Colombia’s power duo Bomba Estéreo has always woven subtle political statements into their explosive electro-cumbia. “Soy Yo” can be read as a feminist oath to be true to oneself; “Internacionales” celebrated the way dance floors transcend borders to bring people together. But today, the band is making what might be its most explicit declaration yet with the video for “Amar Así,” which honors queer relationships by chronicling a love affair between two Colombian soldiers stationed on a Caribbean island near Santa Marta, the hometown of frontwoman Liliana Saumet.
The video, directed by Ivan Wild, drops on the same day that Colombia inaugurates its conservative president-elect Iván Duque, who has opposed same-sex marriage in the past. The storyline in “Amar Así” functions as an anchor of support to the LGBTQ community.
“We think this is a very important and relevant story to share right now,” the band’s co-founder Simon Mejía said. “The world is passing through a crazy time — not only in Colombia, but all around it seems like extreme conservative policies are taking over and it is pretty scary. As artists our only weapon is to keep on pushing the opposite way. We are trying to remind everyone that the world should be a place where there should be no prejudice for sexual orientation, race or religion. Maybe then, we will be a better society.”
The band reached out to Wild and shared that they wanted the video for “Amar Así” to portray a queer love story. Wild explained to Remezcla that he immediately began researching different angles and approaches to queer history and representation, and he was drawn particularly to imagery of ordinary men dressed as soldiers from the 1950s as a way to capture themes of hidden desires within society.
“I liked the idea of a secret between people who know how to keep them,” he said. “I also liked the idea of a secret that isn’t — you expect certain situations to occur depending on the context and what history has shown you about the same situation. Altering some elements of what people think they know helped revitalize the way we intend to know the world.”
Wild also said the video’s breathtaking location near Santa Marta helped form the emotional core of the story. He explained that landscapes like the one in the video reflect the “strength, hostility, beauty, and complexity of the tropics,” which shape the narrative and symbolize the impulse pulling the video’s protagonists together.
“I feel that the physical space speaks about the characters – it is not only the place where the situation occurs, nor the one that causes the situation, but in some way it also represents the situation itself — a natural state that unfolds with vital force without regard or morality,” he said.
Watch the video below, and catch Bomba Estéreo on tour below:
UPCOMING BOMBA ESTEREO TOUR DATES
8/7 – Nashville, TN – The Cowan
8/9 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
8/10 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live
8/11 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore
8/18 – Guayaquil, EC – Parque Samanes
10/6 – Guadalajara, MX
10/9 – Mexico City, MX – Pepsi Center
10/10 – Monterrey, MX – Auditorio Rio 70
10/13 – Tijuana, MX – Black Box
10/20 – Morelos, MX
11/24 – Buenos Aires, AR – Ciudad Cultural Konex
11/26 – Montevideo, UY – La Trastienda
11/28 – Santiago, CL – Teatro Caupolican
11/30 – Sao Paulo, BR – Audio
12/5 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
12/7 – Oakland, CA – The Fox Theatre
12/8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Novo
12/11 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
12/12 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
12/13 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
12/15 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall