Get your dancing shoes on for Bachata music!
Bachata is not just about dance but fantastic music and songs too. If you are focusing mainly on the dance, you are missing out big time on some fabulously exhilarating and inspirational music. If your mood feels down or you want to get into the bachata vibe, get some bachata songs on and get partying!
The origins of bachata music
Coming from the Dominican Republic, bachata is now popular internationally. But it was not always so; in the 1960s the name ‘bachata’ was known by few. It was only in the 1990s that it began to gain momentum due to its powerful dance and musical beats.
Way back in the day, bachata music revolved around guitars accompanied by percussion instruments and was mainly romantic and very ‘bolero’ based. The word ‘bachata’ means cheerfulness and this was present in huge amounts as people got together to dance and play music. Mainly popular in the rural areas to begin with, it was all about the songs with the dance following on later.
Now we are in the 1960s and the bachata music begins to take off. Anyone that had a guitar could play bachata songs, expressing their emotions and feelings. But bachata was not immediately welcomed. It was associated with dark nightlife and ‘cabaret’ audiences. The upper classes rejected this music with its rural heritage.
The new era of bachata music
The commercial success of bachata did not really show until the song “Consejo A Las Mujeres” by Blas Duran appeared in 1986. It used electric guitar and was not live, but recorded on multiple tracks. Audiences loved it and the new era of bachata songs and music began. Now the middle-classes began to show their appreciation of bachata. More artists got involved in the genre, transforming the feel of bachata. Synthesizers were added but without losing the characteristic Dominican sound. One of the most popular artists at this time was Juan Louis Guerra with his album “Bachata Rosa” in 1992.
Bachata music today
Now the younger generation of Spanish speaking artists from around the world play bachata. A good example of this is Mana with the guitar based “Bendita Tu Luz”. Today, Aventura are one of the most famous bachata artists. R&B influenced, they cleverly add in rock guitar and had a huge hit with their track “Obsesion” internationally. They have made bachata immensely popular with young people. Bachata artists now find it much easier to promote their songs via the American music industry. Many top artists, such as Toby Love, sing bachata in both English and Spanish.
Looking back at how the perception of bachata music and songs has changed over the last forty years is impressive. From a locally-performed form of music, much loved by those in the rural areas, it has spread to become an international success.
Bachata is about so much more than just dance, with its music reflecting the changing times. For those looking to get involved with bachata dance classes, listing to some of the best bachata songs is definitely the way to go.