The Best New ‘Bombay’ Song
For the past week or so, the indie music blogosphere has been singing the praises of a new song called “Bombay”. The track is question is the new single by Spanish musician El Guincho, or Pablo Díaz-Reixa to his folks. “Bombay” is being hailed as one of the “songs of the summer” in the US, but in the city that it takes its name from, the exuberant dance-pop tune could help brighten up the drabbest day of the monsoon. We interviewed Barcelona-based El Guincho, whose mix of Afrobeat, dub and rock has drawn comparisons to indie favourites Animal Collective, about the making of the song. You can download “Bombay” for free from his official website.
Why did you choose to call your super new single “Bombay”?
Actually, this might be a lil’ bit disapointing, but I wrote this song in Singapore. I was staying at a crazy, super hot hotel in Bugis Village and the only way I could fight the heat was drinking Bombay gin mixed with tonic and a lot of ice. I’ve always wanted to go to Bombay though. I’ve always dreamt of it as a magical place to make music since I discovered Led Zeppelin’s Bombay Sessions from 1972. It’s just the band rehearsing some of their early stuff and improvising but the room sounds so good.
Was the song “Hindou“[from the recently released EP Piratas de Sudamérica] inspired by the Hindu religion?
It’s a cover of an old song written by Cuban songwriters Armando Orefiche and Armando Valdespi. I love the lyrics. They’re very naïve in a way they imagine India as a very wild and exotic place, sort of “out of this world” kind of thing. They use that context to talk about a painful love; there is definitely a romantic side to it as well, and that “weirdness” inspired them to create great harmonies and that super dark, genius hook, which is what really makes this song a classic.
Your music is influenced by sounds from around the world, but Indian music is not one of the genres typically associated with it. Are you familiar with Indian classical or Bollywood music?
I know little about it but I’m very interested. Years ago, I took some tabla classes with a guy here who worked at an Indian restaurant. He taught me really great classical patterns and ragas, and that definitely opened my mind to try different rythms. We got into Subbaraya Sastri, his dad Syama Sastri, Muthuswami Dikshitara and Tyagaraja, who I believe you guys call the Big Three of Carnatic music. The structures are very interesting and even though the melodies might have a bit of an “improvised” feeling for Western ears, they have great hooks if you pay attention.