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Peruvians love their rock and roll, and they love their rock bands. You can’t go anywhere in Peru without hearing some classic American 80s and 90s rock, as well as the 70s classics. This love of American rock has influenced bands in Peru to imitate the style, while also making it completely their own. Here is our guide to seven Peruvian bands that you should check out.
This band isn’t just a Peruvian band; they travel the world playing just about everywhere; you can even find them on KEXP in Seattle. They blend Afro-Peruvian music with electronica and Latin American rhythms. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2001 and continue to tour worldwide.
These guys are a bunch of hippy Peruvians who are creating the Amazon cumbia sound known as chicha. They are part of a movement in Peru that has taken the popular sound of cumbia and made it completely Peruvian and completely their own. They found inspiration from the jungle – as did Los Wemblers, below – and turned the Amazon sounds they heard into their music. Their innovative sound went on to influence the likes of Dengue Dengue Dengue and Animal Chuki.
Animal Chuki is a Peruvian electronic band with a more indie chicha style, and soft, sensual sounds that seem to float around the room. Andrea Campos and Daniel Valle-Riestra create Amazonian sounds in a more palatable style that appeals to a wide audience. Their work is characterized by the fusion of Peruvian autochthonous rhythms with electronic beats.
Dolores Delirio was founded in 1994 and began as a 80s-style band with rock influences, in the vein of The Cars. One of their trademark songs is “A Cualquier Lugar“, from their debut album Cero. Throughout their career they have shifted genres and styles, moving from 80s rock to punk to hard rock. The amorphous band continues to evolve and play.
Los Wemblers were founded in 1968 in the Amazonian city of Iquitos, the largest city in the world without any roads leading to it. In a sort of Jackson 5 setup, the band is composed of guitarist Salomón Sánchez Saavedra’s five children. The band had a massive influence on many Peruvian bands. In 1971, they recorded an album called Cumbia Amazonica, creating the new musical sub-genre of Peruvian cumbia in the process.
Arena Hash is a Peruvian pop rock band that originated from a Peruvian school in 1984. The band made it big in 1988 with their hit “Cuando La Cama Me Da Vueltas.” Their music is archetypal 80s pop music; if you love that style, you’ll dig Arena Hash.
Pedro Suárez Vértiz, born February 13, 1969 in Callao, Peru, is a Peruvian singer-songwriter-guitarist. His music is like an MTV unplugged session in Spanish. His music is mellow, with melodies that are very easy to listen to. He went on to found Arena Hash with his brother, Patricio Suárez-Vértiz.