An ode to Santería’s god of the crossroads, ‘Eleggua’ combines sacred Afro-Cuban rhythms with horns-driven, steady grooving jazz. Filmed in Daymé’s home of Havana, it sees her striking profile shot in silhouette; framed against the backdrop of her stunning city, her performance is cut-and-spliced with a dancer who – in parallel with the woman he dances around – explores the act of spiritual communication with Eleggua.
Directed by Savanah Leaf, it’s the second of two videos which the 23-year-old artist and director has created for tracks from Daymé’s second album Cubafonía. Following the video for ‘La Rumba me llamo yo’, this video offers a window into another corner of the Cuban culture that’s vital to Daymé’s music.
With Cuba poised to become more connected to the rest of the world, the Cuban people’s pride in a unique musical heritage has never felt more vital. Arising from that lineage, Daymé Arocena has returned to deliver an ambitious second long player; rooting her compositions in Cuba’s classic rhythms, Daymé encompasses the rich, diverse musical make-up of her home whilst looking outward too – to the world she has spent the last two years traveling.
It’s her most polished, fully realised project since meeting her mentor (and record label head), Gilles Peterson, in 2012. Benefiting from Gilles’ expansive vision as a DJ, broadcaster and promoter, Daymé has been nurtured to this point by the Havana Cultura project – a platform for contemporary Cuban creativity driven by Havana Club rum.
Interviewing Daymé at the Sound of Cuba showcase at SXSW last year, NPR wrote, “It is hard to imagine a better voice to open her country’s gates” – and it feels like this statement holds true. Ambitious, hardworking, and hungry for cultural exchange that doesn’t compromise the unique flavour of her home country of which she is so proud, it feels like 2017 could be a monumental year for Daymé. She possesses a clear sense of her music’s intermingling influences: “We don’t have this native culture,” she explains. “We don’t have indigenous people, like Maya or Quechua. They made a country with people from everywhere – that’s what makes Cuban culture so different.
More info www.cubafonia.com
Created in collaboration with Havana Cultura, platform for contemporary Cuban creativity driven by Havana Club rum. More info http://havana-cultura.com/
Director: Savanah Leaf
Producer: Stephanie Paeplow
Production Company: Greatcoat Films
Director’s Rep: DirtyWork
Production Manager: Talía Bustamante
Director of Photography: Hector David Rosales
Focus Puller: Douglas Fernandez
Wardrobe (Artist): Laura Diaz Ravelo
Make Up Artist (Artist): Pavel Marrero
Dancer: Jose Zandoval
Editor: Jen Tividad @ Stitch
Colourist: Oisin O’Driscoll @ The Mill
Label: Brownswood Recordings