Growing up in Ecuador, Maria Usbeck was immersed in salsa, merengue, bachata, and Andean music, but was more attracted to German and American culture. She, eventually, moved to the United States, alone, at the age of 17, to attend art school. After five years of fronting the new-wave band Selebrities, and writing songs in English, she knew it was time to let her mother tongue speak. That impulse manifested itself in her debut solo album, Amparo, which reads like an exotic travel diary—music made by a perceptive explorer, tapping into the shared core of human expression.
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