Peruvian goddess sings: four and a half octaves and a whole lot of mambo
P IS FOR PERU
I (like many other queer millenials, I’m sure) first discovered the sounds of Yma Sumac through RuPaul’s Drag Race, when two fantastically talented drag queens, Detox and Jinx Monsoon, lipsynced to her “Malambo No. 5”. It remains one of my top three performances of the show, but I was even more transfixed with the pageantry of Yma Sumac’s incomparable voice. An operatic genius with four and a half octaves and the cheer of novelty musicians, who can oscillate from tender songbird to raving mad harpy: that’s my jam. Besides, Sumac’s music is incredibly danceable, and, because it defies conventions of genre, pretty timeless. With summer approaching, exactly what one needs, with some pisco sours and an embroidered skirt.
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