Peruvian Creole music taking on new forms through culture

World Today

This is the time of year when Creole music comes alive in Peru.

Popular at concerts and at home it brings together a blend of European classical music, African rhythms and melodies of native Peru.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.

Peru’s “cancíon criolla” is the folk music you can hear across the country. Everyone can sing at least one song or name at least one performer. And it encompasses an array of different styles like high-energy Festejo. To the more stately, Vals Criollo.

For Peruvians, particularly on the coast, the music stands for tradition and family.

For the young, it’s the music listened to, danced to and often played on instruments like the guitar and the cajon at home with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

For the older generation, it can produce real nostalgia because it’s the music of their lives.

“Peru loves creole music but the music of the golden age. Today, it’s very difficult to get our songs on the radio or to generate sales, so I think a new approach would really work to get the younger generation enthusiastic about our Peruvian music which is Creole Music,” said Marco Romero a Creole Music Artist.

Romero had a hit with a creole music song that became an anthem for Peru’s first World Cup entry in 36 years. He believes Peru’s creole music needs to stay up to date as younger Peruvians often see it as the musical style of yester-year. But some artists are using that perception to comic effect like the Juanelos.

A spoof creole music outfit who style themselves on artists of the last century to interpret modern musical genres like reggaeton or make witty observations on Peruvian current affairs.

“I don’t think creole music is disappearing, definitely there much more competition because there are other more modern rhythms but I think that creole music is in Peruvians’ DNA, that’s why, in a way, our group was a hit with the people. Listening to reggaeton with a Peruvian rhythm, people liked it, I think we’re showing that creole music has a lot to give and a lot to say, we’re even using it to make political comments, so it’s definitely going to keep going,” said Pedro Juanelo the singer for Los Juanelos.