Our journey on the Musical Road to Womex is in its final stretch. Over the past month, we’ve traversed the diverse soundscapes of the world music world, introducing you to some remarkable musicians and bands who will be gracing the stages of A Coruña in just one week.
These artists were carefully selected by the legendary 7 Samurai to be part of the showcase programme at Womex 2023. They’ve also found a place in our pages, generously sharing their time, music selections and answering our Q&As.
As we draw closer to Galicia, we couldn’t conclude the 2023 edition of our section without featuring a proper “local” artist. Born in Catoira, a little over an hour’s drive from A Coruña, Alejandro Guillán, better known as Baiuca, is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage, expressions, folktales, landscapes, and people of Galicia. These elements are the essence of his unique musical style.
With a career spanning 13 years (5 as Baiuca), Alejandro has continually evolved, pushing the boundaries and blending Galician traditional music with pop, electronica, global beats, and more. As he confirmed in our Q&A, he’s on the cusp of releasing his third album and this is your opportunity to immerse yourself in his talent, creativity, and musical taste.
Could you briefly introduce your music to someone new at Womex and share the key influences and origins of your unique sound?
I am a producer from Galicia and the fundamental basis of my project is the influence of the Galician tradition in an environment of electronic and dance music, without losing the look towards the creation of songs. In my music is very important the Galician musical tradition (its mainly female voices, traditional rhythms and percussion instruments). And those elements are usually mixed with electronic percussion sounds and synthesizers, while organic elements are processed with sampling techniques to give them a new dimension.
Could you share a personal anecdote or experience that significantly impacted your musical journey and the evolution of your sound?
When I started to meet more people from places in the world different from Galicia I realized that I had to introduce in my music part of my identity as a Galician and to be able to develop a project that reflected my current influences in club music, pop and new trends but that had a cultural identity of the place where I was born and where I grew up both personally and musically.
In a world full of diverse musical genres, styles, and traditions, how do you believe your music stands out and brings something fresh and exciting to the audience’s ears?
I think there are cultures in terms of international projection that are dominant and with rhythms and instruments that have conquered the whole world, whether from Latin America or Africa for example, but there are small places in the world where there is a culture that may not be so well known to the international public, and one of those places is Galicia, where we have a tradition with an incredible strength and quality. Every time I travel around the world I can see the reaction of the people to the characteristic instruments we have and our rhythms, it is fascinating to see the surprise on their faces.
As Womex is not only a Worldwide Music Expo but also a lively global music funfair, are there any showcases you’re looking forward to attending and enjoying or artists participating that you would like to meet during those five days?
I have been listening to some of the participating projects and KhalilEpi, Cocanha and DanykasDj have caught my attention. There are several projects that I know that I have been lucky enough to work with and that I recommend to those who don’t know them, such as TartaRelena and Caamaño & Ameixeiras.
This edition of Womex will take place in A Coruña. Have you ever been there, and is there anything specific you’re looking forward to doing, visiting, eating, and/or drinking in the Spanish city?
A Coruña is a very important city for me. It’s the place where some of the musicians who accompany me on tour live, and where I’ve been able to perform some of the most significant concerts of my career, like the one last year at Praia de Riazor for 50,000 people. It’s very meaningful to me that this year I can present myself at Womex in the official section, and that it can be in Galicia. The gastronomy of A Coruña keeps getting better, but what I always enjoy doing whenever I go to the city is savoring the potato omelette, as it’s one of the cities where it’s the most delicious in my opinion. However, of course, any dish from Galician cuisine is recommended in A Coruña.
Womex is a unique opportunity to share and showcase your music with new people and inform them about your upcoming projects. Could you reveal some of your plans for the future?
I am finishing my third album which will be released in 2024 and with which I hope to tour again, although I have never stopped playing concerts and feeling the warmth of the public. I would love to visit new countries and return to other places where I have been able to connect with people.
If you had to draft an invitation card for our readers to join you at Womex and enjoy your showcase, what would you write in it?
Come and see my show, where you can enjoy an audiovisual show where traditional Galician instruments are mixed with electronic bases looking for a trance where the public can enter and enjoy the culture of Galicia in an updated way. I perform accompanied by some of the most relevant voices and percussions of Galician music which makes the show gain stage presence.