Today Combo Chimbita has released their latest single and video for “Yo Me Lo Merezco” featuring Black trans artist Teresa Karolina wading through a river of affirmations and seeking abundance from Yemaya, orisha of nourishing waters. In the video we find Karolina emerging from her everyday routine and into a dreamy simultaneous dimension where she commands the lyrical manifesto of divine feminine strength and radical self-love.
Watch “Yo Me Lo Merezco” here - https://youtu.be/JIpSnfQ5lec
“Yo Me Lo Merezco” is the fourth and last in a series of auto-fictional narrative videos with prominent queer and trans performance artists to be featured alongside tracks from Combo Chimbita’s upcoming album IRÉ, out January 28.
“Even before the pandemic, the world has tried to silence us and shield us from the abundance of our own bodies, the nature around us, and the treasures our spirits and ancestors intended for us; even despite society, patriarchy, and other oppressive institutions telling us otherwise,” Karolina explained.
“I wrote this song as a gift to myself as I try every day to better understand who I am, my worth, my calling, and what I have to offer in this world,” added lead singer Carolina Oliveros. “It’s a healing proclamation to firmly believe in oneself and walk headstrong with the radiance we know shines deeply through our spirit. That revelation is something I had to summon yesterday, remember today, and will continue to honor tomorrow.”
IRÉ finds its rallying spark in convulsive present day realities by metabolizing the anxieties of systemic racism, capitalist decadence, totalitarian governments and the attempted erasure of queer and trans people. Early writing sessions in the summer of 2020 found Combo Chimbita grappling with the limbo of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a firestorm of Black Lives Matter protests swept through streets around the globe. Months later, they flew to Puerto Rico to record and mix the LP, bearing witness to the suffocating complexities of the island's imperialist tether to the U.S.
“Each intentional collaboration builds a critical bridge with queer & trans artists whose work illuminate ways of resisting, of living, [and] of stretching into generations of wisdoms,” explained director and producer Oscar Diaz. “Teresa Karolina’s bold reflection in ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’ challenges the societal neglect often imposed onto the trans community; Helen Ceballos gives birth to the ancestral roots that guide us through our many evolutions in ‘Memoria’; Edrimael Delgado Reyes defiantly steps into the fire of enlightenment in ‘Babalawo’; and Lio Villahermosa helps us center our healing through the rubble and destruction in ‘Oya’.
Each single release has made this clearer, with UPROXX trumpeting Combo Chimbita as “making some of the most incredibly inspired music in the world right now... [and] pushing incredible boundaries in keeping these stories at the forefront.”
“It's important to listen and feel this worry and the desire to change and improve things,” adds Oliveros, capturing IRÉ’s transcendent purpose to heal and construct a new world through the power of music. Like the jaguar before them, Combo Chimbita carries on; delicate, resilient and roaring.