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CIMAFUNK. Foto: Alejandro Alfonso

Cimafunk speaks fast, very fast. He accompanies his words with onomatopoeias and humming, to the point of taking the conversation to the limits of the creative act. Superimpose sounds under their own terms that, in turn, are free and irreverent.

He began to sing in Pinar del Río in the church -"de chama", as he himself says-, then he put together a piquete [small band] of reggaeton criollo, later he experimented with the trova and would have graduated as a medic if he had not been seduced by Havana, its wide streets, its buildings, and also for its obstinate desire to dedicate itself to music.

Once in the capital city he earned his living as he could, working in workshops, sanding cars, and lived in various places until a meeting with a fellow of his, Raúl Paz, put him back on the path of music.

He was able to work with more than one interpreter, such as David Torrens and Liuba María Hevia, but joining Interactivo in 2014 was decisive for him as a singer and composer, and also for his subsequent solo career marked by a unique fusion of funk and Afro-Cuban music that constantly encourages dancing.

"With reggaeton it was fast and fun, although I did not have time to understand the creative process; with funk it was different, for me it was essential the evolution of African drums in the United States, precisely with funk, and in Cuba, with rumba, timba, songo, son, changüí.

"That percussion I always liked, but something was missing to make it a little bit more mine and to be able to sing it my way; I did not find the chemistry with me when I started listening to another music like Amy Winehouse, I got James Brown, and I said: this rhythm is super lethal and mixed with the retro sound of the metals of a jazzband in the style of Benny (Moré) and a march funk goes perfect".

The transition in the group headed by Roberto Carcassés and the possibility of conquering Havana's nightlife mixing covers with a repertoire of its own along with Los Boys, led to a solo venture in 2016, marked by its legacy of free black, of bimbo, and an eclectic musical spectrum.

In Therapy, Cimafunk, counts with the collaboration of prestigious colleagues like the own Carcassés in the piano; Ernesto Ermidas and Héctor Quintana, on bass and guitar, respectively; Brenda Navarrete, percussion and singing; among others.

After its presentation in France last October, Cimafunk chose the month of March to present it in Havana with the video clip "Me voy", first single from the album that has eight songs and a completely independent production.

"I'm trying to coordinate the concerts because I have some surprise ideas that are very, very crazy, although I cannot advance much yet, only that the launch will be in a rather unusual place and the people who attend will enjoy it.

"We are going to do promotion for the networks, on the radio, also on television, in the package, of course, although the album can be found on many digital platforms such as iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify or Google Play".

In addition to his usual presentations at the Cuban Art Factory and at the EFE Bar, Cimafunk dedicates his time to promoting the Cimarron Association, founded by him in France and aimed at cultural exchange between regions where there were cimarrones or where descendants of these were.

And, on the other hand, the creation of a small production company in Havana, also named Cimarrón Producciones, whose purpose is to produce music of artists who are doing interesting works independently, but who sometimes find it difficult to have of all resources.

Photos: Alejandro Alfonso/ Marie Aureille

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