The Best Contemporary Musicians from Nicaragua to Listen to Right Now

Sandino graffiti in Nicaragua
Sandino graffiti in Nicaragua | © Jorge Mejía Peralta / Flickr
Nicaragua has a proud musical history, with the art form playing an important role in indigenous culture and the revolutionary movements of the 20th century. Here are some of the top musicians flying the flag today.

Carga Cerrada

This metal band includes Alejandro Mejia, part of the legendary Mejia Godoy family that has been a huge part of Nicaraguan musical culture since Carlos and Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy helped to provide the soundtrack to the 1979 revolution. The band plays at least once a month around Nicaragua, so look out for the listings.

Gaby Baca

Singer-songwriter Gaby Baca makes rock and rap music that deals with feminist and LGBT issues. As one of Nicaragua’s most visible lesbians, she uses her platform for activism. Check out the pop rock song “Todas Juntas, Todas Libres,” which was distributed throughout the world thanks to a collaboration with international NGOs.

Milly Majuc

This ska band has been one of the most popular groups in Nicaragua in recent years. Their concerts draw crowds that can reach into the thousands, and the music carries a strong social message.

Majo y Mafe

This female rap duo make political hip hop that draws on feminism and social protest. They are part of a new generation of Nicaraguan artists that are breaking down barriers in a previously male-dominated industry, and reaching the hearts and minds of the population at the same time.

Katia Cardenal

Part of the burgeoning nueva trova movement that puts a new spin on the classic trova sound, Cardenal is a singer-songwriter. She performs as a solo artist and used to perform with her brother, Salvador Cardenal, as part of the Duo Guardabarranco.

Digan Whisky

Independent rock band Digan Whisky formed in 2014 and has a great back story. Singer José Antonio Ruiz moved to Panama to work and save up for equipment and recording sessions before returning home after two years to make some of the most popular songs among young Nicaraguans. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength.


A rebellious spirit infuses everything that this band does, from the more laid back songs to the most aggressive. Check out “Mentira, Sangre Y Traicion” (Lies, Blood and Betrayal).