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Catalina García and Santiago Prieto, of the Colombian band Monsieur Periné, joined Latino USA in our 30th anniversary celebrations with a very special evening.

In this episode, we bring you a taste of their live performance at the Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR, where they played songs from their latest Latin Grammy-winning album, “Bolero Apocalíptico,” and conversed with Latino USA’s senior producer Marta Martinez about how they mix classic and modern influences, their love for their Colombian roots and how they found inspiration in the pandemic.

Unexpectedly, the pandemic gave Santiago and Catalina a much-needed break. “We had the time to refresh our intimacy,” Catalina says. “Sometimes people expect that everything is perfect in an artist’s life. We have to be there for everybody all the time. And if you don’t have intimacy, you cannot create.”

They built a studio in Bogotá and took their time to write —as many as 50 songs— without the pressure of a schedule or a calendar. “Without expectations,” Santiago adds. “Just for the sake of joy and music.”

Out of those studio sessions came “Bolero Apocalíptico,” the band’s fourth album. It’s a mix of 1930’s swing, classic boleros, and even some reggaetón—all of it seasoned with Monsieur Periné’s perennial sense of hope and joy.

Santiago describes the album as a typical Colombian dish, “sancocho”—a soup that can contain a little bit of everything, from pork, beef or fish, to all kinds of vegetables, even avocado or plantains. “We did a ‘sancocho’ with the music we like,” Santiago says.

Featured image by Janice Yi.

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