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It’s Cimafunk’s world, we’re just living in it.

Cimafunk asset

Source: Raúl González

To see the world through Cimafunk‘s larger-than-life frames is to see life in ways that require stepping outside your comfort zone and living in color.

Born and raised in Cuba, the diaspora-dazzling dynamo ascended to stardom while carving out his own unique lane that exists between new-age Funk and intergalactic Jazz.

ACL Music Festival 2022 - Weekend 1

Source: Erika Goldring/WireImage

Fueled by good vibes and his skyscraping flattop, Cimafunk redefined originality by infusing Cuban rhythms and traditions with sounds and styles from Africa and the U.S.

Named as one of Billboard‘s ‘Top 10 Latin Artist To Watch,’ the electric showman rocketed onto radars with 2018 hit “Me Voy” which led to him being crowned “Artist of the Year” by Vistar Magazine, winning the Lucas Award for Most Popular Video, and selling out venues across Cuba.

Fast-forward to 2021 where he stepped into his rockstar era with critically-acclaimed sophomore album El Alimento (featuring George Clinton, Cee-Lo Green, and Lupe Fiasco) that landed at #3 of Rolling Stone‘s Best Spanish-Language and Bilingual Albums of 2021 and #23 of the 50 Best Albums of 2021.

El Alimento also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album that cemented his status as one of music’s brightest innovators.

With his star steadily rising, Cimafunk caught the attention of Cadillac which featured him in its recent Rising Icons campaign.

Building on his momentum, the future legend and his 9-person band from Havana rocked crowds across the world at major events including SXSW 2019 (Austin), Central Park Summer Stage (NYC), Blue Note (NYC), Barcelona Jazz Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza (Chile), and more.

When they weren’t packing venues, they were trending on Youtube with their buzzy Tiny Desk concert that NPR selected as one of the overall best of 2020.


At 33, Cimafunk continues to elevate Latin Funk music while staying true to his Afro-Cuban roots that define his transcendent artistry.

We caught up with the humble hitmaker who opened up about his rise to stardom, hit sophomore album, show-stopping style, Cadillac campaign, and more in our interview you can enjoy below:

Bossip: You were in medical school–when did you know it was your destiny to be a musician?

Cimafunk: ‘Once my grandmother started to have kids she was like ‘everybody is going to college’ otherwise you’re a shame in the neighborhood. So when I started to do medicine, I didn’t want to do that. And then the second year I was like ‘yo, I’m gonna be a really bad doctor…’

My grandma, my mom said do whatever you feel. They always believed in my singing. That was the main thing I was doing at the time.’

[They said] if you want to do music you have to find a way to study something and gravitate to something. So I moved to Havana, to the Capitol, and started to figure out how to connect with people that were doing music at the time and spent a few years studying those things.’

Bossio: Tell me about the album El Alimento–George Clinton, Lupe Fiasco, Cee-Lo Green??

Cimafunk: That’s crazy, I got a great team… once we started to make the album, started to cook this album, it was my nutrition during pandemic times. I wasn’t able to play live and my team, they just get crazy. ‘If you could have George Clinton, that would be amazing’ and BAM! We got in contact with someone in George’s family and that’s when they dropped the information.

One of the things that helped was all of these great musicians were in the house during pandemic times.’

Bossip: How’s that been for you, finally getting back on stage [after the pandemic]–the energy, what’s that been like?’

Cimafunk: The people are different now, the crowd, they feel the music more… it’s been crazy, they want to dance, they want latin music, they want that interaction. It’s beautiful. That’s my favorite thing as an artist.’

Bossip: What’s your creative process?

Cimafunk: ‘I’m traveling a lot so I have my laptop, sound interface, and my microphone… so when I write I just put everything there and I start to make the music. I don’t know to read or play music so I tell the musician [what to play] and record the guitar sound, the riffs of the bass, and then convert my voice’

Bossip: Tell me something about Cuba I need to know as someone whose never been–what do I need to do? Where do I need to go?

Cimafunk: ‘You got to do many things. One of the things that you got to do [is go to] Santiago, okay. It’s like a really good place. You got to go to my hometown. It is a beautiful place and you go to the forest, walk in the forest, and see all of the guys that play music and even if you get lost that would be the perfect experience. Because my hometown is famous for that… if you get lost there, they’ll bring you to their house so you can be living with them for two or three days.’

Bossip: How would you describe your personal style?

Cimafunk: I love the time of the Ohio Players. It’s one of my favorite [bands]. I love the vibe and the style but also I love the Cuban vibe from the forest. Everybody was super elegant. Even on a hot day, they were elegant. My grandma used to say once you go out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you couldn’t say who has money and who doesn’t because everybody was super elegant… I love the combination of the Cuban flavor and the U.S. funky soul vibe.’

Bossip: What do you do for self-care?

Cimafunk: ‘breathing exercises, meditations sometimes, a lot of water…eating less meat, eating less salt, processed things. that’s one of the things that’s helped me a lot.’

Bossip: How did you get connected with Cadillac on the campaign?

Cimafunk: They reached out and connected with me. I’m a fan of the brand so when they connected with me it was like ‘what do we have to do?’

Bossip: What inspires you?

Cimafunk: ‘A lot of artists inspire me but mostly life… Cima came from ‘cimarrón’ (Cubans

of African descent who resisted and escaped slavery) and in Cuba they created a small village high in the mountains so that was the base of the Cuban flavor. For that reason, I chose Cima… funk because, for me, it was one of the things that pushed me… and the funk was the weight of all this movement. If you wanna dance, you have to have funk. The funk is everywhere.

When I started to see artists like James Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Ohio Players, Sly, I was watching the music but also the life they live. They were breaking walls, they were opening doors, and that was something that really inspired me to get into music.

That’s why shows are so important to me. You cannot go back and record again. You have to give the people something true about you and the people are going to feel it no matter who they are or where they came from, they’re going to feel it.’


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