At the very center of Somos Calentura (We Are The Heat) – the Colombian movie directed by Jorge Navas – is music and dance. Making its official US premiere in February and now available on HBO Latino, the film captures the story of Harvey (Duván Arizala), who tries to steer his future away from a violent destiny in the mostly Black and poverty-stricken city of Buenaventura through dancing with his crew.
With music playing such an important role in the movie’s storytelling, Navas alongside music supervisor and former member of Sidesteppers Iván Benavides took on the adventure to find artists who not only represented the spirit of the Pacific coastal city in its rawest form, but also matched the energy of the dance moves, and the urgency of using art as a way of survival. With this in mind, it was only natural that the movie soundtrack ended up overflowing with Blackness.
From hip-hop and dancehall to dembow and funk, Somos Calentura’s soundtrack features sounds from the African diaspora, including music locally originated like bambuco viejo, beautifully performed in the film by award-winning Buenaventura musician and marimba legend Baudilio Cuama. Other familiar names like El Freaky, ChocQuibTown, Rocca, and Kzadores are also featured.
Another genre that widely appears on Somos Calentura is salsa choke, the irresistible product of breeding salsa dura, hip-hop, and urbano sounds in Colombia’s Pacific coast. Its dance moves are equally known as its rhythm, some of which became internationally known thanks to the Colombian National Soccer Team’s celebrations during the 2014 World Cup.
Through this list, we want to highlight five of the Afro-Colombian salsa choke artists and their songs used on Somos Calentura to turn up the vibe to a hundred, and soundtrack some of our favorite dance scenes in the movie.
Somos Calentura is available on all HBO streaming platforms (HBO GO/HBO NOW/ On Demand).