Peru: Q’pop, Andean variant of K-pop

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Lenin Tamayo is a Peruvian singer who adapted Korean k-pop to sing it in the language of the Incas. The son of Yolanda Pinares, an Andean popular music artist in Peru, is a growing phenomenon on TikTok and his songs are accumulating hundreds of reproductions, as he has managed to capture young people looking to listen. new sounds.

He does not sing in Korean, English or Japanese; his lyrics are in Spanish and Quechua, the most widely spoken indigenous language in Latin America. Quechua is spoken by approximately 10 million people, from Colombia and Peru in the north to Argentina and Chile in the far south. It is also spoken in Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

Tamayo showcases the roots he was raised with from childhood, but without neglecting his passion for Korean pop, which became something of a lifeline when he was a teenager. This creation was called q-pop (quechua pop) and for now Tamayo is the only representative.

The young singer from Lima was characterized by his shyness during his adolescence. After being bullied and harassed at school, he found refuge with classmates who liked Korean culture and started dating them. Tamayo also discovers that he shares certain characteristics with representatives of the genre: straight black hair, a thin face, slanting eyes and defined cheekbones are just some of the similarities he had with Asian musicians.

And this resemblance is precisely one of the many factors that led him to build a community… he has more than 200,000 followers and 4 million likes to his videos on TikTok.

In some of the videos he posted on YouTube or TikTok, we see him dancing to the rhythm of carefully prepared choreographies while wearing outfits as a nod to his culture, multicolored ponchos and accessories made in looms and devil masks.

Every song on his debut album, released August 10, is based on Inca mythology: Kay Pacha (the world of the living), Uku Pacha (the world of the dead) and Hanan Pacha (the celestial kingdom). On stage, he dances like a Korean artist to the sound of panpipes and lutes typical of the Peruvian highlands.

Catherine Mills Avatar