Song of the Day: Lucila Campos “El Mayoral”
“El Mayoral,” a song about a brutal slave-driver and a call to enslaved peoples to revolt, has been interpreted by many Peruvian artists. The line “saca tu (take out your) machete”, is a call to take up arms against oppression and tyranny. This particular version, from an ’80s Peruvian television show, as performed by the great Lucila Campos, is a brilliant introduction to Afro-Peruvian music. The rhythm and musical style represented here is called, “Festejo” and is a staple dance among black coastal populations. No matter how many times I hear this song, it fills me with energy and makes me move every time!
Lucila Campos is an institution in Peru. Born in Lima in 1938, she was known as “La Morena Espectáculo” and “Reina de las Polladas“. Campos is one of the greatest artists of all time, in the tradition of Afro-Peruvian music or “Música Criolla“, as it is known in Peru. For many years, she was closely associated with iconic composer and guitarist Óscar Avilés and incomparable singer Arturo “Zambo” Cavero, the trio being one of the most celebrated groups in all of Peru. As a true pillar of her art form, she passed away in her home city of Lima in December of 2016.