Brownswood’s most recent signing comes in the form of the 22-year-old Cuban powerhouse with her uniquely powerful voice and iridescent character, Daymé Arocena. Daymé was part of the Havana Cultura project which saw Gilles travelling to Havana for a series of music workshops with local and international producers. Daymé auditioned there and the rest, as they say, was history.
Recorded in just a few days between London and Havana, Daymé’s debut album for Brownswood, Nueva Era, is an elegant work of maturity which showcases her distinct mix of influences. The highlight of the album, ‘Madres’, alludes to her background as a choir director, where a rich mix of her native Yoruba and Spanish layered vocals combine with a deep instrumental backing producing ethereal results. Daymé is deeply spiritual and religious, and this shines through on ‘Madres’, where the Santeria chanting – a central part of Daymé’s worship – forms the backbone of the track. ‘Madres’ is a prayer song to her two mothers, Yemaya and Ochun, in the Santeria religion of her homeland, and it’ll have you hooked from the very first listen.
Nueva Era LP is out 8th June on Brownswood Recordings.