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Elkin Robinson's new song is a balm for the soul with Afro-Caribbean roots

Feelings is the new song by Colombian Elkin Robinson, a balm for the soul in English with Afro-Caribbean roots.

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: AAPI Philly RISE

May 27th, 2022

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Elkin Robinson sings in English and Creole because he is aware of Colombia's cultural diversity, and by doing so he produces lyrics and music that are sincere and produce the effects he seeks in those who listen to him. Feelings, about the well being that a person can produce is, without a doubt, a song to shelter the soul in these troubled times.

Friday to Sunday
Sunday to Friday
Every day, every night
In the dark or in the light, light, light
Every minute, every second,
Every morning, every evening
You find a way to bright my life
You find a way to bright me soul
And gonna make my feelings
Start to go your way.

Feelings is his latest single, which remains close to the cheerful and relaxed attitude of the first album of 2017, Sun a Shine, but with a greater presence of synthesizers and without the traditional instruments -such as the donkey's jaw or the washboard.

Still, Feelings has a reggae-like bass and a marked bass drum that makes the melody relaxing while it has momentum. At the same time, the choruses and singing style of Robinson, heir to Afro-Caribbean traditions such as calypso and mentó, contribute to that feeling of quiet joy.

Elkin Robinson was born on the island of San Andrés in Colombia, a special place: its location brought Spaniards, French, English and Dutch to the island during the Spanish colony in America.

During the colony, San Andrés and Providence received part of the traffic of enslaved Black people from Jamaica to other areas of America. The African influence still lives on in the music, skins and culture of the islanders, who until a couple of decades ago were still telling the stories of Anansi, the mischievous Akan god in the shape of a spider.  

The island's oral history tells us that in 1668, after plundering Panama, the pirate Morgan allegedly took refuge from a storm in San Andrés, left a huge treasure hidden in a cave - now a major tourist attraction, but the treasure remains hidden - and Sananders who speak English instead of Creole claim to be descendants of the British. At the time, the Dutch pirate Eduard Mansvelt also had San Andrés as one of his centres of operations.

All of this gave rise to an island where Creole is spoken, where musical instruments are made from donkey racks and basses from brass tubs, an island where children grow up singing in the Lutheran church choir and a cultural hybridization that has no equivalent in Colombia. The island on which Elkin Robinson grew up and which is felt in his music.

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