Medicina, released this week, takes you to the beats of Caribbean coast of South America, the mountain melodies of the Andes, the shamanic traditions of the rainforest region and the Afro-Brazilian rhythms of Eastern South America. The artist behind Medicine is American artist Ben Harris who uses the artistic name Iemanjo (a masculine incarnation of Iemanja, the Afro-Brazilian goddess of the sea).
A polyglot, who sings in Spanish, English and Portuguese throughout the album, Iemanjo is also as multi-instrumentalist who plays a wide variety of acoustic instruments and electronics. Iemanjo conceived Medicina after traveling through Colombia in 2013. The final result is a flavorful mix of traditional music from South America, soul, Manu Chao-inspired pop, electronica and shamanic influences.
Iemanjo plays most of the instruments in the album, including ukulele, trumpet, percussion, harmonium, beatbox, electronics and lead vocals. Guests include JuanCaros Arévalo on flutes and charango; Don Keller on guitar; Casey Skodnek on guitar and bass; Walker Free on piano, AJ block on didjeridu; Tyler Sussman on flute; and Seraina Grathowi on violin.
Ben Harris was born in Berkeley, California. He’s played a wide-range of musical styles, ranging from rock and soul to jazz and world music with various bands such as Allen Stone’s band, the celebrated Seattle Rock Orchestra and toured internationally with the New York City rock band Outernational. Iemanjo is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.
Medicina is a fine example of South American-inspired global pop with a shamanic edge.