Music can break through any language barrier.
There was a time where J-Pop, K-Pop and Latin Pop music were not very common outside of their native countries.
Now, it’s possible to say that all of us have songs in our playlist which are not of the same native language that we use. Fortunately, music appreciation is getting more and more diverse as time goes on, and we can appreciate the music because even though we could not understand the lyrics, we can decipher some of the meaning through the artists’ artistic expression and how they hammer their emotions into their songs.
As it turns out, Manu Chao is one of those talented musicians who shares his music all over the world.
Manu Chao has been on the scene before the 2017 smash hit “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and the rise of the popularity of Latin all over the world.
In fact, Manu Chao was one of the artists who tried to get Latin music introduced into various countries. It was way harder for him to introduce his music back then since some places weren’t ready for the new sounds, though some loved and appreciated his music.
Manu Chao was born as a French citizen with Spanish parents.
He was influenced by the English bands The Clash, The Jam and Dr. Feelgood, and he later formed a Spanish-English rock band with various musicians.
Later, he broke up with the band and went his way as a solo artist, incorporating six languages including French, Spanish, and English in his songs.
After he started trying out this cultural mixing was when he truly found his success as a musical artist, and one of his most notable songs in his career is “Me Llaman Calle.”
The song was featured on Time Magazine’s list as one of the best songs in 2007, placing in the 8th spot. It hooked the people’s interest because of its universal rhythm, as well as its timely and meaningful lyrics. The song also made its appearance in the 2005 Spanish show Princessas.
In the video, Chao performs the song inside an open bar with other musical artists, namely José Manuel Gamboa and Carlos Herrero.
They start the song with rhythmic clapping followed by some vigorous, flamenco-style guitar. They also show the song’s flexibility by hitting arpeggios on the guitar and improvised riffs, all of which make it more appealing to the ears.
Though the song was given a lively tune, the lyrics give off the opposite effect.
A lot of Chao’s lyrics deal with political issues like immigration, global social justice, dispute and globalization, but Chao also tackles topics about love.
The song tells the story of two prostitutes in Madrid as its subject, but once you try to understand more about its lyrics, you realize that its generally about life on the streets, with people living in both hope and despair.
The lyrics say a lot.
“Me llaman calle” is roughly translated as “they call me street.” Chao and the group describe the street as “perdida de tanto amar,” which means “lost from so much loving.” It depicts the bittersweet theme of everyone’s life on the street, though with a particular focus on women. This creative masterpiece brought its light to people all around the world.
As his performance shows, music truly is universal.
Music is meant for everyone to appreciate, relate, and enjoy.
To that end, talented musicians all over the world use their skills and unique playstyles to craft stories and back them up with creative melodies. The better they are made, the greater their influence—and it doesn’t get much better than this!
Be sure to check out the full performance by clicking in the link below:
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Source: YouTube/Manu Chao