Colombia's Bomba Estereo originated some six years ago as the brainchild of musician and producer Simón Mejía. But though the project generated some underground buzz, it wasn't until 2009's Blow Up that it did just that, explode. Not coincidentally, the album, which was Bomba's second, was the first to incorporate vocalist Li Saumet full time. (She originally lent vocals to "Huepaje" off Vol. I).
Bomba Estereo has since performed at key festivals like SXSW and Coachella, garnered a sizable US fan base, and even landed film soundtracks and a national Levi's campaign.
Crossfade caught up with founder Simón Mejía on the band's recent string of success, tomorrow night's gig at the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival, and Bomba's future plans.
New Times: You guys released a new digital EP, Ponte Bomb, at the beginning of the year. Tell us about it. There are several reemix versions of "Fuego" and "La Boquilla" on it. Not to mention your remake of "Pump Up the Jam," which has certainly created a lot of buzz!
Mejía: We made it because we had a bunch of "Fuego" remixes from friends, producers and d.j´s, which were very cool and we wanted to release them in some way. So we thought that putting them together with this "Pump Up The Jam" cover would be great. The "Pump" recording was an idea I had to do a version of this amazing classic. In Colombia, it was like the first electronica reference that we heard. Everyone was singing it in Spanglish like we do in our own version of the song!
"Pump Up the Jam" was actually part of a Levi's campaign where several artists, like the Strokes and Kanye West, remade favorite songs. How did you guys get involved in the Levi's project, and how did it feel to be included with such amazing artists?
It was a great opportunity. We had first met them at SXSW when we played at Levi's FADER port, so the relationship began there. Then they called us for this amazing compilation. It was a great honor for us to be included in something totally focused on the North American audience.
And your track "La Boquilla" got more love still, landing on the Limitless soundtrack. That must've been pretty cool.
Yes -- it was! A great honor to think that maybe Robert DeNiro danced to it!
I understand you have a follow up album to Blow Up in the works?
We´re currently producing what will be Bomba´s 3rd album. We're hoping to release it in September. More Colombian electronica in the works with heavy beats and intense.
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Finally, you're stopping in Miami this week for TransAtlantic Festival, but it's only a stop on a much larger U.S. tour for you guys. Tell us where you are excited to play this spring?
We´re very excited about the whole tour because it´s a truly "road tour," meaning we´re doing it all in a van. We´re filming everything so it will be a experience. It will also be a way to get to know the States -- so many places we´ve never been before!
Bomba Estereo with Spam Allstars, Los Rumberos de la 8, and Mr. Pauer as part of the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival. Thursday, April 14. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via fla.vor.us. Call 305-672-5202 or visit transatlanticfestival.com.