I’m not exactly sure of what to think of Ecuadorian Delfin Quishpe’s September 11 tribute. Is it comic genius or just innocently bizarre? I saw the video earlier this year and forgot about it until it was brought to my attention the other day. The singer, who calls his music Andean Techno Folklore, was born in a mud hut speaking Quechua in Ecuador’s province of Chimborazo.
Most of his videos begin with him sitting at his house and watching the news on TV. In Torres Gemelas, which has been seen more than 7 million times since it was posted on Youtube in 2006, Quishpe sees the news of the twin towers and he sings about a loved one that he lost in the attack. News footage of the attacks is woven into footage of Ecuadorian cities and beaches, Manhattan city scenes, and Quishpe singing superimposed against the footage in his black and white cowboy suit. Quishpe’s cell phone number even appears, which some have found offensive, though he explained in a later interview that the video was meant as a promotion for his act to land gigs. The video truly was meant as a tribute he has said.
There are now Reggaeton remixes of the song, he’s been written about in newspapers around the region, grown a following for his live concerts, performed at Chile’s renowned Viña del Mar music festival, and become an international celebrity. As far as I know, he’s the first South American indigenous person to ever make it big on youtube in this way. Delfin hasta el fin!
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.