Orishas. How Pathways Open Up…
Orishas marked a turning point in the perception of contemporary and modern music in Cuba. Having them perform in the Habano Festival is like using the very best leaves to make a Habano and putting the most original band on it.
The Orishas idea was born in Cuba... Yotuel and Ruzzo, two Cuban youngsters that traveled to Paris as part of an educational exchange program, joined Roldan and Flacopro. Along with French producer Niko Noki, they had created the Orishas band some months ago.
1999 was a decisive year in terms of the musical base work: the band recorded and launched its first album in France, “A lo cubano”, which showed their sound blend of hip hop and Cuban music. Nearly 500,000 copies were sold and they grabbed golden albums in France and Switzerland. Moreover, it was the first hip-hop album to go platinum in Spain by selling over 100,000 copies, which had never been achieved by this kind of band.
Their second album came up in 2002, “Emigrante”, a melodic experiment to understand rap by means of studio work. Only 300,000 copies were sold and they were nominated to the Grammy Awards a year later in the Best Latin American Rock/ Alternative Album category.
They won the award in the best Hip-hop & Rap Album category of the Latin Grammy Awards and they went on a tour around nearly a dozen countries. What's more, they were nominated to the Rammy Awards in the same category. In 2003, besides having their agenda packed with concerts, Time magazine included them in the top-10 ranking of the best bands in the United States.
They put out “El Kilo” in February 2005, an album that bore out their critic and public success. This album went gold in Switzerland, Portugal and Spain. It was nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards in the “Best Urban Music Album” category, and the 2005 Grammy Awards in the “Best Latin Rock/ Alternative Album” category. Although they did not win these prizes, the nominations were only a step in their nonstop renovation career. On May 5, 2006, “El Kilo” was given an award in the 10th edition of the Spain Music Awards in the Best Hip-hop Album category. The second Latin Grammy as the Best Urban Song came in 2007 in collaboration with Puerto Rican duo Calle 13, for the song entitled “Pal Norte”. On June 10, 2008, Orishas released “Cosita buena”, their muchanticipated fourth studio album. A year later, after the band's last public performance during the Concert for Peace held in Havana, its members decided to go on separate ways after twelve years of tireless work.
Fortunately, a year ago Yotuel announced in Havana the return of the warriors on stage. The video clip entitled “Cuba Isla Bella”, recorded along with other famous Cuban musicians, sings to the nostalgia for the neighborhood and the return of these friends. 2017 caught them conceiving and recording their seventh album, “Orishas, el Reencuentro”, after eight years of draught. As part of their projects, and still wearing the gala suit for this Habanos Festival, they have been announced to perform at the Havana World Music (HWM) Festival, to be held on March 22-24.