Manu Chao has released a vibrant new version of his classic hit ‘Clandestino’ featuring Tobagonian legend Calypso Rose via Because Music. Taken from Chao‘s critically-acclaimed, debut album ‘Clandestino’, which has sold almost 5 million copies, the track is accompanied by a new, animated video. HERE
Manu Chao and Calypso Rose met at the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival in 2015. “He came round to my hotel wearing old slippers, shorts and a battered small guitar,” recalls Calypso. He charmed her and they played music together for hours. “If he wasn’t taken, I’d be very happy to be Mrs Chao.”
The pair hit it off so well they ended up working together on Calypso Rose’s 2016 album ‘Far From Home’. More than 60 years after writing her first song, the album’s utterly irresistible mix of old and modern calypso, soca, with a dash of reggae and Chao’s trademark guitar, became the biggest international selling album of her life. The follow-up, ‘So Calypso’, was released by Because Music in 2018 and solidified her new global fan-base. This year, at 78, she was the oldest ever artist to perform at the Coachella Festival.
Chronicling the plight of illegal migrants, ‘Clandestino’ is perhaps even more relevant today than it was on its release 21 years ago. Calypso Rose introduces new lyrics about being stranded at sea, “the land in front don’t want me, the land behind me burns”. She continues: “When I see these things on television, I cry that this should be happening in the 21st century.”
Directed by Wise Bird Studios, the animated video imparts that “we value what ‘the clandestine’ can bring. They’re not just shadows that society tries to ignore.”
Both Manu and Rose have a long history of writing about the dispossessed and marginalised. When Calypso was young, church groups tried to stop her performing; calypso was a “man’s domain”. On ‘Far From Home’, she reprised her 1969 song ‘No Madame’, which criticised the treatment of domestic servants and has been credited with spurring legal changes to improve servants’ conditions in her home country.
The new song is also available for free download on Manu Chao’s website HERE.