Fuego

Totó la Momposina

Released 07 September 2018

  1. Fuego
  2. Julio Moreno
  3. La Múcura
  4. Tu Tambor

Liner notes

Totó La Momposina, the original “Queen of Cumbia”, has had a career spanning almost 60 years, and continues to perform all around the world at the age of 78. The singer reached international recognition in the early nineties when she released the classic album La Candela Viva on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records.

Working with legendary pop/rock producer Phil Ramone (Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan), Totó la Momposina y sus Tambores delivered a live performance at Real World Studios as part of Peter Gabriel’s famous Recording Week project, which brought together singers and musicians from all over the world to record and collaborate together.

The resulting album, which was completed in 1992 with producers John Hollis, Richard Blair and Marco Vinicio Oyaga, is still heralded as the Colombian singer’s most vital work, including iconic songs such as ‘El Pescador’, ‘La Candela Viva’and ‘Curura’.

Totó’s life has been dedicated to representing the music of Colombia’s Caribbean coastline, where African, Indigenous Indian and Spanish cultures mingle to create a unique musical tradition. Her music, driven by voices, flute and percussion, presents three distinct musical styles—Tambores, Sextetos and Gaitas.

Totó’s records have become firm favourites in the hip-hop and EDM scenes, being routinely sampled by heavy-weights such as Timbaland, Michel Kleis, Manu Chao, and most recently Jay-Z, who sampled ‘La Verdolaga’ on his 2017 Grammy nominated album 4:44.

The new EP, Fuego, features four previously unreleased songs from the original 1991/1992 sessions, which were discovered in 2015 when the original master tapes were restored and digitally remastered.

Julio Moreno (live at Real World Studios)

Further Listening

  • La Candela Viva

    Totó la Momposina

    Released 10 September 1993

    La Candela Viva was the album that ignited Totó la Momposina’s international career and saw her recognised as a star in her native Colombia. It was partly recorded during the Real World Recording Week of 1991 and partly in 1992 with legendary producer Phil Ramone, and presents three distinct musical styles - Tambores, Sextetos and Gaitas – in a set of inspired performances.
  • Tambolero

    Totó la Momposina

    Released 26 June 2015

    You don't normally get the chance to go back in time and reimagine a classic album like La Candela Viva but creating Tambolero has been a challenge and a delight. It’s become a celebration of Totó's career: six decades dedicated to preserving, researching and developing an ancestral tradition, the identity of a people, passed down through the generations. 

Further reading

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