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Image: Clarissa Medrano

Ariel & The Culture Releases A Cumbia Inspired Song, Its First In Spanish


by Mia Estrada 17 Sep 2020 6:00 AM

Art&Seek is highlighting new music from North Texas every Thursday. Click above to hear Nilufer Arsala talk with North Texas singer/songwriter Ariel & The Culture for our new Music Minute, which airs on KERA FM and KXT 91.7. For more local music, tune in to the KXT Local Show at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. And tell us what you’ve been listening to on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter.

Jason “Ariel” Bobadilla writes and produces music under his stage name Ariel & The Culture. He’s influenced by the sounds of ‘90s R&B and música tropical his parents blared throughout the house. The self-taught first-generation Mexican-American artist recently released his first song in Spanish, called “Dame Tu Amor” or “Give Me Your Love.” 

In the single, Bobadilla presents a new spin on the classic Latin dance beat, cumbia. There are also hints of modern indie pop. 

But “Dame Tu Amor” is a cry for love. In a layered dream-pop sound, Bobadilla sings in Spanish, “Give me your love/I am despaired without you/ Without your heart, I can’t live without you.”

The lyrics came to Bobadilla on a road trip to Austin in May. He was thinking about his partner, a nurse, who he hadn’t seen in months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the car, said to himself, “Dame Tu Amor.”

Photo: Sophia Popescu

“This song is about learning to live without your love by your side in times like these (En los noches me quedo solo/In the nights I sleep alone.) It’s a lesson in life we have to learn, but it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt,” Bobadilla said.

The Spanish song isn’t the only change for Ariel & The Culture. Previously, a collective of musicians participated in the project. Now founder Bobadilla is a solo act.

“It was really difficult to make that decision [singing all Spanish] because …I’m going to dive into doing the work solo, pushing forward as Ariel & The Culture by myself, I need to go all-in. And it seems to be working so far in catching the attention of people,” Bobadilla said.

In 2018, as a collective, Ariel & The Culture released a single called “Walk Out,” which earned spots on the Spotify playlists New Music Friday Latin and Latinx Indie. In 2019, the band toured from Dallas to the Rio Grande Valley. Bobadilla said it was surreal to see people sing the band’s songs and realize the music had reached people all over the state and beyond. The group even stopped in Corpus Christi to film a music video for “On The Moon,” a single from their EP NOSTALGIA, which has received over 100,000 streams on Spotify.

After three years of rotating band members, and performing at the Music Honors show put on by Dallas alt news publication Central Track in February 2020, Bobadilla decided to take a different direction with the project.

And “Dame Tu Amor” is unlike any other song Ariel & The Culture put out. In the early days, the group flourished offering jazz and funk-inspired R&B covers at UNT campus events.

Bobadilla wanted to put his Latin identity at the forefront.

Behind-the-scenes of Ariel & The Culture’s upcoming music video for “Dame Tu Amor.” The music video will be released in mid-October. Photo: Clarissa Medrano

“As a first-generation Mexican-American, I always feel torn between trying to blend my two identities together in order to create new songs that give people that nostalgic feeling, or making music that is fresh and modern,” Bobadilla said.

“I finally feel like singing in Spanish really struck me. The iron was hot.”

You hear a traditional cumbia bass line in the last 25 seconds of “Dame Tu Amor.”

Bobadilla wanted to honor classic cumbia groups like Los Ángeles Azules and Kumbia Kings. The seamless, nostalgic cumbia beat is totally on brand for Bobadilla. 

In the new era of Ariel & The Culture, Bobadilla has found his voice.

Follow Ariel & The Culture on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And you can expect a Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead music-themed video for Dame Tu Amor in mid-October and new music later this year from Ariel & The Culture.

Dame Tu Amor Spanish/English translation:

Single artwork for “Dame Tu Amor” by Andres Plascencia.

[Chorus] 
Dame tu amor 
Me desespere sin ti 
Sin tu corazon 
No voy a poder a vivir
 
[Verse] 
En los noches me quedo solo 
Trabaje fuerte sin tu apoyo 
Porque me quemas como un pollo 
No se, porque?
 
Si no quieres hacer mi dama 
No puedas escuchar campanas 
No te duermas en mi casa 
Okay? okay 
 
[Chorus] 
Dame tu amor 
Me desespere sin ti 
Sin tu corazon 
No voy a poder a vivir 
 
[Chorus] 
Dame tu amor 
Me desespere sin ti 
Sin tu corazon 
No voy a poder a vivir 
 
[Chorus] 
Give me your love 
I am despaired without you 
Without your heart 
I can’t live without you 
 
[Verse] 
In the nights I sleep alone 
I work hard without your support 
Why do you burn me like a chicken? 
I don’t know why? 
 
If you don’t want to be my lady 
And you can’t hear wedding bells 
Don’t you sleep at my home. 
Okay? Okay 
 
[Chorus] 
Give me your love 
I am despaired without you 
Without your heart 
I won’t be able to live 
 
[Chorus] 
Give me your love 
I am despaired without you 
Without your heart 
I can’t go on
 

Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.

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