Grammy Nod For Colombia's Choc Quib Town Dispels 400 Years Of History

Choc Quib Town

Choc Quib Town are nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Latin Alternative/Rock/Urban Album category. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

The big news from the Grammy nominations this week for the Colombian music scene is inclusion of Choc Quib Town's Oro for Best Latin Alternative/Rock/Urban Album.

But you wouldn't know it by reading the daily newspapers here in Bogota. The coverage of the nominations included headlines and photos of Lady Gaga and Eminem, while Choc Quib wasn't even mentioned.

The scrappy trio from the country's Pacific coast had a great year. They won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Song and performed on the international telecast of the awards. They were warmly received by the Latin and mainstream media, and put in some serious roadwork with breakthrough gigs in the U.S.

Richard Blair, one of the Colombian-based producers of Oro, says the nomination is "absolutely massive! It's impossible to underestimate how big of a deal it is. Winning the Latin Grammy is one thing, but then to be also nominated for the Grammy is an incredible thing."

Blair is a British expat who arrived here 27 years ago to produce an album for folk diva Toto la Momposina and never left. He's earned the trust and respect of Colombian musicians and producers throughout the country, and has a big-picture perpsective on the nomination.

"It's significant most of all because the part of Colombia they come from, El Choco, which is on the Pacific coast, is the most underdeveloped, the most forgotten, the most marginalized part of Colombia," Blair says. "So to get some official recognition, and from outside of Colombia at that, is almost the first time in 400 years that someone has recognized the people from Choco for something other than slavery and gold mines and corruption and whatever."

The Grammy trophies will be handed out on On February 13th and televised on CBS.

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