Tecnocumbia in Ecuador
Believed to have originated as a courtship dance among the African slave population on Colombia’s Caribbean coastline, cumbia has long been a popular music genre among Latin American communities. The vibrant sounds of cumbia soon gained a following, and in the mid-20th century – referred to as The Golden Age of Cumbia – renowned musicians Lucho Bermúdez and Pacho Galán of Colombia added their own interpretation of the traditional sound, bringing it to the attention of other Latin American countries, including Ecuador. With musicians in each Latin American country blending cumbia with local music styles, cumbia developed a number of distinctive variations. Tecnocumbia – a fusion between electronic sounds and the more traditional cumbia with its distinctive 2/4 and 2/2 rhythm – has become increasingly popular. Jaime Enrique Aymara, Grupo Coctel, Sharon La Hechicera, Angel Widinson and Tierra Canela are among the Ecuadorian performers producing technocumbia music.
Born in the San Roque district of Quito on June 24, 1968, Jaime Enrique Aymara was 17 years old when he recorded Mi Linda Muchachita. The song was played on the radio and became popular throughout Ecuador. Although Aymara has used various genres in his music career, he gained both national and international approval with his technocumbia album Dime como se Olvida released in the year 2000. Two years later he released the album Ya no quiero Ilorar from which the single Así es el Amor was taken, and the album received recognition in Europe, being named by radio media as Latin Album of the Year.
In 2004 Aymara’s album Tarjetita de Invitación stuck a chord with Ecuadorans living in Europe and his performances in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and England were well received. He later toured Canada, the United States, Peru and Colombia, with much success. He went on to release the album Corazón de Piedra with a mix of technocumbia, reggaeton and bolero, along with some of his classics. He won third place on the reality show Bailando por un sueño in 2007 and later released an album focusing on the popular genres of bolero and salsa, called Mi Historia Musical. Aymara’s accomplishments include acting in a number of productions, as well as being the presenter of Cinco minutos más on Ecuador’s TV Canela morning show. Jaime Enrique Aymara has been hired as a judge for the 2012 season of the reality show Ecuador Tiene Talento – Ecuador’s Got Talent – and clearly this vibrant South American country has talent in abundance.