April 20, 2014
Calle 13 multi-viral trend
The digital revolution has for almost a decade now turned the record industry up on its head, ever since illegal downloads paved the way for a new concept in music listening and purchase habits.
Only three weeks ago pop artist Beyonce made headline news when she unexpectedly announced that her new, self-titled album was available for downloads from the iTunes store the same day she was supposed to just launch the album’s first single. Beyonce sold 617,000 copies in the US alone.
Since album sales are on the decline, most artists have resorted to live concerts and globe-trotting tours, while others have gone for a more affordable but no less attractive option for music fans: the disc is for free if you buy a concert ticket.
Jumping on the bandwagon is Puerto Rican band Calle 13, winner of three Latin Grammys and owner of an eclectic music style that sets it apart from most “reggaeton” performers. Since concerts are now announced months before with pre-sales offers, Calle 13 has just announced that, for its March 1 concert at the Ferrocarril Oeste arena, its new album Multi-viral will be thrown in for free together with the ticket.
Alas, no such thing as the physical album, but rather a free digital download card.
After its BA gig, Calle 13 will on March 2 perform at the Cosquín Rock festival, taking a five-day break before they play on March 7 at the Teatro Metropolitano (Rosario), and an even longer hiatus on their tour of Argentina before their March 20 show at the Andes Talleres arena in Mendoza.
Tucked in between their Argentine gigs, Calle 13 will perform in Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, to then travel back north to Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Strong on social issues (their biggest hits include Querido F.B.I., Residente o Visitante, and Entren los que quieran), Calle 13 will then take its vigorous message through the Caribbean, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Highlighting its true commitment to social and political issues, band members René Pérez and stepbrother Eduardo Cabra go by the most telling nicknames of “Resident” and “Visitor” respectively.
After seven years on the road and releasing no albums with new material, Calle 13’s Multi-viral was published under its own label, El Abismo. In keeping with its spirit, Multi-viral was cowritten by René Pérez and Julian Assange to address the manipulation of information in the media.
“We feel the need to help achieve change in the music industry, a favourable change, that is. Artists must remain in control to the extent that this is possible,” René said in an interview before embarking on the new tour.