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Carlos Vives recently released the singles "Solo" and "Baloncito Viejo"
Carlos Vives recently released the singles "Solo" and "Baloncito Viejo." Photo: Getty Images

Carlos Vives pays tribute to Argentine rock with Fito Paéz in "Babel"

The single, written by both artists, pays tribute to traditional Argentinian rock, which also influenced Vives during his career

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In his latest single, Carlos Vives gave a twist to his usual rhythms, marked by cumbia and vallenato, that he popularized all over the world. This time, the popular Colombian singer joined Fito Paéz to release the single, "Babel," which is included on his new album Cumbiana II.

The single, written by both artists, pays tribute to traditional Argentine rock, which also influenced Vives during his career. The production company Kogiman participated in the creative process, with contributions from Martín Velilla and Andrés Leal.

At the beginning of the song, the bagpipe and millo flute sounds evoke Latin American folk music. However, as the song progresses, a distorted electric guitar, bass, and upbeat piano are introduced, providing a blues-rock base to the song.

"Babel" talks about the difficulty of understanding each other between human beings, in times when each one pretends to be right. In the end, each person ends up taking a different path. That’s the main theme of the chorus: “Babel, nobody wants to understand each other. They prefer to Rome and burn. The train leaves us again at the exit.” 

It is a reflection of the weariness, intolerance and extremism that have spread in recent times.

Vives expressed that “when you make a song with this style there is something of that Argentinian rock, of Charly García, Luis Alberto Spinetta and Páez himself, who allowed me to imagine that with tropical music I could invent my own rock.” For the Colombian, it is not only about paying tribute to rock, but also launching a message of "understanding between countries and cultures, to a world that can be made possible thanks to music."

The video was directed by Sergio Rodríguez and Carlos Andrés Valencia from the production company Mestiza Films, and was filmed between Bogotá and Santa Marta. The intention of the music video was to contrast a world faced by war and selfishness, with the images of a girl who perceives everything that happens around her. Despite her sadness and anger, the girl sets out to try to change the future.

In recent weeks, the multiple Grammy award-winning Colombian has offered concerts in Mexico, Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Apart from his live performances, the singer is in a good creative moment. Recently, he released the single “Solo,” where he talks about the contradictions of the human being. He also released “Baloncito Viejo,” a reggaeton hit with his compatriot Camilo.

With “Babel,” he chose Fito Paéz, one of the most respected Latin rock musicians. His legendary album Love After Love (1992), was the best-selling album in the entire history of Argentine’s rock.

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