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Bomba Estereo's Same-Sex 'Amar Así' and 6 Other Latin Videos That Challenge Machismo

Billboard logo Billboard 2018-08-07 Justino Aguila
a person standing next to a tree: Bomba Estereo © Courtesy of Sony Music Bomba Estereo

Three minutes, fifty-one seconds. That's the amount of time it takes for two soldiers on a small and desolate island to wrestle in a moment of truth before they lock lips in the new Bomba Estéreo music video for "Amar Así."

Translated into English, the song's title is "To Love Like That," and when Colombian director Ivan Wild was assigned to take helm of the project, the band's only request was that there'd be a gay theme. 

Written and composed by the band's Liliana Saumet and Simón Mejia, the hypnotic love song from their Grammy-nominated album Ayo also required that it was released on Aug. 7 to coincide with the inauguration day of Colombian-elect president Ivan Duque, who has said he supports equal rights but stopped short of saying he supports gay marriage (regardless, gay marriage has been legal in Colombia since 2016). 

"The video is ultimately a metaphor as a way to challenge people and encourage them to being more tolerant," Mejia tells Billboard. 

For the music video, Wild was given the freedom to take the lead creatively and he wanted to introduce powerful imagery wrapped around masculinity in a throwback style similar to the '50s with an aquatic theme. The filmmaker also wanted to maintain a strong connection between the song and the men in the cinematic-style video, which was shot on a Caribbean island near Saumet's hometown of Santa Marta.

"This video wasn't about making something erotic," Wild says. "Through the subject of two masculine [men] we're also exploring something that also goes beyond sex and that's equality, for everyone."

Bomba Estéreo isn't the first or the last band that will take on the same-sex theme, Mejia said, but he hopes that people take note as a way of moving forward, especially when it comes to equality, tolerance and respect.

In fact, Latin music has many songs and videos that have touched upon same-sex love, showcasing unique stories about life and love. Billboard has rounded up seven of them below.

Bomba Estéreo,"Amar Así"

Carla Morrison, "Eres Tú"

Imagine a world where a marriage between two men is rooted in celebration, respect and tradition. Morrison's charming song and video are the right combination in a story that's all about love. In fact, one YouTube viewer of the video -- which has received more than 38 million views -- fell in love with the Mexican singer's song, but thought the video should have ended with a kiss. 

Alex Anwandter, "Tormenta"

The Chilean singer/songwriter/film director known for deep and fresh pop music writes poetically, but doesn't veer away from introducing serious themes and subjects in his music and videos. From his Rebeldes album, the "Tormenta" music video is beautifully shot in Puerto Rico. The video shows a variety of couples from gay to straight and doesn't shy away from showing passion for each other in long embraces, major make out sessions and a steamy shower scene.  

Francisco Victoria, "Marinos"

At 22, Victoria is making very cool music that has depth and speaks to the youth of today. Mentored by Anwandter, who produced his recently released Prenda, the young singer/songwriter stars in a compelling coming-of-age story about love, lust and rebellion. Filmed in Cartagena, a region of Valparaíso, Chile, the video's storyline shows the bonding of young men and the trials and tribulations of falling for someone early in life. The breathtaking end is open for interpretation. 

Kany Garcia, "Bailemos un Blues"

Since coming out in early 2016, Garcia has continued to ascend musically, personally and professionally. The May release of Soy Yo features masterfully-written music with rich and romantic themes from the Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, who enjoys a global pool of fans. Thanks to the abundant support of her Sony label and team, the results are stellar, with songs such as "Bailemos un Blues," which includes a sweet video featuring marionettes that cleverly represent many types of people. 

Gloria Trevi, "Me Miran" 

Talk about an anthem. Trevi's classic "Me Miran" only gets better each time; the song's video opens with a handsome man who suddenly begins to cry, then he begins applying makeup. "I was only what you wanted to see," the lyrics read. When the Mexican star performs, it's all eyes on Trevi. 

Ricardo Arjona, "Que Nadie Vea" 

Written for his 5to Piso album, the Guatamalan-born Arjona wrote this somber ballad about a young man who hid his true identity throughout his life in order to fit in and be socially accepted. Many have recorded versions of the song, which resonates with fans throughout the world. This composition also speaks to Arjona's ability to think out of the box by introducing stories out of his comfort zone in the most authentic of ways, making him one of most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, with a total of 1.1 billion views on his YouTube channel. 


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