Today New York-based Latinx quartet Combo Chimbita have shared “Babalawo”, their newest single and its accompanying video, which is out now via ANTI-.
The track brings us on a modern journey through the literary legacy of Plato’s Cave with multidisciplinary artist Edrimael Delgado Reyes.“Interpreting this song was a challenge, it has so much power and energy for me to embody through my movement,” said Delgado Reyes.“My hope is that people experience the joy and intensity I felt while dancing.”
“We debuted ‘Babalawo’ when we played with Sun Ra Arkestra and it’s become a favorite song from our set,” said guitarist Niño Lento. “It has some hints of trap, a bit of rock, but also carries influences from Haitian music and sounds. Carolina’s lyrics are also important since they describe some of our first encounters with Regla de Ocha (often known as Santeria). These intimate moments of spiritual guidance are incredibly important to us as a band with decolonial aspirations.”
In Plato’s Cave, the band draw connections to a complacent society which feeds off the status quo until realising there’s more to life. In the video, Delgado Reyes journeys through those same shadows and fear toward a realm of enlightenment where we see our combatant radiating through the fire with a defiant performance.
“This song narrates a dream I had in which an Eggun (deceased person) assuaged my fears and encouraged me to continue down my path,” said lead singer Carolina Oliveras. “They said ‘Ponte pa lo tuyo,’ a directive to follow that which is already mine — a message I felt important to share forward … While it may seem that this song is dedicated to a particular Babalawo (similar to a priest in a Yoruban context), it’s also an homage to the many teachers who form the Yoruban culture and religion around me and continue to inspire a deeper exploration from me.”