“No Puede Serrrrrrr! Noooo!”

A while back I happened upon the Peruvian YouTube sensation La Tigressa del Oriente, a leopard-skinned techno-cumbia singer behind tropiclash classics such as “Nuevo Amanecer” and “Anaconda”. One of her recent collaborations was with fellow internet memes (!), an Ecuadorian artist called Delfín “hasta el fin”, and the young protejé of Peruvian huayno, Wendy Sulca. “En Tus Tierras Bailaré” is like watching a cheap promotional video made by the Israeli tourist board in the 1980s which has been hijacked by three kitsch, superimposed  Latin American superheroes. (Watch out for “el pasito del delfín” and the fantastic zoo scenes.)

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The video is phenomenal. It is intriguing if just for it’s amazing blend of imagery: deep sea diving, windmills, Israeli pastries, parrots, llamas, poppies, cowboys etc are all seemlessy combined. It is also a phenomenon and has reached 6.3million hits on YouTube and countless parodies. However, there is something else going on here. “En Tus Tierras Bailaré” is too good to be true. The project was not orchestrated by the three characters, they never even met when they recorded the song, it was in fact conceived by two advertising men from Buenos Aires and Madrid. It was not produced by a novice with a friend in Lima’s central zoo but by grammy award winning music video director Picky Talarico and the music wasn’t written by La Tigressa or Delfín but by the Argentinian musician Gaby Kerpel (who I interviewed here a few years back.) Or so they say…

On all the blogs and press the group behind the video say they wanted to address Israel’s rather tainted reputation in Latin America with a message of goodwill. They also wanted to highlight the sincerity and lack of self-consciousness of the three central stars, something which we have lost in our overly cynical and irony filled world. Is it all a big joke on cultural snobbery? Is it subversion of expected norms? Is it all a joke? Who is mocking who? Is it a double-bluff? Is it just a bit of fun? Whatever the conclusion, it raises some interesting questions about kitsch culture, authorship and is undoubtedly entertaining. I can’t help feel however, that the whole video is undone when it is revealed to be just a ploy and the three singers turn out to be puppets in this experiment.

According to a recent BBC Mundo interview with Deflín “hasta el fin” (in which he speaks of himself in the third person) has a surprise in store for the New Year, a song dedicated to the Chilean miners. If his previous output is anything to go by it looks set to be another classic but be aware that all might not be as it seems…

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