Erick the ‘Heartbreaker’ It was a promising young man of the Andean tropical genre, known as chicha. In 2008, at just 21 years old, his name was getting louder as he planned his first trips abroad, where his music was beginning to be heard and appreciated.
His first international destination was Iquique, Chile, together with the Los Retadores orchestra. From there he traveled to Bolivia and on his return he appeared in Lima. However, his star, which augured a bright future, faded very quickly and only a decade later his followers mourned his death.
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His real name was
Oswaldo Mamani Cerpa. He was born on July 26, 1987, in Chupa, Azángaro, department of Puno in southern Peru. He had 7 siblings (although other biographies indicate that there were 15 in total). He was very devoted to Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, because, as he said, she granted him a miracle.
On the death of his father, he left his hometown to move with his older brothers in Juliaca. In the City of Winds, also known as the Pearl of the Altiplano, he entered the world of chicha music, something extremely difficult because what was in vogue at that time was the
huayno and folk rhythms.
“I didn’t want him to be one of the others. It was a challenge to enter with this genre that had been forgotten by a group of people ”, recalled Cirzo Almendre, musical director of Los Retadores.
His sister Hilda was the woman behind his success, because it was her compositions, including “I would like to love”, that helped him to make himself known.
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On the morning of February 26, 2018, Chicha music lovers were struck with the sad news that Oswaldo Mamani Cerpa, Erick the ‘Heartbreaker’, had died. He was only 31 years old.
The cause could not be more absurd. Days before, on February 16 to be exact, he had been a victim of crime, received a brutal beating during a violent assault. He was rushed to a local clinic and after a slow and painful death ten days later. His body was taken to the San Román morgue and, later, veiled at his home in Chupa.
The most tragic thing is that he did not leave alone. In a cruel irony of life, his friend the guitarist
Max antonio portillo, from the Cumbia Sureña group, suffered a fatal heart attack while saying goodbye and fell to the ground dead.
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A new generation has discovered Erick the ‘Heartbreaker’ and his emblematic song thanks to the tiktoks uploaded by Christian Cueva, one of the most admired Peruvian selections by football lovers.
Although ‘Cuevita’ has already used “I would like to love” as a musical background in several TikTok videos – hence, without intending to, he has turned the song into his anthem – now a short clip in which the song sounds and he appears leaving the airport has gone viral. In just five days, it has exceeded 25,000 reactions and has motivated several Internet users to search for the complete song on YouTube and leave their comments to recognize that it is an excellent piece to dance with beers in hand.