Totó la Momposina arrived in Paris in 1979 as a refugee with no French, no money and no abode. A theatre company took her under it’s wing and it wasn’t long before she was travelling through Provence with this group of mime artists, street performers and musicians, along with their hot-air balloon, double-decker bus, merry-go-round and mobile cinema. Totó’s formidable voice, charisma and songs were an instant success and France became a launch-pad for her career.
This album tells the story of Totó’s endearing relationship with France that continues to evolve today. The track list features the first recordings Totó made in Paris in the 1980s and cover her career until the present day, including previously unreleased songs. This is a quality package with beautiful artwork, ample sleeve notes and photos from the past and present.
The retrospective series … TAMBOLERO / OYE MANITA / LA VERDOLAGA
These releases are part of a retrospective series telling the (amazing) stories of Totó’s life and travels to date … a way of celebrating her career so far using notes, artwork and photos.
Chapter 1. Tambolero. 2015. Real World. This told the story of Totó’s relationship with England – along with the wider context of her life and career. It recreated the original La Candela Viva album – adding recordings and mixing everything afresh … effectively becoming a new record.
Chapter 2. Oye Manita. 2018. Astar Artes Recordings. This album tells the story of Totó’s relationship with France going back to the 1970s. Again it is a quality package with beautiful artwork, ample sleeve notes and photos from the past and present. The track list features the first recordings Totó made in Paris in the 1980s and cover her career until the present day, including previously unreleased songs.
La Verdolaga. 2018. Astar Artes. The vinyl is a bridge between the two. Here both chapters meet as the collections work in parallel and the stories with France and England inter-relate. On side A tracks from Real World’s Tambolero (inc an unreleased track recorded last year) and side B tracks from Oye Manita.
There is a nod here also to the extraordinary influence Totó’s music has had on dance music over the last decade, especially House and Hip-hop. Producers continue to be inspired by her soulful delivery and the hypnotic groove of her tambores and flutes – La Verdolaga being one of the most popular songs. One of the most recent samples was used by Jay-Z on his last album 4:44.