Since its creation in the late 90s, we have seen Sumo roam various territories: electro, soul, funk, hip-hop, dub… Loyal to their initial state of mind, the group made up of brothers Alex (guitar, vocal) and Fred Sumi (bass, production) does not box itself into one specific style, embarking instead on a constant musical odyssey. Alma For its 6th opus “Oya”, the journey continues by exploring new horizons, rhythms and sounds. The group exiled itself to Cuba, where two tours (Habanarte festival in 2016, Cubadisco in 2017) had brought about striking and heartfelt friendships. In this new adventure, Sumo met his Cuban soul brothers to become: “Sumo y Los Hermanos del Alma”. The result is both fascinating and fulminating. “Oya” is an Afro-Cuban rock record… a kind of UFO with multiple sounds: afro-beat, rock-fusion, Latin-jazz, Afro-Cuban soul voices. This album was conceived in complete immersion: two weeks of recording sessions in Havana surrounded by a tribe of the top Cuban musicians and singers. Oya is a captivating album whose numerous and varied levels of listening will never tire music lovers hungry for novel discoveries and explorations.
Incidentally, it is no coincidence that the album brings together such an eclectic assortment of musicians: Chilean drummer Ramon Plaza, who has accompanied the group since 2013; legendary Jamaican reggae singer Wayne Paul; percussion player Dunieski Baretto, pianist Maykel Gonzalez and trumpeter Eduardo Bringuez, all three members of the mythical salsa group “Pupy y Los que son son”; singers Los Niches, who spearheaded the new Cuban rap scene; and finally, Nelson Labrada, singer and guitarist from the renowned rock group, “Miel con Limon”. SUMO y Los Hermanos del Alma’s new single “Todo Se Mezcla” carries a fusion of Afro-Cubans rhymes with the energy of Rock. The journey continues in the search of new musical landscapes and sonic experiences. This Afro-Cuban musical alchemy merges elements across an ocean of sounds with no boundaries. The band has put their own spin on this vibrant production by foregrounding some rather playful bass clarinet and throwing in a rhythmically Afro-Cuban touch infused with rock traits to the audience.