Way back in November I started out on this mission to feature the three judges from Colombian reality show La Voz Teens for Music Monday. First I wrote about pop/hip-hop band ChocQuibTown, then I highlighted ballad man Andrés Cepeda. I kind of got stuck there; listening to all of those ballads were a bit torturous for me, and I wasn’t sure what kind of music to expect from the third judge. Here I am, though, finally finishing this thing, and fortunately, this music isn’t just boring ballads. Today we’ve got the dulcet tones of Gusi.
Gusi (Andrés Acosta Jaramillo) was born in Venezuela but moved to Bogotá at a young age. His love for music comes from his family – the guitar he learned on was a gift his dad had given his mom while they were dating. In university, he played in a few different bands as a singer, guitarist, or drummer. Then he met Alberto (Beto) Murgas Jr.
Beto is from Valledupar, one of the departments known for vallenato, in a family so into the music that his dad turned his house into an “accordion museum.” Gusi & Beto formed a vallenato duo for seven years, with Beto on accordion and Gusi on guitar and voice.
Their first album, released in 2007, was recognized with a Latin Grammy nomination in the category of Best Cumbia/Vallenato album. They built up popularity here in Colombia, and their third album landed two different singles in the number one spot on Colombian charts, each for 10 weeks! Below is one of them.
In 2013 Gusi made a jerk move (my opinion). He didn’t just say, “yo, Beto, I wanna go solo.” Instead, he said, “yo, Beto, I wanna go solo, but I’ll offer you a job as my accordion player.” So basically, they’d keep doing what they had been doing, except that Beto’s name was coming off the marquee and he’d be getting a pay cut. Needless to say, Beto didn’t take up that offer.
Gusi’s first solo release received two Latin Grammy noms – one for Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album, and one for Best Tropical Song for “Tú tienes razón (versión bachata).” There is also a vallenato version of the song, on which he teamed up with pop-vallenato superstar Silvestre Dangond. More to come on Silvestre in the next edition of Music Monday.
This last song is called “Eres,” which in Spanish means “you are.” Keep that in mind as you listen.