Immigrant Songs: Combo Chimbita

Immigrant Songs

Combo Chimbita’s latest record Ahomale isn’t just an album, it’s a powerful feminine warrior who channels her heart and the spirts of our ancestors, fighting for enlightenment and pushing the world forward into a simultaneously ancient and progressively visionary future. It’s the heart and soul of four first-generation New Yorkers who came together over their love of not only traditional music from their birth country Colombia, but of psychedelic sounds, metal, soul and more.

Like all of their releases it’s breathtaking in its intensity, beautiful power and the unique amalgam of styles it represents. It roars at you like fire that’s just gotten a huge breath of oxygen, making you take a step back while you uncontrollably look directly into the flames as they carry both your body and mind into another space. It sounds like Colombia, it sounds like New York City, it sounds like nothing you’ve heard before.

Combo Chimbita’s music isn’t just introspective, it also rocks harder than most, and you’ll want to dance or bang your head or both. While the albums are wonderful, it’s the live performances that are really next level. Lead singer Carolina Oliveros is a transfixing and fist-raising, and the group is incredibly tight and take control of you with their trippy and fun sonic fusion. We were lucky enough to host the band at KEXP for a live session and are excited to share the results.

They were also nice enough to sit down with us after the performance for an extra interview for our Immigrant Songs series, which spotlights the great contributions and unique stories of musical artists that have migrated to the United States. Combo Chimbita share their personal journeys and some insight into what it’s like to live in, and in between, two worlds whilst creating a path for all of us to follow into another.



About Immigrant Songs: Immigrant Songs is a series presented and produced by KEXP, with support from The Vilcek Foundation. Through in-studio performances, interviews with local and national artists, and other written content, KEXP DJ curators will explore the immigrant experience. Read more stories here.

About The Vilcek Foundation: The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States, was inspired by the couple’s careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The foundation awards annual prizes to immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and sponsors cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival. To learn more, visit

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