Many people think of partying and fun when they think of the Dominican Republic. Of course the association to such words makes sense, as one of the most valuable and captivating things about this country is the wonderful music that people listen and dance to. Not only is the music of the Dominican Republic a fun cultural element, it is also an important reflection of its history. If you’re feeling like dancing the night away, be ready to learn about the most popular music in the Dominican Republic.
One of the most iconic things about the Dominican Republic is the people’s love for bachata music. This romantic musical genre was born here, in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. The first artist who debuted in the bachata field was José Manuel Calderón in 1962, with his song “Borracho de amor” (translates to “Drunk in Love”). Ever since, bachata has become one of the emblems of the country with internationally recognized artists such as Romeo Santos, Juan Luis Guerra, Hector “El Torito” Acosta, Prince Royce, Luis Vargas and Frank Reyes among many others. The way bachata is danced consists of three steps and a tap, with a pop of the hips during the tap. When you visit the Dominican Republic, you can listen to bachata on restaurants, bars, clubs, and even in the street. If there is anything that Dominicans are proud of are of their music, especially bachata.
Considering that merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic, it is an absolute must to go out and try dancing to it yourself. This unique genre of music is the result of a special mix of elements coming from quite diverse backgrounds: it blends in the accordion (European influence), a two-sided drum (African influence) and a güira (Taíno influence). Merengue has a pretty catchy rhythm, and it is usually danced as a couple. The pace is fast and the vibe is lively. Some of the most famous Dominican merengue artists include Juan Luis Guerra, Los Hermanos Rosario and Eddy Herrera. The genre was born around the colonial period when African dances and traditions met the European and Native musical traditions. You’ll be sure to hear merengue playing in clubs, restaurants and bars all over the country.
Another popular genre of music in the Dominican Republic is dembow. This style is often compared to dancehall music, as many people describe it as “Dominican dancehall”, and is also often associated to reggaeton music. Dembow has a fast paced rhythm and a very energetic vibe. It also uses lots of word repetition, creating rhythm lyrically as well. Dembow is danced in a fast paced fashion, with movements similar to reggaeton, involving lots of seduction attitude. The most popular Dominican dembow artists include El Alfa, Shelow Shaq, and Chimbala. If you’re full of energy and want to dance, dembow is the go-to option.
When you visit the Dominican Republic, you know it is important to visit the beach, the museums and other key landmarks. However, one can learn a lot about a country and its people by listening to their music, as it opens a door to their history and traditions. When you visit Santo Domingo, make sure to book your stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo. To learn more about the Dominican Republic, click here.