Hailing from Colombia, ChocQuibTown is one of the most popular salsa urbana groups around. Their combination of hip-hop, salsa, Latin jazz, and Afrobeats ensures they have one of the hippest sounds around. They are so hard to quantify and categorise. The safest group in which to place them is “good music.”
Consisting of Carlos “Tostao” Valencia (rapping), his wife Gloria “Goyo” Martínez (singing and rapping), and Gloria’s brother Miguel “Slow” Martínez (production and rapping), ChocQuibTown makes some of the best party music around, and some of the most aesthetically astute music videos too: their visuals and sounds are always vibrant, energetic, and always (always, always, always) loaded with melanin.
ChocQuibTown speaks the international language of rhythm, so regardless of where they are played they are always able to bring people together in dance conversation.
Here are five songs from our favourite Colombian group.
Cuando Te Veo
This lovely salsa song is a great way to introduce the salsa urbana outfit. Cuando Te Veo is a nice and light romantic number to dance to. It has a simple and easygoing melody that ChocQuibTown carries wonderfully.
This second offering from ChocQuibTown is bouncier number that is contagious around the hip area. The contagion spreads second to second, moment to moment, and before you know it the patient is fully infected and terminal. The only cure is, as always, a dance floor.
De Ti Enamorado
The ChocQuibTown kitchen is always cooking up something special, and this song, featuring Nicky Jam, goes from the frying pan to the plate, sizzling with sound and smoking with beats unknown but deeply felt.
Speeding up the tempo is Invencible, a mid-tempo offering with an uplifting message and pulsing melody that is quick on the feet. Early morning commute or the work place doldrums, gym or a salsa party, this is a song for all seasons and moods.
The most recent offering from the Colombian group is this flawless combination of Afrobeats, hip hop, and salsa. It is difficult to resist the lure of this song; it promises fun with its musicality. And even if you do not understand Spanish it is quite clear that what it is asking you to do is dance.
Bonus Track: Salsa & Choke
We said five songs—that is the recommended daily allowance. But it would be unfair not to conclude a ChocQuibTown list with this classic and infectious track. If there is one ChocQuibTown song that stands head, shoulders, knees, and toes above all the others it is Salsa & Choke featuring Ñejo.
It is physically impossible to stay still when listening to this song—and even if such a thing was managed, it would be plain rude.