“Guarachará”, featuring Cuban singer Dayán Carrera Fernández and a host of other stars from the island is a scorching dance number that blends Cuban timba, salsa, flamenco and Afrobeat. The result is a song that will light up dance floors across the globe.
The song opens with a touch of flamenco, then builds into a classic Cuban son before exploding into a high-energy salsa/timba groove that dancers will find impossible to ignore. As many parts of the world begin to open up, the lyrics to “Guarachará” couldn’t be timelier. Lead singer Dayán Carrera Fernández calls for all of his friends to join him at his home for a much-needed dance party. While the past year has seen most of us stuck in our homes longing for a social life, “Guarachará” invites people to get back together for a house party like no other. “A few days ago,” sings Fernández, “I had a feeling / My soul was hurting / And I didn't know where my friends were / But we got together / In the end my people will get together / And we’re going to sing and dance.”
The stunning music video for “Guarachará”, which was produced by Luis Toledo & Jake Savona, was filmed at an historic 1910 estate near the Havana airport. It begins with a 1940's theme as old cars pull up to the house to deliver the musicians and flamenco dancers, who are meeting Dayán and guitarist Raynier Monserrat Gonzalez in their living room. The song soon picks up into an old-school Cuban son and moves outside as salsa dancers dressed in colorful vintage clothes show off their best moves. Once the song has reached the second bridge we are transported to modern day Havana, with the party raging inside the house all through the day and night. As morning approaches and the sun begins to rise, Dayan closes the doors to his house and pianist Rolando Luna is left alone on the verandah playing the piano, for a beautiful outro to the song.
“’Guarachará’ is a song that wanted to be born,” according to Jake Savona, aka Mista Savona, the Australian DJ and producer who is the mastermind behind the Havana Meets Kingston project. “It all began a few years back with a recording session in Vedado, Havana, when one of my singers, Solis, was strumming some chords on his guitar in D minor, with a really nice feel. Later I cut up and looped some of his guitar from the video file to construct a basic groove. I added some hand percussion, and soon afterwards I organized a session with Cuban percussion legend Yaroldy Abreu who added congas, and it was then that I could really start to hear the potential of this track.“
“I played the basic groove to singer Dayán Carrera Fernández in a vocal session we had organized, and immediately he came up with the chorus and opening verses in a short but highly charged and inspired vocal session. In fact, the vocal was so strong I knew I had to make the stripped back track more anthemic, and that's when I had the idea to add flamenco guitars and horns, and really build up the energy of the arrangement. Cuban-style flamenco is unique to the island, but you almost never hear it mixed with the more classic Cuban styles such as salsa or timba. It's a very special sound and unique to this song.”
“Once these parts were recorded and arranged, I felt it was time for a full band session. I called in my three friends who all perform and tour with Chucho Valdés - the insanely talented trio of Gaston Joya (bass), Rodney Barreto (drums) and Yaroldy (percussion) - as well as the Buena Vista Social Club star Rolando Luna on piano and Julito Padron on trumpet. The energy in the studio was palpable, and the results speak for themselves. For the first groove in the track, I asked Rodney to not play salsa, but rather a more Afrobeats kind of groove. It works so well. All that was left was a final vocal session with Dayan to 'fill in the gaps' in the session, as well as wonderful BV vocals to support him in the chorus from Brenda Navarrete, Solis & Julito.”
In the words of singer and lyricist Dayán Carrera Fernández, "'Guarachará' is the maximum best in the life of any Cuban. It means dance, song, show, laughter, good vibes, and if it were up to me, the whole life would be 'Guarachará.’” The song's theme is especially relevant in these difficult times of Covid, when people all over the world can't move freely, and often the only possibility of socializing or celebrating is within the home and family environment. In “Guarachará,” Dayan is at home with a few friends (in a non-Covid world), and they are planning to go out later in the evening to a big party. However, the vibe and the energy in the house becomes so fun and infectious that eventually no-one wants to leave! So, the real party is happening amongst these close friends, rather than somewhere else out in the city as they originally intended. According to Jake Savona, “The original title of the song was actually going to be 'No Te Vayas' (Don't Leave), but 'Guarachará' is the perfect Cuban word to describe the theme and energy of this song.”
“Guarachará” is from the upcoming album Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston Part 2, which will be released in October 2021 by Baco Records in Europe, ABC in Australia and New Zealand and Cumbancha in the US, Canada, Latin America and the rest of the world.
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