Colibrí Share How Venezuela's Crisis Has Changed Their Music, Recording: Interview

Courtesy of Billboard Venezuela

When Jeffrey Bautista, Uber Silva, Carlos Linares and Juan David Artal created Colibrí in August 2017, they were betting on Venezuela and on the concept of the "bandada," or flock. 

"Being a bandada was Carlos' idea," Bautista says. "Even though we are four main faces, everyone who supports us in any area -- photography, studio time, or even those who share the links of our material -- are considered part of the group," he says. 

Bautista defines the group's sound as a mix of many things within the framework of indie music and fusion: "The timbre of Carlos' voice makes it distinctive, but we are a very well-known and constantly evolving mix."

In March of this year, the band premiered "Guasina," a powerful song whose video features audiovisual material from the protests of 2014 and 2017 and the clashes between the Venezuelan military and civilians, highlighting the country's humanitarian crisis.

By July, Colibrí was ready for a change and premiered its latest song, "El Daño," where they dabbled in electronic music and bet on the dance floor.

Colibrí sat exclusively with Billboard Venezuela to discuss their music, their next steps and inspiration:

"Guasina" was like a letter full of protest and impact. How did you feel recording it?

Carlos Linares: Recording it was a necessity. There are topics that speak to you and come to you like a scream and need to happen. That was the case here. I had been singing about love and things that are real, but this was also real, and it was happening to me and everyone in my country. Even people from Mexico have told me that they feel identified with the issue. Singing this type of song is much easier than singing danceable songs like "El Daño," for example. The feeling in "Guasina" is far more anchored inside me and to sing it is to release it. 

Jeffrey Bautista: It was not easy. We had three weeks to bring it from a demo to a consolidated track with video and everything. To be honest, I was not completely satisfied with the final result. It took more time to optimize many aspects but the feeling flowed despite everything. It was a challenge that we managed to overcome, and it was great.

Were you afraid of the reactions it might cause?

Linares: If I feared the public's reactions, I would not devote myself to music, because this is about taking risks. I was inspired by how I dealt with the fact that my father believes in communism and I don't. "Guasina" is not written to offend anyone or point out a particular group. I wanted to highlight a social and human situation in an adult way, not "We s-it in the government" or a childish rant like that.

"El Daño" is very different. Tell us about that. 

Linares: It was a challenge to venture into the electronic. As a composer, I did not want to create something that I had not experienced, so it was an even greater challenge to talk about cheating as the cheater and not as the victim. I relied on family experiences, of my parents specifically, and now I can better understand what my father, as the cheater, could have felt.

What musicians inspire you?

Linares: Radiohead, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and locally, La Vida Bohéme, Charliepapa, Okills, Americania and Caramelos de Cianuro. Adam Lambert, Amy Winehouse, you know, music for your brain and your ass.

With the crisis that exists in Venezuela, in every sense, how has your musical development been affected?

Linares: It has forced us to not give in and to challenge ourselves to do high quality things with few resources and spaces. We had to build studios at home; in fact, the guitars of "El Daño" were recorded in a kitchen. Not only at the level of production but in promotion and distribution we have to reinvent ourselves when we do not have an ordinary PR agency but with our bandada, our group of followers, we have most important promoters.

Juan David Artal: You have to simply work more and cry less.