Née: Stephanie Saab, Alejo Marulanda, Dj Jimmy Gonzales & Hermano Simón
Raíces: Colombia, by the way of Berlin, Germany.
Sounds like: A funkier Bomba Estéreo with trilingual lyrics.
You should listen to Checkpoint Guanabana because… just Bomba Estéreo is not enough.
It might sound like an anomaly to some, but Berlin, Germany, has a burgeoning scene of cool Latin music. Such a cosmopolitan capital attracts immigrants from all over the world. Amongst them, a few Colombians bring the tropical heat from South America to the city that was formerly divided in half by a wall.
The name Checkpoint Guanabana refers to both their country of residency and origin. Checkpoints were the only way to connect the East from the West in the pre-’89 Berlin. Guanabana is a popular tropical fruit that grows in Colombia, and besides being delicious, some claim it has mysterious healing powers.
Checkpoint Guanabana is a band formed in Berlin by Colombianos who are very much influenced by the new trends of digital Afro-Colombian rhythms (think Bomba Estéreo, Systema Solar, Pernett) but also the electronic music typically produced in their new metropolis. They’re brand new, this is their first single and video, and since it’s their introductory card, the song is also called “Checkpoint Guanabana.” They’re still unsigned and have no releases available but we hope that will change soon (they’d be a good match for the Berlin-based Chusma Records, don’t you think?), so while we wait to see what else these guys have to offer, we can enjoy their catchy debut.