Arts, Culture & Media

Old meets new with Argentine singer La Yegros, but that's only the beginning

At this point, mixing cumbia with electronic music isn’t unusual. Bands like the Colombian group Bomba Estéreo having been doing it for years.

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But recently, La Yegros stands out as the most vibrant example of musicians reimagining traditional beats.

Mariana Yegros, the Argentine singer-songwriter behind La Yegros, says cumbia is just one part of her sound, though.

“My music is not based on cumbia,” she says. “There is some cumbia, but other rhythms too that Argentines would recognize, like chamamé, carnavalito or milonga.”

While Yegros’ origins are in Argentina, she tours often in France. That’s one of the reasons she moved there.

“I needed stability instead of planes, hotels and buses,” she says. “I’m also lucky I can travel to Argentina a lot, which helps me stay in touch with my own people, and my friends. It’s a luxury. I’m far from home, but I also feel at home.”

One of the side-effects of living abroad, she says, is that she gets exposed to a ton of unfamiliar influences. She says she’s even been introduced to new instruments, which aren’t present in Argentina.

Her newest album, “Magnetismo,” ranges from in-your-face dance anthems to quieter, emotional ballads. "Fragil," one of the singles from the album, is a anthem for underestimated women. It's angry, and it warns the listener not to make the mistake of thinking she's weak.

There’s a lot there. But one thing is for sure: It's more than a simple combination of cumbia and electronica.