7 Latinx Artists That Are Pushing The Boundaries of Music
Arca, also referred to as Doña Arca, is a trans Venezuelan singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ. Known for her experimental sound, she tastefully blends genres, deconstructs samples, and opens up in a beautifully vulnerable and raw manner. Arca’s image, sound, and art evoke a sense that she is a futuristic visitor from another planet. However, her music touches upon the most human senses of all: love, nostalgia, and finding freedom in being yourself. Arca’s gender transition has occurred throughout her prolific career both in making music for herself and songwriting for artists like Kanye West, Björk, and FKA Twigs. Her music is almost a real-time documentation of this experience as she taps into the various emotions that come with exploring your gender identity. Her frustration and excitement is most explicitly showcased in the single, “Nonbinary,” off of her latest release KiCk i. KiCk i, is an avant-pop album that blends reggaeton, pop, and electronic music in a distorted and accentuated fashion. In true Arca fashion, the record takes all elements of both the natural and unnatural, challenging listeners to peer inside and consider the alien in themselves.
Check out Arca’s latest release, KiCk i
Pelada is a Montreal-based electronic duo, made up of producer Tobias Rochman and vocalist Chris Vargas. Together, the two create music that is impossible not to dance to by blending techno and house club genres. Their music explores themes of power, gender, and even environmental politics. Vargas’ raw and cutting lyrics – written and performed in Spanish – are enhanced by Rochman’s trippy, acidic techno background that make the duo a fan favorite in Montreal’s underground club scene. Their debut album, Movimiento Para Cambio, covers various styles of dance music from NY house to cumbias, all with overarching punk themes that force listeners to reflect on oppressive structures of society with songs like ‘A Mí Me Juzgan Por Ser Mujer’ (‘I Am Judged Because I’m a Woman’) and ‘Habla Tu Verdad’ (‘Speak Your Truth’) which urges women to overcome the stigma around discussing sexual harassment. Printed in their liner notes, Pelada states their message loud and clear: ‘ABRE TUS OJOS, LA BESTIA SE ALIMENTA DE LA EXPLOTACIÓN (‘OPEN YOUR EYES, THE BEAST FEEDS ON EXPLOITATION’).”
Check out Pelada’s latest release, Movimiento Para Cambio
Tomasa del Real –
Valeria Cisternas, or better known by her stage name, Tomasa del Real, is a Chilean reggaeton artist often referred to as “La Reina de Neoperreo.” But what is Neo-perreo? Neo-perreo is a social-media inspired offshoot of Reggaeton, a new version with ingredients of auto-tune, EDM, and even punk influences. Neo-perreo culture gained popularity through social media as a hashtag and Youtube channel. The internet allowed accessibility for like-minded artists throughout Latin America to express and share their similar sounds and styles. The aesthetic is based on do-it-yourself culture, often coupled with Y2K aesthetics and other artsy online trends from Tumblr and Instagram. Tomasa del Real is one of the pioneers of the genre, championing a new way to listen to Reggaeton, liberating women and the LGBTQIA+ community in a previously male-dominated genre. One of Tomasa Del Real’s main intentions with the creation of this new sound was to promote gender and sexual equality at Neo-perreo parties. Neo-perreo is about taking control, having agency over your own body, and being genuine. Neo-perreo is more than just a genre, it’s a movement.
Check out Tomasa del Real’s latest release, TDR
Pacoima Techno –
Representing the 818 is of the utmost importance for Pacoima Techno, an underground electronic music duo, composed of Aarum Alatorre and Pedro Alejandro Verdin. Based in Los Angeles, Alatorre and Verdin use their experiences growing up in the San Fernando Valley as inspiration for their music and community organizing. Their mission is to create spaces that bring people together through music, community, and dance. Pacoima Techno regularly holds parties in Highland Park called GOT 2B REAL, meant to be a safe space for POC and LGBTQIA+ folks to dance, sing, and party freely. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacoima Techno has taken these parties online, broadcasting “audio performances” under the same name with Dublab. Their music and performances draw upon the duo’s experience as students at art school in the San Fernando Valley, and often work collaboratively with other underground Latinx artists in Los Angeles. Pacoima Techno are co-founders of the underground record label CASA/TECA that embraces experimental music and art that wildly blend components of dance, electronic, latin, and synth music. Pacoima Techno is an art project, a community, and overall, an experience.
Check out Pacoima Techno’s latest release, Pinches Perros (feat. Soltera)
Telescopios is an Argentinian alternative indie rock band that is unafraid of bending and distorting the sounds of beloved Latin Rock and Pop. Based in Cόrdoba, the band is composed of artists Rodrigo Molina, Bernardo Ferrón, Nicolás Moroni, and Alberto Ortíz who all met in university. This band is actively defining new-wave alt-rock in the Argentinian musical landscape. The music takes cues from contemporary psych-rock artists like Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra but with fresh and creative twists that embed trippy textures with hard-rock guitars and drums. Their latest release showcases the band’s more electronic and ambient future, including some of the band’s most rhythmic work to date. Telescopios is a band without limits – blazing the trail for indie and alternative rock without steering too far away from the fan favorite Argentinian genres of Latin Rock and Pop.
Check out Telescopios’ latest release, Doble de Riesgo
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete –
Hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico, Lorelle Meets The Obsolete is stationed at the intersection of garage rock, kraut-rock, and dream pop. The husband and wife duo, Alberto González and Lorena Quintanilla, create dark-hued psych rock that embeds all kinds of murky and fuzzy textures to distort and perfect their sound. Lorelle Meets the Obsolete discography has spanned over 10 years, each album more expansive and avant-garde than the last, with their more recent releases reflecting the couple’s relaxing new home in Ensenada, Baja California, where they practice and record. The duo’s latest release, De Facto, is sung entirely in Spanish, being the band’s first album to do so. Quintanilla’s decision to sing in Spanish was prompted by the increase of political and social turmoil in Mexico in response to the Trump administration, and hoped the decision would offer comfort to Mexican and Latinx listeners alike. Tapping into multiple genres like shoegaze, post-punk, and psych-rock, Lorelle Meets the Obsolete is one of bands at the forefront of the dreamy and dark psychedelic scene.
Check out Lorelle Meets the Obsolete’s latest release, De Facto
Lido Pimienta –
Lido Pimienta is a Colombian-Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter. Her music traverses many styles of pop and electronic music, as well as taking influences from traditional indigenous and Afro-Colombian musical styles. Her latest album, Miss Colombia, was made to raise awareness of challenges faced by Indigenous and Black women in Colombia and draws from her own experiences as a queer Black Colombian woman of African and Indigenous Wayuu descent. She recorded the majority of Miss Colombia in her home studio and wrote and arranged each song herself. Pimienta calls this album a “cynical love letter to Colombia” as she addresses racism, misogyny, and homophobia in her home country. Her lyrics are unafraid to express the pains of these violences as well as making a call to action, with songs like ‘Resisto y Ya’ (‘I Resist and That’s It’) as she asserts her lived experiences are forms of resistance in themselves. The album is filled with beautiful messages of love, heartbreak, and strength in the face of adversity, all within beautiful percussion, woodwinds and electro-infused rhythms that draw from reggaeton, cumbia and porro, a Colombian folk genre from the Caribbean coast.
Check out Lido Pimienta’s latest release, Miss Colombia
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