Animal Chuki: exploring the musical latin roots


Animal Chuki is a project that has been drawing my attention for a while now. A Peruvian electronic music (tropical bass? cumbia digital? ñu cumbia?) duo composed by Andrea Campos and Daniel Valle-Riestra, Animal Chuki has developed a unique sound, personal and innovative by drawing on their cultural roots and proposing an interesting review of it. After two EPs (Nativa 2012, Capicúa 2013) and a European tour (hi there Selvamonos!) last December that brought them (among others) on the stage of Les Transmusicales de Rennes, the young duo is going to released their first feature size disk: Frutero. I had the chance to ask them a few questions by email in order to learn a little more about their project.

Couvre x Chefs: How would you describe your music?

Animal Chuki: Tropical music, fusion, experimental, cadencious. It’s an exploration of several things, one of them would be the exploration of our musical roots. Also rhythms and sounds which are impregnated in our unconscious and we take it out through this project.

CxC: How this project was born?

AC: We liked listen to music together, then create it, later on we thought play it live together. We created this space where we could make the music that we liked listen to and dancing called Animal Chuki. What or who inspired you? We were inspired by the possibility to make music which we felt identified, to be able to share with our generation a sound which was felt a bit forgotten or left beside. It also made us very happy discovered artists that musically were doing crazy things around the world, it inspired us to have the face to release music that we didn´t know whether it would be listened by somebody or not.

Capicúa, Animal Chuki second EP out on ZZK Records, 2013

From Lima to Buenos Aires (ZZK Records) and Barcelona (Folcore)…

CxC: Your music came out very soon from the borders of Peru, Folcore (Spanish Label) edited your first EP, Nativa, and ZZK (Argentina) the second one, Capicúa. How happened these exchanges?

AC: It was precisely in this situation of just being adventurous to upload our music that a friend of us, Diego (Qechuaboi) who in that moment we didn’t meet him, listened a couple of our tracks on soundcloud, according to his own words, he said: “Such a crazy thing, and it is Peruvian, so I’m going to share it with another friend”. And that other friend was Germán de Souza (Cherman) from To him was also good, so he wrote to us a proposition to edit our first EP. We accepted with pleasure, the funny thing is that we hadn’t finished the tracks for the release! What surprised us was the fact that specialized blogs in the genre wrote reviews of our music, that made us very happy and it motivated us to keep on composing.
The contac with ZZK was also very nice because it was a label which we admired because of the work that they did and the artist whose they edited. The first thing that we edited with them was a remix for La Yegros and a collaboration for The ZZK vol. 3 which is a compilation series from various artists around the world.

La Yegros‘ hit  Viene de mi, Animal Chuki remix!

CxC: The ZZK Label is going to have its eighth birthday. We could say that you are the younger brothers of some artists from this label. Are they references for you?

AC: We are the youngest boys in the label, so yes! Hahaha! Of course, we really appreciate them owing to the fact that the music which they edited opened us our brains and taught us that there is not limits to create, you just have to be authentic on what you do.

Animal Chuki by Paolo Rally

… then touring all over Latin America and Europe

CxC: Out from Peru, where you take part in bigger parties as TOMA!, Puro Chascán and Fiestas con CH, You have been in tours in Colombia and Mexico. How do the public react with your music? How was your European Tour?

AC: Very good! It was incredible, such good experiences, you learn a lot. We went to Colombia’s festival called Hermoso Ruido, which is about many days in different Bogotá City’s avenues, it was very good and the public was warm and playful the same as Mexico, which we went for a tour of couple of weeks, they were excellent dates in DF, Oaxaca, Aguascalientes and finally Torreón for The WACO Festival. In Europe, we were taken aback by the public’s reception which was very opened to listen to new things and grateful because we travelled a long distance in order to share our music with them. The reaction is different in each place, but the most common is that the music has something special which makes everyone to be connected with specific melodies or rhythms, it generates this kind of communion between what you give them and the public’s energy. It’s hard to explain in words, but summarising we are very grateful for living all this.

Animal Chuki live at TOMA! party, Lima

Animal Chuki’s debut album: Frutero

CxC: Your more recent Project is your first album called Frutero. To whom that haven’t listened it yet. Which expectations should they have about it? What does it sound?

AC: Well, the album has 11 tracks, all new and also our favourite songs from EPs Nativa and Capicúa but remastered. These tracks are part from the live set that we prepared for 2014 tours, so it is charged of all that energy. The album is called Frutero in order to paying tribute to a Nicomedes Santa Cruz’s (NDLR Peruvian poet) pregón (NDLR street-seller’s song), but Frutero is also a reference to that which produces fruit, the connexion between earth and life that generates even more life. (NDLR Frutero is going to be released in a few days, be sure to check Animal Chuki social networks to get it ;) )

First single: Frutero (Décimas de Nicomedes Santa Cruz)

CxC: Which are your next projects? Will you be in tour? Lives? Videos?

AC: We’re defining the dates out from Peru, play in the most places as possible, because more than digitally do things, we want to share this new production with emphasis in the live experience. This is also because we have already done the sonorous part of Animal Chuki with this disc, now it seems to us natural want to share the visual side of the project, so it’s coming a lot of material!

Boa, second single of Frutero !






Animal Chuki Soundcloud Facebook Twitter
ZZK Records Website Soundcloud Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Youtube

Credit artwork: picture by Paolo Rally
Traduction by Ryan Lavoine & Sándalo Alquitrán.