As for the background of this little tune, I would like to cite Juliet P.’s YouTube comment. Why reinvent the wheel? Juliet’s daughter Rosanna did quite a lot of research, so this rather precise. Big thanks to Rosanna Pagaspas!
THE SONG – “Summer Salsa (Chi Might II)” was written by Mike Wilbury. The music dates back to 2016 when an instrumental version was published on Sep 16th. Sina’s drum video track from the 2016 release is also used here – in case anybody wonders why she’s using her old drum kit! At the time the song didn’t even have a title, “Summer Salsa” being more of a description, and Sina asked for title suggestions and if there was a singer interested in contributing some vocals to get in touch.
Thankfully the title hasn’t really changed and Mike had to come up with his own lyrics. It still took another two years to find the singer and a proper home for the song.
Stylistically, there is definitely a Latin flavor particularly in the piano parts and the newly added percussion. Salsa, meaning “sauce”, is difficult to pin down musically. It originated as dance music in New York City in the 1960s (perhaps even earlier) and included various genres played mostly by Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians. There is still some controversy and some musicians with Venezuelan and Colombian roots dispute the origin. Nevertheless, by the 1970s to’80s, Salsa spread throughout Latin America. The addition of the accordion here suggests an influence of vallenato-salsa as popularized by artists like Gloria Estefan.
“Summer Salsa (Chi Might II)” is bittersweet being an upbeat number musically that artfully disguises the sad and painful breakup story told by the lyrics.
THE COLLABORATION – On vocals, we welcome back 17 year-old Cologne based singer-songwriter-musician Celi (Celis_music)who enthralled us a month ago with her rendition of “Michelle”. At times she performs in Cologne as a “Straßenmusiker” (street-musician). Celi was an opening act for the five member Cologne based band Lupo on their 2017 Lupo Live tour and she opened at a gig of Sina’s live band The Gäs where she caught Mike’s attention. Celi also donates some of her time and talent to charitable causes. Any of you who happen to be in Frechen, on the outskirts of Cologne, in early November just might catch her playing at a benefit concert for children in need.
Along with multi-talented Mike on guitar, bass, and keyboards and, of course, Sina on drums, the present version of “Summer Salsa” has the addition of Dominic Bonnaire on percussion and Jonathan Reuter on accordion. Once again we have Sina doing an excellent job on backing vocals. We did ask her if she might ever consider doing main vocals and, while she intends to improve her singing abilities, she said “I don’t really want to be a lead singer, I’m happy with background vocals”. Sina, if you’re happy then so are we. You’ve shown us time after time that you have the skill and determination to do anything you want.
We also asked Celi about her experiences working with Sina and Mike. She told us the recording was fun and “it’s always cool to create music with other talented musicians like Sina and Mike”. Regarding her inclusion on ‘Chi Might II’ she said “I am very grateful being part of the new album and I hope that my fans will enjoy the music!”