The last couple of months have been incredible for the actor and singer Anthony Ramos.
This Summer the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” premiered and it was an immediate success. Anthony played Usnavy de La Vega, a young Dominican bodega owner living in Washington Heights, and dreaming about retiring and coming back to his father’s homeland.
Ramos was born in New York and comes from a Puerto Rican household. The actor had already proven his talent for both acting and music, specifically taking part in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (2015), in which he was double-casted as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.
“In the Heights” has brought much more light to an already promising star. As a perfect combination of his acting skills, Ramos is also a very talented musician.
In fact, he recently released his second EP “Love and Lies” in which he had been working since before the pandemic.
Bringing a very different sound from his first one, “The Bad and The Good”. His original plan was to release the second one last fall, however, he decided to wait until the perfect moment to drop his new music.
With Love and Lies, Ramos is exploring much more intimate sounds. He’s openly singing about love and relationships, and using sexier themes in the songs and videos. His songs all explore a mixture of R&B, Pop, and of course, Latin-influenced party rhythms.
Speaking about the songwriting process, he made sure to make the process as intimate as possible, only surrounding himself with very close and very few people, something that is easy to spot from the very first song.
“I wanted to keep this one intimate, and I think it’s the best music I’ve ever written because of that”
The last time the Venezuelan band had released new music a lot of things were different. Their country was living through one of the worst stages of their economic crisis, hundreds of people were fleeing the country looking for a better future, and the word Covid had no meaning at that time.
A lot of things have changed since that last album, and for the first time in their career, their music is now reflecting much more realities than ever.
2021 is an interesting year for releasing new music, thanks to the loosening of the pandemic restrictions, Rawayana was able to make a great opening for their newest album, which came during the months of May and June, alongside an art exhibition in Mexico City; an art exhibition that shows through abstract art, the reality of living in Latin America, with its never-ending contrasts.
“We wanted to show through photographs the life not only in Venezuela but also what is like outside of it”.
Ten years ago, when the band was formed, it came out as a project for four friends to have fun. They never had the intention of becoming a protest band, even though they were living in the worst social, political and economical crisis in the modern history of the continent, and they were victims of terrible repression from state forces over university students.
Right now, after a whole year limited thanks to a pandemic, and the ever-growing corruption and violence of the continent, Rawayana has taken its lyrics to a whole new place, using their experiences to build “Cuando los acéfalos predominan”.
“Governments, corporations, heroes, anti-heroes, political ideals, philosophies, religions and cultural concepts are constantly challenged thanks to this strange moment where we don’t know what information is false or true.” – Rawayana’s manifesto on “Cuando los acéalos predominan”
The album still has its essence, the mix of reggae, ska and alternative rock sounds. They also have collabed with more artists, such as Fer Casillas, Los Amigos Invisibles, Akapellah, Cheo Pardo, Tal Cohen and Joel Martínez.
Do you know how there are some songs that feel like they come from another era? Then you get a surprise when you learn that they were produced just a couple of months ago… Well, that’s the vibe you get when listening to The Marias.
There’s a magic feeling in their songs, and everything comes from the very root of their music.
The Marias is an indie-pop band that was formed in Los Angeles in 2015, by María Zardoya (who gave name to the band), Josh Conway in the drums, Jesse Perlman in the guitar, and Edward James in the keyboard.
María and James met in 2015 and began writing music almost immediately. The Marias began their music career writing songs for television and films, and they actually used visual content to come up with the ideas, lyrics, and melodies for their songs; that’s why each song you listen to from them has that vibe as if you’re watching a scene from a movie.
2017 and 2018 were great years for them, as they came up with their first EP: Superclean Volume I and Superclean Volume II.
It is important to notice that the different cultural backgrounds of María and James are another important part of The Marias’ sound. María was raised in Atlanta and comes from a Puerto Rican family, James is from Los Angeles, and grew up in a Jewish family household.
They both have different inspirations as well, while María feels influenced by Selena or Julieta Venegas, James marks his influences to be Tame Impala and Radiohead. They both made their different backgrounds combine and that’s why The Marias’ sound is so unique.
It is important to highlight that singing in English and Spanish is also a key characteristic of The Marias. They have recently released their first full album after signing with Atlantic Records, and they specifically chose the name to be read in both Spanish and English. The album is called CINEMA, and it has been available since June 24th, so you can already stream it!
How many times have you seen someone showing their talent on social media? Can you imagine a day where fate simply smiles at you and you get discovered?
That’s the story of Jodosky, the Puerto Rican artist who is taking his first steps into the reggaeton industry.
He was discovered during an Instagram live chat by Pablo Batista, chief of talent management at NEON16, as part of the initiative “A&R Thursdays.”
Jodosky’s biggest dreams just came true. NEON16 is a Miami-based studio owned by none other than multi-grammy winner Tainy, which is responsible for the biggest productions of reggaeton music nowadays.
We’re talking about the house studio that produced the J Balvin & Bad Bunny album Oasis, as well as Bad Bunny’s most recent single Yonaguni.
The Puerto Rican artist grew up -as most of us- with Tainy’s productions. The opportunity of working alongside his idol is something that he has not taken for granted; he’s surely doing some big stuff.
“There are no words to express how I feel, the fact that at the beginning of the pandemic I was a child with a dream and now I’m working with NEON16 and Tainy. It’s something I can’t describe”.
Last year, he got the opportunity of working with the NFL, when they chose his song “Campeón” (Champion) as part of NFL’s 2020 seasonal campaign. The campaign was released during Hispanic heritage month, and just a few weeks after the release of his very first single with NEON16, “No Le Bajamos”.
Nowadays, he counts with 3 successful singles, being “Perreo Rompemadres” the most recent one. The song gives an interesting plot twist just at the beginning, which makes you want to listen to it to the end.
His music is a major throwback to the 2000s, where reggaeton was starting to expand on Latinamerica, before becoming the powerful industry it is now. Right now, the early 00s are on-trend, which makes Jodosky’s music perfect to set the mood of the season.
The weather is getting warmer, stores are full of colorful clothes, and most people are in a generally better mood… Just add fewer pandemic restrictions and you finally have Summer Time for 2021!
Now, into the good stuff – with so much to celebrate and so many plans to tackle, you definitely need a great playlist to go along with your summer adventures. What’s trending right now? What are the most popular TikTok sounds? We gathered them all in the ultimate Summer 2021 Playlist – Enjoy!!!
Yonaguni – Bad Bunny: It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Spanish nor Japanese, the current king of Reggaeton, Bad Bunny did it again bringing you a song to vibe with at every single party.
Tutti Frutti – Babybleid, Plastic Miranda: These two young Venezuelan artists mixed Trap and Reggaeton in this dark and addictive track. If underrated music is your thing, you can’t miss this one.
Puro Veneno – Nathy Peluso: The Argentinian singer is the definition of versatility… It was no surprise when she dropped this salsa song that makes you want to dance all night.
Tukuntazo – Tokischa x Haraca Kiko x El Cherry Scom: Tokischa describes herself as “the queen of dembow” and we have zero doubts on that, her unique style has made big guys in the industry such as J Balvin fall for her unique sound.
No Vaya a la Fiesta – Clara Cava: Clara Cava is an Argentinian singer whose music gives us only good vibes, “No vaya a la fiesta” sounds perfect for hot summer days at the beach.
Ram Pam Pam – Natti Natasha & Becky G: They are two of the most influential women in reggaeton music, Natti being from the Dominican Republic and Becky G being American with Mexican parents. Did you know that they recorded the music video while Natti was pregnant? She still rocked it!
EL MAKINON – Karol G: Considered the current queen of reggaeton, the Colombian singer has been giving us major hot girl summer vibes even before the warm months started. You should check out her album KG0516.
Baila Conmigo – Selena Gomez & Rauw Alejandro: We just love the fact that Selena has fully embraced singing in Spanish… Go dance with her, you won’t regret it!
Todo de ti – Rauw Alejandro: The Puerto Rican singer is having his peak atm; this song is all over TikTok and IG stories!! will you be late for the trend? Of course not.
You should also check his song with puerto rican reggaeton star Wisin: “Una Noche”
Pareja del año – Sebastian Yatra & Mike Towers: If you wanted something on the romantic side, then Pareja del año is for you. Yatra is a Colombian singer that has recently moved towards more urban music, while Mike Towers is a Puerto Rican rapper and songwriter.
Ian Lara grew up in the streets of Queens, New York. Born and raised in the United States, he lived the American dream his parents fought since the moment they arrived here from the Dominican Republic.
Comedy was his chosen career right after he graduated college. He just didn’t feel like working as a lawyer, so he took the risk of going for a “non-conventional” career.
Being a comedian is not an easy job. Ian has been in the game for almost a decade now but has only worked full time for about four. In the first years, he balanced regular part-time jobs with his stand-up comedy performances every night.
As an Afro-Latino in the United States, you can imagine he has a vast source of inspiration for his routines. Comedy is mostly based on real-life experiences, and the more the public can identify with your jokes, the more success you will have.
Ian has a charming way to tell his jokes, even when he’s joking about serious things like racism or stereotypes, he gives it a twist in which you end up laughing and understanding there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
One of his usual jokes is when people speak Spanish near him, saying mean things thinking he doesn’t understand, and how he makes fun of them once he makes clear that he’s also Latino and that he can understand Spanish.
His life experiences are also part of his show. Coming from a traditional Latino family, he jokes about the differences between his parents’ mentality and his own thoughts and struggles in modern days.
His biggest opportunity came when Comedy Central reached out to him after a call out they made for young comedians to perform for them. They gave him total control over what he wanted to perform. He ended up talking about how people don’t believe he’s Hispanic because he looks African American.
He also made an appearance on this season of “NBC’s Bring the Funny” and made his late-night debut on the tonight show with Jimmy Fallon. His performance became viral, and he received an amazing response from the Dominican and overall Latino community. He says that’s probably because Latinos come in all shapes and races, and many of them relate to those particular experiences.
He’s fully committed to his comedy job these days. You can currently watch his performances on his short special streaming on HBO MAX titled “LA Meets NY”. He is also very active on his Instagram account @IanLaraLive where he shares small bits of his routines.
San Antonio de Los Altos is a small town near Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. 24 years ago, a little girl named Andrekza was born there. She developed a strong connection to arts and creativity, so strong, that from a very young age she made the decision of dedicating her life to music and expressing her feelings through it.
Sometimes, the path to fame and success is not easy, and people spend several years chasing the life of their dreams. But some other times, people find the clearest path, as it was meant to be.
Something like that happened to Andrekza just a year ago. While 2020 was full of fear and confusion for most of us, it brought her the biggest opportunity of her life while being in Miami, Florida.
Andrekza was fully committed to making her dreams come true, so much that she had her debut album “cassette” ready, the only thing she needed was a producer to believe in her. And it was through a producer’s contact that she ended up connecting with the upcoming imprint founded by none other than the great Steve Aoki.
“Everything happened so fast…” those were Andrekza’s words while describing how it was like to meet Steve Aoki, and being signed as the first Latina woman to join the label.
Dim Mak En Fuego focuses on pushing upcoming Latino artists that want to bring hybrid sounds to the music industry. As you may imagine, working with them is the perfect platform to showcase one’s talent. And Andrekza knew how to take advantage of that opportunity.
“She has a unique voice and many stories to tell.”
She is a creative force. She writes her songs, creates her own fashion, she can direct her videos. Her vision is imprinted in everything she produces. In the words of Steve Aoki
Just a few months after signing with Dim Mak En Fuego, we could listen to the first single of what’s now a four-song EP; “Té” was released in January and is the first invitation we received to Andrezka’s universe.
Her lyrics and videos are entirely intertwined. The talent in storytelling is something you can perceive since the very first verses, as she is slowly conducting you through a fictional relationship that begins with a causal cup of tea.
With the release of her first EP came three more songs. “Ya Fue”, “Nerviosa”, and “Tuve”. As her album is titled Cassette, she revealed that it consists of two sides, just like an old cassette.
“Lado A” (Side A) is this first EP we just mentioned. The album will be complete once she releases the side B songs. She revealed that the full album will have 12 songs, and that we should expect more surprises coming this year.
Her music is strongly influenced by her Latin roots; you can identify the beat of reggaeton and trap, mixed with a little bit of R&B and electronic sounds. Every single song sounds different, and just by listening to them once, you end up identifying which one is which and how they work together making her story.
One thing that we experienced while listening to her songs is how familiar the themes seemed to us, while still having a different point of view.
The Latin music that’s been rising and shining during the last few decades is urban music. That music is full of partying, relationships, having fun, having sex, ect. And it was all made by men. Yes, we had amazing female artists like Ivy Queen, but the vast majority of the songs were written, produced, and sang by men.
Andrekza touches the same topics, talks about the same things, and you can picture her along the huge industry that’s Latino music at this moment. But yet she sounds different, she adds her own style; you feel it softer, almost as she was a friend of yours spilling all the tea of her past relationships.
The last song of this EP is called “Tuve” (I had) and it’s a collaboration featuring Gabriel Garzón-Montano. The classic reggaeton beat gets mixed with electronic sounds that resemble the ones from old video games.
As we said before, Andrekza makes every song match perfectly with her visuals, as the music video released on February 19th tells the story of a fantasy that becomes real as the couple is chasing each other in the streets of New York City, as if they were characters from a video game.
Showing how multi-talented she is, her name is displayed as the co-director of the video. She chose the location, concept, visual aesthetic and how they were going to record it. As a photographer and creative director, Andrekza makes her visions come true so they match perfectly with her music.
2021 is a promising year for this rising star. You can find her on all platforms of social media, and listen to her music on Spotify and Youtube. Feel free to check her EP and get immersed into the universe Andrekza is building. We are sure her name will be everywhere in no time, and she will become not only a music star but also a fashion icon.
The SXSW music festival is back! 2020 and the Covid pandemic hit it hard, but we finally have some good news. Also known as “The south by,” this music festival features a great variety of international and genre-spanning artists and interactive media.
This year, the festival is aiming for the safety of all the pass holders. Following the pandemic restrictions, the SXSW 2021 will be entirely online. The focus is on the virtual experience. Each showcase will allow the attendants to experience the headliners at unique venues in the artists’ home countries through a premium viewing experience.
Among all of the artists that will be performing, we wanted to highlight the Latin artists that made their names into the final list:
Francisca Valenzuela: She’s one of Chile’s most famous pop-rock singers and songwriters. Her debut in 2006 with the single “Peces” is still one of the most significant records in her career. Her personality shines through everything she does. She’s also well known for being outspoken about feminism and her home country’s social issues.
Samantha Sanchez: The Spanish-Cuban artist skyrocketed her way to the music industry through her youtube videos and has fastly become one of the most popular Latina creators on social media.
Dingo Bells: Meet the Brazilian band that has been making music since their former members were still in school. Their first album released in 2015 under the title of “Maravilhas da vida moderna” (The wonders of modern life)
El Shirota: From the Mexican underground scene, El Shirota is a band that showcases influences from garage, punk, and noise with s slight hint of psychedelic and experimental sounds.
Los Blenders: Los Blenders is a Mexican band that has slowly but firmly made a name in the Mexican music industry. Their album “Chavos bien” (cool kids) opened the doors for the most significant opportunity they’ve had: The Coachella music festival in 2017.
Luisa e os alquimistas: Since 2016, the Brazilian band has been around many cities and festivals, cultivating a vast fanbase, specifically in the north-east parts of Brazil.
Nanpa Básico: Rapper and songwriter, Nanpa Básico was born in Medellin, Colombia, and has been in the music industry since 2003. He’s considered one of Colombia’s most prominent hip-hop artists.
Petit Amie: Petit Amie is a Mexican-based band formed by four friends in 2020. Theis success skyrocketed because of their lyrics full of existential debates and their psychedelic-rock influences.
Ruido Rosa: Four high school friends formed a band more than nine years ago, and they haven’t stopped spicing things up in the Mexican rock industry. All four girls play and love different music genres, and it-s something you can spot on their songs.
Tuyo: Their debut album broke paradigms among the Brazil critics, and it’s because Tuyo is probably one of Brazil’s most unique bands in terms of style. The three harmonizing voices mix traditional and modern music trends.
Vaya Futuro: The Mexican started thanks to a contest hosted by Converse in which a band could choose any famous studio to record their debut album. They don’t like to be classified in a genre; they simply let their fans define their sound.
Vocal Vidas: Vocal Vidas is a feminine foursome who basically sing acapella. From Santiago de Cuba, the girls were discovered by Robin Miller when singing at a church. Miller described their voices as “angelical.”
Janney Marín Rivera, better known as Chiquis Rivera, is an American singer and television personality. She is the eldest daughter of singer Jenni Rivera. She began her singing career in early 2014, releasing her first single “Paloma Blanca” as a tribute to her mother.
The name Madison Reyes is on its way to becoming one of the most popular among teenagers. The rising star of Puerto Rican blood gained her first-ever acting role with Netflix, and we’re sure it will be the first of many more.
Madison is just 16 years old, born and raised in Pennsylvania from Puerto Rican parents. She grew up with the Latino influences in her home, from the food to the rhythms. She has visited Puerto Rico twice in her life and dreams about going back and living the same adventures her mom had on the island.
Madison grew up watching High School Musical, the famous Disney trilogy of dancing and singing teenagers. Little did she know of how life was going to surprise her: just a few years later, she is the protagonist of her musical show alongside Kenny Ortega, HSM’s producer, and choreographer.
She auditioned for “Julie and the Phantoms”, a Netflix series about a girl who, after losing her mom, finds her passion for music by playing with a band of ghosts that only she can see.
Kenny Ortega revealed why they choose Madison. “They wanted a girl that people could identify with.” After watching her audition, they knew Madison was the right fit.
“She has a unique talent that can fit with any musical genre. She’s a promise for greatness, and we’re very excited about it.”
For Madison, it’s the musical aspect of her role that she loves the most, “Those are the moments in which I feel more like myself.”
She feels so identified with her character and the show’s music that she’s already envisioning a second season and even a world tour.
The series is a perfect showcase for her many talents. She worked on the hairstyle (natural texture, minimal heat use,) the makeup looks (using more colorful makeup as Julie gains confidence), and her outfits.
What’s more prominent about her character, and Madison herself, is the willingness to become a role model for young girls. Madison revealed that she loves Julie because she’s a strong female character.
Like many young girls, Madison has been very outspoken about female empowerment and racial representation. Aside from Julie and the Phantoms, she’s now participating in Girls with Impact’s International Women’s Day concert.
On March 8th, she will be performing live for Girls With Impact. The organization works for under-resourced girls by equipping them to become the next business leaders and innovators.
Madison is a star that will be shining across all platforms very soon. In a world where we need more powerful girls showing their talents, Madison will indeed become a reference for owning and achieving your dreams.
Learn this name: YEИDRY. Yes, with the letter “n” spelled backward. This girl is going to be the next sensation in Latino music.
Her life story is just as impressive as her music. She was born in the Dominican Republic but moved to Italy when she was four years old. A Dominican mother and an Italian father raised her, and she grew up with Dominican music and American and European music.
Her music shows exactly how she grew up. The mixture between Latino influences and Caribbean rhythms and the electronic music she has worked with while in Italy is something you can notice from the first second.
Her lyrics are full of personal experiences. From tough experiences with money, immigration, racism, and harassment, she has used her music to empower herself and honor the experiences that she has lived with her mother.
“Barrio” was her first single. It was a total success. The song has an apparent Spanish inspiration, with flamenco clapping in the background and some electronic effects. It was the perfect way to introduce her to the music scene.
Then came “Nena,” a song with an immense personal background as she wrote it from her mother’s perspective. It is based on the experience of leaving her daughter behind at first when migrating to a new country and then raising a child away from home.
Her most significant opportunity came with A Colors Show. She performed with the well-known platform, which gave her immense recognition. Yendry herself describes it as a dream that came true, as it is a platform that gave her a lot of visibility, and that’s something not everyone has.
Her most recent single is “El Diablo,” and she wrote it from yet again a personal perspective. She experienced an awkward situation with a man that was bothering her in a very sexist way, and she came up with a song in which she would feel empowered to take revenge. “I wanted to feel like the scary one for once” was the idea that made the music come to life.
“Se Acabó” her new song and music video featuring Mozart La Para was recently released. In the video, she shows herself in a free and independent way. She was singing goodbye for a love that left her and that she has already forgotten. The video shows the streets of the DR in which she grew up. As a bonus, you can see one of DR’s most prominent rappers: Mozart La Para.
Check Yendry’s music if you like the fusion between Latino and experimental music, and you’ll find an extraordinary talent that soonly will be everywhere.