Bomba Estéreo

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Bomba Estéreo
Bomba Estéreo Amanecer 1.tif
Background information
OriginBogotá, Colombia
GenresElectro, Cumbia, Alternative dance, psychedelic pop
Years active2005–present
LabelsNacional Records, Polen Records, FM Discos Y Cintas, Soundway, Sony Music
MembersSimón Mejía
Liliana Saumet
Andrés Zea
Efrain Cuadrado
Jose Castillo
Past membersDiego Cadavid
Enrique "Kike" Egurrola
Julián Salazar

Bomba Estéreo is a Colombian band founded in Bogotá in 2005 by Simón Mejía.[1] Their music has been described as "electro tropical"[2] or "psychedelic cumbia".[3]


2005–2008: Career beginning and Vol. 1[edit]

The origins of the group go back to 2001 when Bogotá native Simón Mejía (previously a member of 1990s Colombian alternative rock band Charconautas) was part of a loose collective of musicians and visual artists under the name A.M. 770. Their music was influenced by Colombian groups such as Sidestepper and Bloque de Busqueda who in the late 1990s had started combining traditional Colombian musical rhythms such as salsa and cumbia with modern electronic beats and dance music. A.M. 770's first musical production was the track "Ritmika" (based on a sample of a song by Venezuelan salsa band Los Blanco) on the album Colombeat, a 2002 compilation showcasing this new musical style which was put together by Colombia's foremost alternative rock band Aterciopelados for their new label Entrecasa.

By 2005 A.M. 770 had effectively become Mejía's solo project and he began to focus more on the musical side of his work, changing the name of the group to Bomba Estéreo. The first results of his new project was the seven-track mini-album Vol. 1 (2006), essentially a solo album but featuring contributions from other artists such as fellow A.M. 770 member Diego Cadavid. Having recorded Vol. 1, Mejía attended the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City and was able to secure an international distribution deal with California-based Nacional Records for future releases, with Colombian releases on the Bogotá independent label Polen Records.

One of the vocalists Mejía had used on Vol. 1 was Santa Marta-born[4] singer and rapper Liliana "Li" Saumet, on the track "Huepaje". Saumet had briefly been the singer for the dub reggae band Mister Gomes en Bombay before meeting Mejía at a concert.[5] Impressed with Saumet's contribution, Mejía began to collaborate with her and Cadavid on songs for the next Bomba Estéreo album.

2008–2011: Estalla[edit]

By the time the second album Estalla was released in 2008, Bomba Estéreo had developed into a full band, with Saumet on vocals, Cadavid on percussion, Julián Salazar on guitar, and former Sidestepper collaborator Enrique "Kike" Egurrola on drums, alongside Mejía on bass and keyboard programming. Estalla was released the following year in the US under the new title Blow Up, with the single "Fuego" helping to attract new fans outside Colombia and resulting in the group being voted "Best New Band in the World" for 2010 by viewers of MTV Iggy, the television channel's outlet for alternative world music artists.[6][7]

In 2010 the band were one of a dozen artists commissioned by Levi's to cover songs from previous decades, as part of "Levi's Pioneer Sessions" marketing campaign. The group chose to record Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam", cited by Mejía as his favourite party record.[2] The song was later released under the new title "Ponte Bomb" as the lead track on an EP of the same name, which also featured various remixes of the tracks "Fuego" and "La Boquilla" from Estalla/Blow Up.[8]

The song "Fuego" can be heard in the background of the 2010 episode "Circle Us" on the Showtime television series Dexter, during a scene outside of a club, and later appeared on the series' soundtrack album.[9] "Fuego" has also been used as the theme song of the Argentine television drama series El Puntero which aired in 2011, and features on the soundtrack of EA Sports video game, FIFA 10.[10] The Dixone Remix of the song "La Boquilla" (from the band's 2011 EP Ponte Bomb) was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Limitless that same year. In 2021, "Fuego" was featured in the action video game Far Cry 6 from Ubisoft and can be heard readily at the base-camp of the faction 'Maximas Matanzaz'.[11]

Simón Mejía was selected as one of the three finalists for the 2010–11 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative to spend a year working with Brian Eno,[12] eventually losing out to Australian composer Ben Frost.[13] He also travelled with London-based filmmaker Santiago Posada to the Colombian town of San Basilio de Palenque, where the two men spent three months in 2011 recording the music of the local Afro-Colombian community for a music and DVD box set – the town became known in the 17th century as the site of the first free slave community in Colombia, and has retained much of its African-originated language, culture and music.[14][15]

2011–present: Elegancia Tropical and Amanecer[edit]

Bomba Estéreo performed at the South by Southwest and Roskilde festivals in 2009, and in 2010 undertook a world tour that visited 32 cities as well as the Bumbershoot festival and Bonnaroo Music Festival.[12] In 2011 they performed at the Coachella Festival and Austin City Limits Music Festival in the US, as well as Lollapalooza Chile and the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City, one of the major worldwide festivals for "rock en español".[7][16]

The band's third album, Elegancia Tropical, was released in 2012 on Polen Records in Colombia and on Soundway Records worldwide. The album was engineered and mixed by producer Joel Hamilton.[17] To promote the record the band undertook a tour of Colombia, followed by Mexico and the US throughout 2012 and 2013. Band members have said they miss suero while on tour away from Colombia.[5] Their fourth album, Amanecer, was released on June 2, 2015, on Sony Music. One song, "Soy Yo", was selected for the soundtrack of FIFA 16.[18] The music video for "Soy Yo", released in September 2016, featured the debut of Sarai Gonzalez as a nerdy-looking Latina girl with a spunky personality standing up to bullies on the "mean streets" of Brooklyn, New York.[19][20] The video received over 6.5 million views as of early November 2016.[19] "Soy Yo" was also featured in the soundtrack to the 2017 feature film Pitch Perfect 3 and the 2019 feature film Dora and the Lost City of Gold. "Soy Yo" also appeared in the 2019 dance rhythm game, Just Dance 2020[21] and in the GrubHub advert "Delivery Dance", which gained traction as an Internet meme for its inhuman dancing. "Carnavalera" and "Playa Grande" were featured on the Need for Speed Heat soundtrack.[22]

The album Amanecer was placed 50th in Rolling Stone's list of the 50 best albums of 2015.[23] In late 2016, the band went on a 12 city tour, featuring multiple US cities featuring music from their latest album.[24] The group headlined the FM Festival in Miami, Florida in January 2017.[25] In August 2017, guitarist Julian Salazar confirmed in an interview with that he and the group had parted ways.[26]

In 2019, their song "Internacionales" was used in a TV ad aired in the United States for the Walmart Grocery App.[27] In 2019, their song "Caderas" was featured as the diegetic soundtrack to the opening police-siege scenes of the American action-adventure film Triple Frontier.[28] Also in 2021, their song "Soy Yo" (from the Amanecer album) was used for a Grubhub TV commercial aired in the United States in various forms.[29] In 2022, the band collaborated with Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny on the song "Ojitos Lindos", from his fourth studio album Un Verano Sin Ti.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
Volumen 1
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Polen
  • Format: Digital download
Estalla / Blow Up
  • Released: 2008/2009
  • Label: Polen
  • Format: Digital download
Elegancia tropical
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Polen / Soundway
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: 2015
  • Label: Sony Music
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Sony Music
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Released: 2021[30]
  • Label: Sony Music
  • Format: Digital download, streaming


Title EP details
Ponte Bomb
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Nacional
  • Format: Digital download

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
Live In Dublin
  • Released: 2019
  • Label: Nacional
  • Format: Digital download


Title Year Album
"Fuego" 2009 Estalla/Blow Up
"El Alma y el Cuerpo" 2012 Elegancia Tropical
"Pure Love" 2013 Elegancia Tropical
"Qué Bonito" 2014 Non-album single
"Playa Grande" (with Sofi Tukker) 2019 Dancing on the People

Music videos[edit]

  • "Nieve en Cali" (2006)
  • "Huepajé" (2007)
  • "Corinto" (2007)
  • "Caminito" (2008)
  • "Fuego" (2009)
  • "Agua salá" (2010)
  • "La Boquilla" (2010)
  • "Ponte Bomb" (2011)
  • "La cumbia sicodélica" (2011)
  • "El alma y el cuerpo" (2012)
  • "Caribbean Power" (2013)
  • "Pure Love" (2013)
  • "Bosque" (2014)
  • "Que Bonito" (2014)
  • "Fiesta" (2015)
  • "Somos dos" (2015)
  • "Soy Yo" (2016)
  • "Duele" (2017)
  • "Internacionales" (2017)
  • "Química" (2017)
  • "Amar Así" (2018)
  • "To My Love" (Tainy Remix) (2015–16;18)
  • "Agua" (2021)
  • "Deja" (2021)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Latin Grammy Awards[edit]

A Latin Grammy Award is an accolade by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. They have received seven nominations.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2013 Elegancia Tropical Best Alternative Music Album Nominated
2015 "Fiesta" Record of the Year Nominated
Amanecer Best Alternative Music Album Nominated
2017 "Soy Yo" Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
2018 "Internacionales" Record of the Year Nominated
Best Urban Fusion/Performance Nominated
"Duele" Best Short Form Music Video Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

A Grammy Award is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. They have received two nominations.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Amanecer Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Nominated
2018 Ayo Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Nominated
  • Won: (2013) Revista Shock Award for Best Group "Pura Sabrosura" for Elegancia Tropical
  • Won: (2012) iTunes Award for Best New Artist for Elegancia Tropical
  • Won: (2010) MTV Iggy Award for Best New Band in the World for Estalla / Blow Up

Premios Nuestra Tierra[edit]

A Premio Nuestra Tierra is an accolade that recognize outstanding achievement in the Colombian music industry. Bomba Estéreo have received three nominations.[31]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 Themselves Best Alternative Artist Nominated
"Pure Love" Best Alternative Performance Nominated
"Pure Love" Best Music Video Nominated


  1. ^ Garzón, Angélica (May 30, 2011). "Música: Bomba que no cesa de estallar". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Slater, Russ (July 23, 2010). "Cumbia should be THE Latin music: An Interview with Bomba Estéreo". Sounds and Colours. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ Bishop, Marlon (April 17, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: MTV Iggy Gets Sneak Peak At Bomba Estéreo's New Album Elegancia Tropical". MTV Iggy. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "Cuatro colombianos hablan de sus mejores vivencias navideñas". El Tiempo (in Spanish). December 7, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Q&A with Li Saumet & Simón Mejia of Bomba Estéreo: 'We Fell in Love... Musically'". MTV Iggy. August 27, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "MTV Iggy Presents Bomba Estéreo". MTV Iggy. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "La "Elegancia Tropical" de Bomba Estéreo". El Espectador (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia. September 4, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "Bomba Estereo Covers "Pump Up the Jam" for Levi's Pioneer Sessions". MTV Iggy. June 21, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  9. ^ Dexter Series 5 soundtrack album, Milan Records website Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Castro, Ricardo (September 7, 2011). "La cumbia se ha vuelto más 'cool'". El Pais (in Spanish). Cali, Colombia. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  11. ^ Far Cry 6 Official Playlist from Ubisoft on Spotify
  12. ^ a b Slater, Russ (July 20, 2010). "Bomba Estéreo soon to be headlining across the US". Sounds and Colours. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  13. ^ " - Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative". Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  14. ^ Slater, Russ (February 27, 2012). "Jende Ri Palenge: New Music and DVD Project from Bomba Estereo's Simon Mejia". Sounds and Colours. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  15. ^ "Jende Ri Palenge project website". Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  16. ^ "LatAm Beats: Colombian band Bomba Estéreo perform El Alma Y El Cuerpo". BBC. September 27, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  17. ^ "Joel Hamilton". Archived from the original on 2015-02-25.
  18. ^ Adriana Lucía Puentes (September 16, 2015). "Bomba Estéreo estará en la banda sonora de Fifa 16". El Heraldo. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  19. ^ a b Rodriguez, Cindy Y. (3 November 2016). "Young actress from Bomba Estereo's 'Soy Yo' is back with Get Out the Vote ad". Fox News Latino. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  20. ^ Correal, Annie (21 October 2016). "Declaring 'That's Me,' and Empowering Latinas". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  21. ^ Just Dance 2020: Soy Yo by Bomba Estéreo | Official Track Gameplay (US) (Trailer). YouTube. October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  22. ^ "Need for Speed™ Heat Soundtrack | EA Official Site". Electronic Arts Inc. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  23. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. December 1, 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
  24. ^ "Bomba Estereo Announces U.S. Tour Dates". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  25. ^ Pfeffer, Ryan (2017-01-24). "Bomba Estéreo Brings Brown Power and Endless Optimism to FM Festival". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  26. ^ Skewes-Cox, William. "Julián Salazar nos contó sobre su salida de Bomba Estéreo y adelantó detalles de su visita a Chile con Mitú". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  27. ^ "Walmart Grocery App TV Commercial, 'Add More Sizzle to Your Summer' Song by Bomba Estéreo". Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  28. ^ Triple Frontier (2019) soundtrack listing on IMDB
  29. ^ "Grubhub TV Commercial, 'Perks: Delivery Dance' Song by Bomba Estereo". Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  30. ^ Leight, Elias (February 2, 2021). "Bomba Estéreo Preview Deja Album With Three New Tracks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  31. ^ "Nominados a los Premios Nuestra Tierra 2014" (in Spanish). La Mega. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-12-01.

External links[edit]