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Techno Cumbia

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This article is about the song by Selena. For the musical genre, see Tecnocumbia.
"Techno Cumbia"
A cover album of a cropped picture of Selena wearing a jacket and a white midriff in a pose.
Single by Selena
from the album Amor Prohibido and Dreaming of You
B-side Dreaming of You (Dreaming of You)
Released September 5, 1995 (1995-09-05)
Format CD single
Recorded Q-Productions
(Corpus Christi, Texas)
Genre Tejano, reggae en Español, cumbia, synthpop, hip hop
Length 3:47 (Amor Prohobido)
4:45 (Dreaming of You)
Label EMI, EMI Latin
Writer(s) Pete Astudillo, A.B. Quintanilla, Ricky Vela
Producer(s) A.B. Quintanill, Brian "Red" Moore
Selena singles chronology
"Dreaming of You"
"Techno Cumbia"
"God's Child (Baila Conmigo)"

"Techno Cumbia" is a song by American Tejano pop singer Selena, released as the seventh single from her album, Amor prohibido (1994). It was written by Selena's brother and music producer A.B. Quintanilla, backup singer Pete Astudillo, lead keyboardist Ricky Vela, and produced by Quintanilla and Brian "Red" Moore, who remixed the song. It was recorded and released in the United States for the Tejano and Contemporary Latin radio stations on October 14, 1994 and as a promotional single in the United States and Mexico on September 5, 1995. Selena performed the song at every venue on her 1994–1995 Amor Prohibido Tour.

"Techno Cumbia" was written during the 1993–1994 Selena Live! Tour. It was first drafted by Astudillo. Quintanilla later wanted the song to be a cumbia, which is a popular music genre among Colombians, mixed with techno. In the recording studio, Los Dinos, Selena's former band, helped with backup vocals and Quintanilla performed a rap verse in the middle of the song. "Techno Cumbia" and its music video received positive reviews from music critics. The music video was released in Latin American music channels; it was directed by Bryan Barber and choreographed by Darrin Henson. The video's dance moves were inspired by tango, urban and reggae dances, and some performances of Selena singing "Techno Cumbia" were included in the video.

According to Billboard, "... Selena established one of the early templates for pop-cumbia-rap fusions with her hit 'Techno Cumbia' ..." The song was featured in "The Billboard Book of Number One Albums" in 1996. "Techno Cumbia" received six nominations and won "Tejano Crossover Song of the Year" at the 1995 Tejano Music Awards. It was also nominated for the "Best 1990s Song" at the 2010 music awards. In 1994, the single peaked at number four on the US Hot Latin Tracks and Latin Regional Mexican Airplay. "Techno Cumbia" has been covered by many artists after Selena was murdered.

Background and production[edit]

"Techno Cumbia" was one of the first songs composed for Selena's fifth studio album, Amor prohibido (1994), and was included in the crossover attempt on Dreaming of You (1995).[1] It was written by Selena's brother and music producer A.B. Quintanilla, backup singer Pete Astudillo, lead keyboardist Ricky Vela and produced by Quintanilla and Brian "Red" Moore, a family friend, who helped with audio mixing.[2] "Techno Cumbia" was written during the Selena Live! Tour (1993–94) and was inspired by Los Dinos band member Astudillo, who wrote down the concept of the song.[2][3] Quintanilla later wanted it to be a cumbia song mixed with techno. He also believed that Selena was the first artist to sing a "Techno-Cumbia" song mixed with R&B, blues and funk influences. Selena recorded the song at Q-Productions in Corpus Christi, Texas, her father Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.'s record studio.[2]

Recording and production of the single took under 24 hours to complete.[2][3] Selena insisted that she should rap in the opening of the song, which was not planned. In the recording studio, Los Dinos performed back-up vocals while Quintanilla performed a rap verse during the bridge.[2]

Music, theme and lyrics[edit]

The remix version of "Techno Cumbia" peaked at number-four on the Hot Latin Tracks, while the original version peaked at number-one on two music charts on Billboard.

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"Techno Cumbia" is an up-tempo synthpop song with cumbia influences. Written in the key of G minor,[4] the beat is set in common time and moves at a moderate 91 beats per minute. Selena's vocal range in the song spans one octave.[4] The song had drawn influence from the Reggae,[5] dancehall, ska,[5] two-step, dance-club, nortec,[6] drum and bass,[7] dancehall-rap en español,[8] and salsa funk music genres.[9]

The remixed version found on Dreaming of You (1995) has a key signature set in C minor.[4] The music features performances on piano, güira, tambourine, French horn and drums.[2][5] The remix version also includes keyboards, horns and a heavier beat[4] with some scratching, reggae fusion sounds and one drop rhythms performed in a fast tempo.[4] The song's lyrics describes Selena arriving at a club, not favored among young adults, teaching them the "Techno Cumbia" dance.

Live performances[edit]

"Techno Cumbia" was performed in every concert of the Amor Prohibido Tour. On February 26, 1995, Selena performed "Techno Cumbia" at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas[3] wearing a purple bodysuit. Selena performed "Techno Cumbia" in a school auditorium in 1995, which garnered interest from a student who wrote about the performance in her book, fifteen years later.[10] Her final performance of "Techno Cumbia" was on March 19, 1995 during her concert at the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, which attracted over 100,000 fans.[11] During Selena's half-hour appearance on the Johnny Canales Show in mid-1994, Selena wore an outfit from her Selena Etc. boutique.[12]

In some of Selena's performances of "Techno Cumbia", an extended version of the song was performed, similar to "Enamorada de ti", "Baila esta cumbia" and "Como la flor".[13] On Live! The Last Concert (2001) the performance of "Techno Cumbia" was recorded at the Houston Astrodome and was released on the posthumous live album.[13] This version was re-released on La Leyenda (2010).[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Sara M. Misemer and Walter Aaron Clark wrote in their book Secular saints: performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena that "Techno Cumbia" reminded them of Guillermo Gómez-Peña's suggestion that "...cultures are being superimposed,...", because of Selena's mixed genres that were influenced by music from Colombia and the Caribbean.[15] Edward Morales wrote in his book Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America, that "Techno Cumbia" may have been an indirect influence on the fin de siècle (French for End of Century) collective of DJs from the borderlands around Tijuana called "Nortec".[6] He also commented that "Selena's delivery makes tunes like "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "Techno Cumbia", which would be catchy but forgettable throwaways in the hands of the average performer, stick in your gut".[16] Guadalupe San Miguel wrote in his book Tejano proud: Tex-Mex music in the twentieth century that "Techno Cumbia", "Como la flor" and "La carcacha" were Selena's biggest cumbia hits.[17] Michael Joseph Corcoran stated in his book All over the map: true heroes of Texas music that "Techno Cumbia" had Michael Jackson-like trills, in his book about heroes in Texas music.[18] Herón Márquez of Latin Sensations wrote that "...the song signaled a new style of Tejano music."[19]

Joe Nick Patoski wrote in his book Selena: Como La Flor about "Techno Cumbia"'s different taste in music genres, which had helped it to be more acceptable to the Spanish-international market ""Techno Cumbia", which honored the most popular rhythm coursing through the Latin music world while updating it with vocal samples, second line drumming from New Orleans, and horn charts inspired by soca from the Caribbean".[20] Ramiro Burr of Billboard wrote: "Songs like "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," "Como La Flor," and "Techno Cumbia," were remastered, injecting extra percussion's to spice them up[...]".[21] Norma Elia Cantú wrote in her book Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change about Selena's fusion in Tejano music, stating that: "Songs such as "Techno-cumbia," "La Tracalera," and "La Carcacha" all became the auditory of Tejano music".[22] James Moore of Vibe, stated that songs such as the versions of "Missing My Baby" and "Techno Cumbia", on Dreaming of You (1995), helped Quintanilla to received gold and platinum plaques for the Selena albums he helped produce.[23] According to Billboard, "Techno Cumbia" is the earliest example of a song that fuses the pop and cumbia rap genres.[24] After Selena's murder, her brother Quintanilla formed a reggaeton band called "Los Kumbia Kings" in the late 1990s. Two singles were released, "Shhh!" and "Boom Boom", both taken from the album Shhh! (2001), and are thought to be the descendants of "Techno Cumbia".[24] "Techno Cumbia" was featured on The Billboard Book of Number One Albums in 1996.[25] "Techno Cumbia" was selected for inclusion in the Selena Forever Play in 2000, starring Veronica Vasquez as Selena.[26]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Techno Cumbia" was filmed from August 3–5, 1995, and was directed by Bryan Barber.[27] After the release of Dreaming of You in July 1995, "Techno Cumbia"'s remix on the album received extensive airplay in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain and won accolades.[28] EMI Records created a posthumous music video in honor of Selena, including songs; "Dreaming of You", "I Could Fall in Love", "I'm Getting Used To You", "Tú Sólo Tú", "God's Child (Baila Conmigo)" and "Missing My Baby", from the album.[27] EMI was in partnership with Q-Productions, who helped with the concept of the video.[27][28] Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., did not want the video to be "...too sexual" because he knew children and young adults would view it,[28] since Selena was popular among all age groups, especially young girls who would imitate Selena's dance moves.[27] The video was produced by Tango Productions; casting calls were done after the music video for "I'm Getting Used To You" was completed.[27] The dance moves performed in the video were inspired by the tango, urban and reggae dances.[27] Selena's live performances of the song were included, and the back-up dancers danced either in groups or with their partners.[27] The video was filmed in Tango Productions studios, and used visual effects such as chroma key. Kenny Ortega choreographed the video with Liz Imperio as Associate Choreographer.

The video opens on YouTube with Selena spinning and singing "Techno Cumbiaaaaa", while two men appear in the video, stopping the song to inform everyone: "This is a serious music, you are about to hear, on some serious music" in Jamaican English. They then leave the video, and the song begins. People are shown sitting in chairs, dancing. Selena's 1994 performance of "Techno Cumbia", is seen on the left side, while on the right side a group of people begin dancing with their partners. In the next scene, Selena's performance of "Techno Cumbia" at the Houston Astrodome on February 26, 1995 is shown in the left side of the screen, while the group dances further. Next the men are seen break dancing to Selena's melody verse, as the women watch. After this, the whole cast, dressed in white clothing, dance with their hands in the air. The next scene, showing a man moving his body in a white tank top shirt and a woman ripping it off, is censored, with Selena appearing and quickly dancing out of the video, showing the man's upper chest exposed. The video ends with a woman in a black hat in urban clothes, attempting to sit down on a chair.


The music video attracted positive reviews from music critics. Raúl Manuel Rodríguez of El Dictamen wrote, that: "Techno Cumbia, a reggae-inflected groove, is one of Selena's best produced music video, the concept and the dances, captures the audiences".[29] In Rodríguez's "Top 10 Selena music videos", "Techno Cumbia" was placed at number four.[29] Xavier Figueroa of TVyNovelas wrote that the music video was one of his "...most fun to watch [music videos]" and he thanked EMI Records for showcasing Selena in the video.[30]


Year Awards ceremony Award Results
1995 Tejano Music Awards Single of the Year[31] Nominated
Tejano Music Awards Song of the Year[31] Nominated
Tejano Music Awards Tejano Crossover Song of the Year[31][32] Won
1996 Tejano Music Awards Song of the Year[31] Nominated
1997 Tejano Music Awards Tejano Music Video of the Year[31] Nominated
2010 Tejano Music Awards Best 1990s Songs[31] Nominated


Chart (1995) Position
US Latin Pop Songs[33] 13
US Hot Latin Track[34] 4
US Latin Regional Mexican Airplay[34] 4

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Music video
Techno Cumbia



Artist Album Year
Angelica Y La Tribu Selena vs. Bukis 1995[42]
Richard Clay Balada Para Selena 1995[43]
Yarumba El Baile de la Mariposa 1996[44]
Liberación Mexico Recuerda a Selena 2004[45]
El Grupo Santa Clara Tributo a Los Grandes: Selena 2004[46]
Banda El Recodo Selena ¡VIVE! 2005[47]
Graham Blvd 90s Pop Hits Vol. 10 2008[48]
Fitnessbeat Reggaeton Vol. 2 2011[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ EMI Telvisia (1995) Selena – Dreaming of You (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  2. ^ a b c d e f EMI Telvisia (1994) Selena – Amor Prohibido (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  3. ^ a b c John Lanner and Edward James Olmos (1997). Selena Remembered (VHS / DVD). Corpus Christi: Q-Productions. Her Life... Her Music... Her Dream 
  4. ^ a b c d e Quintanilla-Perez, Selena; Astudillo, Pete (1995). "Dreaming of You: Selena Digital Sheet Music" (Musicnotes). EMI Music Publishing. MN092893 (Product Number). Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Quintanilla-Perez, Selena; Astudillo, Pete (1994). "Techno Cumbia: Selena Digital Sheet Music". (Alfred Music Publishing). MN092893 (Product Number). 
  6. ^ a b Morales, Edward (2003). Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America. Griffin Reprint. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-312-31000-4. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ Manuel Valenzuela Arce, José; Déborah Holtz (2004). Paso del nortec: this is Tijuana! (in Spanish). Mexico: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. p. 128. ISBN 978-970-651-907-8. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ Ed Morales (1995). "Selena (Dreaming of You) EMI". Vibe (InterMedia Partners) 3 (7): 200. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ Márquez, Herón (2001). Latin Sensations. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publishing Group. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8225-4993-2. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Speaks, M.K. (2010). Leila. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-4567-1099-6. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ Patoski, Joe Nick (1995). Selena: Como La Flor. Little Brown and Company. p. 154. ISBN 0-316-69378-2. 
  12. ^ Betty Cortina (November 26, 2008). "Selena: Biography". Biography. 60 minutes in. A&E. 
  13. ^ a b Leila Cobo (2003). "Selena Lives On With DVD of Last Concert". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 115 (34): 80. 
  14. ^ Lopez, Juan (August 3, 2010). "Escucha "La Leyenda", el disco de colección de Selena.". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Misemer, Sara M.; Walter Aaron Clark (2008). Secular saints: performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena. Tamesis Books. p. 140. 
  16. ^ The Latin Beat: The Rhythms and Roots of Latin Music from Bossa Nova to Salsa and Beyond. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. 2003. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-306-81018-3. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ San Miguel, Guadalupe; Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. Tejano proud: Tex-Mex music in the twentieth century. College Station, Texas: Texas A & M University Publishing. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-58544-188-4. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ Corcoran, Michael Joseph (2005). All over the map: true heroes of Texas music. Austin, Texas: Univ of Texas Pr. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-292-70976-8. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ Márquez, Herón (2001). Latin Sensations. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publishing Group. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8225-4993-2. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  20. ^ Nick Patoski, Joe (1997). Selena: Como La Flor. New York City: Berkley Books. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-57297-246-9. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ Ramiro Burr (1999). "The Billboard guide to Tejano and regional Mexican music". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 1 (1): 256. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  22. ^ Cantú, Norma Elia; Olga Nájera-Ramírez; Deborah R. Vargas (2002). Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-252-02701-7. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ James Moore (1997). "Selena's Legacy in America". Vibe (InterMedia Partners) 5 (3): 162. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  24. ^ a b Ramiro Burr (2003). "Rap And Hip Hop Fusion Fuel Regional Mexican Scene". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 115 (21): 72. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  25. ^ Craig Rosen (1996). "The Billboard Book of Number One Albums". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 1 (1): 434. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  26. ^ Ramiro Burr (2000). "'Selena Forever' Premier Should Boost Catalog Sales". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 112 (13): 88. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g Sean Roberts, Diego Aguilar, Eli Gonzales, Chris Hale, Ignacio Larraga, Luis Munoz (1995). Behind The Scenes of "No Me Queda Mas" (TV production) (in Spanish and English). Summit Productions Inc. – via Univision. 
  28. ^ a b c d Julio Lopez, Manuel Rodriguez, Marisol Cortez, Anita Rivera (October 29, 1996). El Especial de Selena (TV production) (in Spanish). Telemundo. 
  29. ^ a b Raúl Manuel Rodríguez (March 17, 2009). "La Música De La Reina Por Siempre Vivirá.". El Dictamen (in Spanish). 
  30. ^ Xavier Figueroa (2005). "Edicion Espcial". TVyNovelas (Editorial Televisa) 27 (1): 126. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f "Tejano Music Awards Past Award Winners". August 23, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  32. ^ Ramiro Burr (1995). "Selena Reigns At The Tejano Music Awards". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 107 (8): 154. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Techno Cumbia music chart history on Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  34. ^ a b "Techno Cumbia music chart history on Allmusic". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  35. ^ EMI Telvisia (1994) Selena – Techno Cumbia – Single – (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  36. ^ EMI Mexico (1994) Selena – Techno Cumbia – Mexico EP – (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  37. ^ EMI Mexico (1995) Selena – Techno Cumbia – Mexico Cassette (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  38. ^ EMI Telvisia (1994) Selena – Techno Cumbia – U.S. Promo (Liner Notes) EMI Records
  39. ^ "SELENA Techno Cumbia/Dreaming Of You (1995 US 5-track promotional CD including Brazilian Nut Re-Mix, custom picture sleeve DPRO-10618).". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  40. ^ "SELENA Techno Cumbia/Dreaming Of You (Rare 1995 US 5-track promo 12")". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Album Credits". Barnes & Noble. August 8, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Angelica Y La Tirbu". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Richard Clay". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  44. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Yarumba". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Liberación". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Techno Cumbia by El Grupo Santa Clara". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Banda El Grullo". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Graham Blvd". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Techno Cumbia by Fitnessbeat". Retrieved July 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]