Charles King: King of Champeta

Americas Now

AN URBAN VOICES CHARLES KING 5

This week’s Urban Voice on “Americas Now” is a singer from Colombia named Charles King. King has gained fame for developing a genre of soulful music which is wildly popular with the country’s youth, called Champeta.

Champeta is a style of Afro-Colombian music which blends guitar and drum sounds with African rhythms. It boomed in Colombia’s Caribbean coast city of Cartagena during the 1980’s.

Charles King hails from the African side of Colombia and has played Champeta for decades. He has recorded over 200 songs.

King says he was greatly influenced by Africa’s musical tradition in his childhood. His music is a reflection of daily life in Colombia and his lyrics often mirror social problems.

King was invited to participate in this year’s edition of the literature and arts celebration “The Hay Festival” in Cartagena. A couple of months ago, he dazzled an international audience during Colombia’s Independence Day celebration in Washington DC.

He tells us about the cultural significance of Champeta and the impact of his lyrics, in this week’s interview for Urban Voices.

Check out Charles King on “Americas Now.” Like many Colombians, you might even catch “Champeta Fever” yourself.

Urban Voices: Colombian singer Charles King

Urban Voices: Colombian singer Charles King

Champeta is a style of Afro-Colombian music which blends guitar and drum sounds with African rhythms. It boomed in Colombia’s Caribbean coast city of Cartagena during the 1980's. This week’s Urban Voice on “Americas Now” is a singer from Colombia named Charles King. King has gained fame for helping to develop this genre of soulful music. In fact you could call him the King of Champeta. Check out his interview for "Urban Voices."