, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Naxos, Concord Music Group and Zebralution, among others.
“If the indies all get together, you can have the tools that rival, if not surpass, what the majors can do,” Delaney states. “It’s hard for a big company to pivot quickly, but smaller labels can, with our support”
After founding Crowdsurge, a global fan-club ticketing company that worked directly with artists like Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters, Dela…