Colombian Artist Manchado’s “Courageous” Is a Pop-Reggaeton Pep Talk

Lead Photo: Photo by David Rondón. Courtesy of the artist

In the new video for indie pop troubadour Manchado’s new track, “Courageous,” the Colombian countryside is as much of a character as the singer himself. Set in the lush fields and waterfalls of Cunday – a remote town in the Tolima department of the South American country – Manchado tames a horse as the sun sets, donning a chic modern take on traditional llanero garb.

Elsewhere in the video, the multi-hyphenate hunk, who also produced the song and video alongside an all-Colombian crew, is seen going shirtless and gripping vines à la Tarzan as he poses in a waterfall. In a particularly notable shot, clad in a sleeveless tee that reads “descoloniza tu mente,” things dip into magical realism with our hero meandering the fields while holding a mirror that reflects his horse, a reminder of the animal in us all.

“I think a lot of the times, people forget how valuable parts of our culture are, but this song and new set of music is about finding myself within my culture and using elements from it to create something new,” Manchado says about the track. “I hope other Colombians find beauty behind the humility in our culture and ourselves.”

The song that grounds this nature quest into the heart of Colombia’s landscapes is probably not what you’d expect: “Courageous” is an invitation to the dance floor, a self-proclaimed “wholesome reggaeton” with uplifting lyrics about finding bravery within oneself injected with electronic flourish, the low tinkling of strings, and an infectious bass. Paired with the hypermasculine aesthetic of the Colombian campesino, it becomes an inversion of the machismo and over-sexualization so pervasive in Latin American culture.

“Courageous” was conceived above all as a reclamation of Manchado’s Colombian identity. “Growing up, I was fixated on foreign things for all my life and never stopped to see the value in my Latinidad – after living in New York for five years, especially in this administration, my way of reclaiming my identity was honoring my roots,” he says. The sentiment speaks to an experience so many Latinx immigrants have grappling with where they come from once they emigrate. “Things that might seem mundane and unimportant I wanted to exalt and show how wonderful they are.”

Watch the video for “Courageous” above.