“Colombia, Mi Encanto” by Carlos Vives
The title of this track translates to “Colombia, My Charm”. As implied by it, this is what songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda referred to as “a love letter to Colombia”.
This song is from a Disney film which itself is set in Colombia. And as we all know, Disney is a studio that specializes in family-friendly entertainment. As such, even though this can be classified as a party tune, it isn’t of the raunchy reggaeton variety, i.e. the types we usually come across emanating from Colombia these days.
Instead, the party which is depicted in this case is the type that we can envision all age groups enjoying. It is one of those situations where what’s being celebrated is the goodness and blessing of life. And as far as drugs or what have you are concerned, the only substance being ‘snuck into the house’ appears to be some good ol’ fashioned caffeine, i.e. coffee, which by the way is one of Colombia’s principle crops.
Also, whereas an affection for the country is expressed in the choruses throughout, it isn’t until the third verse that the vocalist really gets to biggin’ up his homeland, i.e. its God-given beauty. It should be noted that despite Colombia a highly-urbanized country, to this day most of the landmass itself is actually forest.
The vocalist also expresses an appreciation for Colombians. Indeed all lyrics considered, it is obvious that he enjoys the people more so than anything, and earlier in the song they are depicted as possessing a strong sense of joy and optimism.
So it is true that this piece, and by extension the film it is featured on differentiates from how Western pop media usually depicts Colombia. And the vocalist is clearly in love with the country, referring to it as his “favorite place”.
Facts about “Colombia, Mi Encanto”
This song is from Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), which Walt Disney Records put out on 19 November 2021. That is to say that this track is featured on Encanto, a movie that came out around the same time, which itself is set in the South American country of Colombia. And to note the vocalist of this piece, Carlos Vives, is also from Colombia.
Below are some other popular songs from the Encanto project:
This song falls along the lines of a type of Colombian folk music known as vallenato.
The writer and co-producer of this song, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is himself an American, though of Latin American parentage. Miranda has noted that the composition of this tune was inspired by Carlos Vives’s artistry. And Vives also lent to the production of “Colombia, Mi Encanto”.
Vives, who himself is a highly-decorated musician, expressed an appreciation for being involved with Encanto. According to him, the film seeks to paint a (relatively) holistic picture of the (oft-stereotyped) Colombian people.