The Song Navigator – Mi Esquina: My street corner

(c) Jussi Heikkinen

This song brings back memories of a time when Bajo Cero was still Anna, Okko, Kili, Elina, Antti and Joonas and I was still playing some rock-type music. To be honest I was getting tired of trying to find the perfect marriage between the sounds of Metallica and Incubus. Hence, it was no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing “Bajo” for the first time in Tervahovi, the long lost neighbor of the beloved NGO.

During this gig I went through all the emotions that an emotionally restricted and artistically introvert Finnish man would experience when he feels the need to dance but can’t bring himself to do more than grin and tap to the tempo with his foot. Even after that I would look around me nervously –did anyone see me do that?

Mi Esquina brings together some of the things I like about Bajo Cero the most. It is danceable, lively, groovy and catchy. The funky rhythm, contemporary arrangement and fusion between different musical styles like reggae and flamenco make it interesting to listen to as well as play. At first pretty much all I did was listening as my one and only instrument in the song was the shaker. Say what you will, but even if my role as an instrumentalist wasn’t great, because of it I got a chance to ease myself into the band and the style of music it was playing quite easily. Later on I started scratch in Mi Esquina as well as some other songs which gave much more personal depth to the expression from my side of the turntable.

When playing live, Mi Esquina is one of those songs that spark a good connection and interaction between musicians on stage. Often I find that when the set list says “Esquina” the tension that everyone felt before the gig gets finally turned into eye contacts, jamming, dancing, shaking, clapping, laughing and even fooling around to a degree. At this point I usually also notice the guys standing on the edges of the audience slightly grinning and tapping to the tempo with their hands in their pockets. They would like to move to the music too.

Mi Esquina talks about a loss being a blessing as well. The narrator of the lyrics sits in a street corner and watches a stream of people passing by. This is still only one side of the story, because Mi Esquina is the street corner in which I learned to dance and express myself better. I hope that some other people will stop here in my street corner too by listening to the album or coming to the gigs.

-Juhani