Cumbia, electro-cumbia, electro, porro, champeta, Afro-Colombian, pop art, experimental, these are all sediments drilled by the Colombian-Canadian singer and performer. When Lido Pimienta conquered in 2016 with the excellent album La Papessa, which won her the prestigious Polaris Prize, these variables were mostly present in her composite art. It wasn’t a flash in the pan! The artist has matured over the last few years, and this is a superior recording than the previous one. Miss Colombia will go a long way on this small planet, far beyond the Trans-Canada Highway. With several guest musicians and Toronto-based co-producer Prince Nifty, Lido Pimienta invites us on a transcultural journey, from chamber avant-pop (with arrangements for keyboards, strings, woodwinds, and brass) to different declinations of electronic music, to her Afro-Colombian and Indigenous musical sources. Made between urban (Canada) and tropical (Colombia) jungles, this brilliant opus depicts a love-hate relationship between the artist and her country of origin where extreme paradoxes are cultivated. The title was inspired by a blunder at the Miss Universe 2015 contest – host Steve Harvey presented the crown to Miss Colombia instead of the real winner, Miss Philippines! It’s a show of irony and cynicism, interspersed with more tender and intimate episodes. From beginning to end, we feel the tragic fate of a country that was until recently torn apart by Mafia cartels and Stalinist guerrillas, and still today struggles with deep social, economic and racial inequality, not to mention the machismo that attends it. Fully aware of the extraordinary contrasts inherent in her native country, Lido Pimienta does not fail to remind us that Colombia is also a wonderful country, without a doubt one of the richest culturally among the three Americas. This is the subject of a major fresco that will be exhibited in all the year-end lists of 2020.
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