31 July 2015

Costa Rica #1: Footballer boy, come play us a song

The month is about to come to end, so it is the time for the last post of this month. July is the second month of summer and so it means that we are 2/3 way through summer, here in the northern hemisphere that is. Here in the Lapland it has not been much of a summer; my father said just yesterday that it is starting to look like autumn to which my response was that we have then skipped summer totally. There have only been couple warmer days, and even they were not so warm that they could properly called summer. I have needed to have my heater on the entire summer. Global warming, thank you very much.

Wikipedia: Costa Rica

With the lack of summer, it is nice to listen to summery songs. I am not sure how summery these songs in this post are, but the country they are coming from is: Costa Rica. Looking at the climate chart on Costa Rica's Wikipedia page: They have average high of 27 and average low of 18 all throughout the year pretty much. Even the average low is more than it is here currently. Gosh, I kind of wish I was living in the Central America... At least their weather is nice and constant, and recently I have been getting a starting interested towards Central American culture. Thanks to the music in particular.

In my Panama post, I mentioned that I wanted to pick a Central American country and decided to start going them through in a geographical order. Panama was obviously the first one of the set and after Panama, you can see it is Costa Rica that is next up ahead. I am not sure if I will keep going them through in the order, but I definitely have a high interested towards looking through the countries' music scenes.

So let us take a look how Costa Rica looks like, music-wise that is this time around.

First up we have got Debi Nova. Debi was born in 1980 in Costa Rica's capital city San José. Her real name is Deborah Nowalski Kader, from which you can perhaps guess that she is of Polish Jewish descent. She started playing piano at age of four and later on studied more instruments. When she was 17 years old, she moved to Los Angeles, US, where she signed a record deal and also studied at a music school. Debi started her career as backing vocalist, but in 2004 she also released her own material. She has worked together with many famous names and so far Debi has got two studio albums out.

Debi's first studio album was released in 2010 and the album's lead single was Drummer Boy. Drummer Boy is a dance-pop song and it charted in some of the U.S. Billboard charts. When I first heard this song earlier this summer, I immediately loved it. It actually became one of my most played songs in May/June turnover. It is utterly catchy, it has a nice ethnical shade and overall it is a very fun song. I feel this song is quite summery, so it fits the intro of this post actually, haha. I seriously fell in love with this song and I have hard time imagining any other Costa Rican song pass it on my list. "Dale" by the way means "do it".

Debi's second album then was released about a year ago, aka. in the summer of 2014. This album received three single releases, one of them being Emergencia. The title of course means "emergency" and unlike Drummer Boy, this song is in Spanish. Debi's debut album was mostly in English, while the second album was in Spanish. I have no particular preference overall on what language the singer sings in, but in Debi's case I care even less since I think she sounds amazing in both languages. In fact, I actually find it interesting to hear a singer sing in different languages, since people tend to sound different in different languages.

But back to the song. Emergencia is a ballad and quite far away from the summer feeling of Drummer Boy; Actually the music video for Emergencia makes me feel kind of cold with its gloomy and dark sceneries. But it fits well with the song, since it feels like a gloomy and bit dark song. I do not know what she is singing, but it does not sound sad, like the title and music could suggest. Emergencia is a beautiful song, both music- and vocal-wise. The stylish music video was shot in Chile, which makes sense since the hot climate sceneries of Los Angeles nor Costa Rica would have not fit the song's atmosphere at all really.

Drummer Boy is from Debi's 2010 debut studio album Luna Nueva, while Emergencia is from her second album Soy, which was released in 2014.

Okay, before moving on, let's talk a little about Costa Rican music scene. Costa Rica's neighbour, Panama has a population of 3,6 million. Costa Rica on the other hand has 4,5 people. In the Panama post I mentioned, or least I am fairly certain I mentioned, that I kept coming across great music from the country. You would think that having a smaller neighbour with vivid music scene, Costa Rica too would have lots and lots of music? In this you would be wrong, to my best knowledge and effort.

Honestly, it has been very hard for me to find Costa Rican musicians. Can it really be that such a country has so little singers? Or am I totally missing something here? I have had this problem with some countries, but I so did not expect to have it with Costa Rica with its population and Panama and whatnot. Please, do tell me if Costa Rica in fact has a vivid music industry! I would be very interested hearing more from this country, since so far the amount of artists I have found from Costa Rica is tiny.

Now that that is dealt with, let's get back to the music again. The other artist of this post is called Alonso Solís, or more of Alonso Solís y Leyenda, aka. Alonso Solís with his band Leyenda. Or just Leyenda. I was actually quite confused when I Googled Alonso, since all I could find was some footballer. But then it turned out that the footballer dude was in fact the singer Alonso! I must admit, that I rarely have heard about a athletic being also a singer. But then again my knowledge on sports is near the zero. So do not ask me about Alonso's career in football; all I can understand is that he plays as midfielder and striker. Whatever those mean.

Alonso too was born in the capital city San José, in 1978. He started out as a footballer in 1995. Due to my lack of Spanish skills, I have no idea how he came to be a singer, nor do I know anything about his band, Leyenda (which I assume means Legend). So, as if this post is not random enough already, let's throw in a random fact: Alonso is 1,78 meters tall. I am sure you can use that piece of information never.

But the songs! They are called Hoy Quiero Decirte and Luz De Mi Vida. I do not know much about these songs, but they were uploaded on YouTube 2010 and 2012 respectively. Hoy Quiero Decirte means "Today I Want To Tell" and Luz De Mi Vida "Light Of My Life". Even with my Spanish skills I know the latter is correct, but I am going to take Google Translate's word on the other title translation. Both song are, um, rock I guess? It is not hardcore rock or anything, but more softer rock music. The songs have nice Latin vibe, which makes them feel flowing and catchy. I said in the beginning that the songs of this post may not be very summery, but now that I listen to them again, these two songs actually feel quite summery. It must be the Latin vibe!

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