A Brief Introduction to Champeta, Colombia's Coolest Dance
Champeta is a musical genre originating from the Atlantic/Caribbean coast of Colombia with influences from Euro- African and African backgrounds. Arriving in the country in the 1960s and 70s this controversial music genre is only now, finally becoming mainstream. In 2017 it has become popular all over Colombia, but it wasn’t always this way.
Champeta was considered controversial by many Colombians due to its lyrics and rebellious vibe. In Bogota, in the mid 90s, many disliked Champeta as they considered it too sexual and unsophisticated. Many songs had lyrics referring to politics, emotions, social problems, exclusion and desire for change. This fusion of African rhythms (soukous, highlife, mbquanga, juju) and Antilles (ragga, compas, haitiano and indigenous Afro-Colombian origins of Bullerengue, maple, xambapalo and chalupa) was seen as a revolt against the country’s beliefs.
Champeta is now considered one of Colombia’s most popular music genres; it can be found in bars and clubs all over the country. Its drum beat rhythm is catchy and easy to dance to. Popular Colombian artists are Charles King, Elio Boom, Mister Black and El Sayayin.