Think Latino, think samba. And think samba, think music.
Few countries have such a representative and emblematic music genre, yet Cuba – and South America as a whole – is one of them. Samba is linked to the carnival parades and dancing that provokes euphoria on the streets of South America every year and is therefore, an important part of Cuban culture.
From their captivating and pulsating rhythm to the oomph of the drums, have a listen to these classic samba dance anthems. Plus, you have our permission to test out your dance moves on the Alma de Cuba dancefloor whenever one of these tunes come on.
What did Waka Waka mean? No one knew – but that didn’t stop the whole world from singing the phrase and dancing to Shakira’s World Cup anthem back in 2010.
Shakira’s snappy tune was both the sound of the summer and the sound of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This fun samba dance anthem was what everyone was listening to back in 2010 so much so, that Waka Waka skyrocketed to number one across the globe.
Despite the song’s success however, no one ever found out what Waka Waka meant – shame.
This Samba dance anthem set a new record on YouTube last year, reaching 6,000,000,000 views. Despacito therefore, wasn’t just a samba dance anthem, it was a samba dance sensation.
Having reached just about everyone on the planet, Despacito sat at number one in the charts for a huge sixteen weeks; matching Mariah Carey’s 24-year-old record. As was Shakira’s samba song in 2010, Despacito was the sound of last summer.
An Alma de Cuba favourite, Despacito continues to have our troop of samba dancers dancing. But whatever you do, don’t translate the lyrics.
Enrique Martin Morales, or Ricky Martin to you and me, is the undisputed king of samba dance music. Plus, no countdown, wedding reception or cheesy samba-themed party would be complete without Livin’ La Vida Loca.
This samba dance anthem shouldn’t be mocked however, as Livin’ La Vida Loca is seen as the song that began the Spanish and Portuguese pop explosion – which later gave way to singers such as Enrique Iglesias and Shakira.
That said, who doesn’t love singing and dancing to this samba classic which, we kid you not, was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards in 2000.
Pop music royalty Enrique Iglesias – although Spanish – knows how to sing a samba song. His notable tunes include El Perdedor, Loco, Takin’ Back My Love and Hero.
This absolute anthem peaked at number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs Chart back in 2012 and, obviously, reached number one in Inglesias’ home country of Spain. And, weirdly, the song was also chosen as the song of Miss USA 2012.
Nevertheless, this samba dance anthem made a nice change from listening to Inglesias sing Hero for the hundredth time.
When one thinks about samba dancing, it’s impossible not to think of the queen of South America: J.Lo.
On The Floor, which was released in 2011, was motivated by Lopez’s Hispanic heritage and pays homage to her career-beginnings as a dancer – although we don’t think she was a samba dancer.
There’s just something about J.Lo that stirs up tastes and sounds of summer down in Havana or Rio de Janeiro. Come on, she even names countries such as Brazil, Morocco and Ibiza in the unimaginative, albeit catchy chorus.
We know that you could probably argue that every J.Lo song is a samba dance anthem, but we’re quite partial to this one.
Celebrate everything samba at Alma de Cuba, Liverpool’s favourite Cuban bar and restaurant.
Located in the historic old church on Seel Street, Alma de Cuba is simply stunning. This legendary venue boasts spectacular features that dominate the already awe-inspiring room and a medley of samba dance classics to match.
We can’t wait to welcome you into our amazing home, week in week out. Whether you’re looking for the ultimate samba party or a delectable meal for two, there’s no place like Alma de Cuba – a taste of Cuba in the heart of Liverpool.
And at Alma de Cuba, we don’t just live for the weekend. Check out our unmissable restaurant deals for every day of the week here.