One of the best traditions of Uruguayan music is that of mixing local sounds and genres with international trends and influences.
It’s a combination that traces its roots at least to the 1960s, when – inspired by such sources as The Beatles or Brazilian music – fusion became the norm. While the world drools with the output of Spanish artists like C. Tangana and Rosalía, a long line of Uruguayan musicians has made this combination of folklore and mainstream international sounds their home for decades, a heritage that now Facundo Balta has brought to the 21st century.
Singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentist, dancer and actor, Balta comes from an artistic household, the child of parents with long careers in the Uruguayan Carnival, that not only is the longest in the world, but is centered on diverse spectacles that every year compete among each other and combine dancing, acting, music and comedy.
Forged in the children’s version of the national Carnival contest and at age 21, Balta has developed an interesting and prolific career that already spans three albums and a plethora of singles that had presented him as one of the most promising names in Uruguayan music. “Cuando me miras” is his third LP, and his best to date.
The album mixes seamlessly candombe (the traditional Afro-Uruguayan genre that is one of the staples of Carnival and Uruguayan popular music), jazz, funk, soul, and even salsa, in a collection of eleven songs that carry droves of swing and groove, that sounds new yet familiar at the same time – something that usually means that you made an incredible piece of art – a collection of love songs that offers joy, warmth and power.
With “Simple!” as the most obvious hit and a personal universe that peeks its head from every note and song, Balta courses through different climates, moods and genreas easily and takes a confident step forward. (Nicolás Tabárez)
Stream “Cuando me mires” LP on Spotify.