Los Shapis is a chicha group from Peru. They rose to prominence with their 1981 hit song, El Aguajal (which means The Swamp), a modern adaptation of traditional huayno. They were noted for their rainbow coloured costumes.
Los Shapis was one of the first chicha groups. "Chicha", which is also the name of a traditional beverage made of corn, is a musical rhythm created in the 1980s in Lima. It uses electric and acoustic instruments and was inspired by traditional Andean rhythms like the huayño. In the 1980s chicha was mostly heard and danced in Lima's poor suburbs (the so called "Conos") by the rural migrants (and by their children) that came to Peru's capital since the 1950s and settled in the sand hills that surrounded Lima. Today chicha music, and its latest musical evolutions, can be heard all over the city, and Los Shapis has become a mythical group whose vocalist's (el Chapulín) life has lately inspired a new TV soap.
Chicha was the first of many other fusion rhythms (tecnocumbia, cumbia tropical) that could be described as a mixture of Colombia's traditional cumbia, andean rhythms, tropical Caribbean rhythms (guaracha, bolero), and electronic music; these new rhythms express today's most popular Peruvian music.
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