Colombian-American singer/songwriter/producer/director Kali Uchis’ style (both musical and fashion-wise) melds old-school ’60s girl group soul with ’90s bubblegum-meets-homegirl sass. After self-releasing the mixtape Drunken Babble in 2012, and the EP Por Vida in 2015, Kali’s (born Karly Loaiza) debut studio album is set for release later this year.
Hailing from Mexico City, Los Blenders is a garage band that plays classic, feel-good rock and roll; the group describes their sound as Acid Pop Punk. The band released their latest album, Chavos Bien, this year and was among those that played at 2017’s Coachella festival.
Juan Zaballa, also known as Tall Juan, is an Argentinian musician based in Queens, and his label describes him as “a Latin Elvis inspired by The Ramones.” Singing in both English and Spanish, he also plays the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums on his May 2017-released debut LP, Olden Goldies. Tall Juan recently brought his highly danceable music to 2017’s Coachella.
Straight from San Francisco’s Mission District, Soltron is a Latin band that fuses both old and new sounds. The 12-piece band blends “Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Latin rock, samba batucada laced with strains of hip-hop, jazz and electronic music.” Through their music, Soltron addresses social justice issues such as displaced youth, building community, and gentrification. In 2016, their debut album, the self-titled Soltron, was released.
Palenke Soultribe (PST)
This Colombian group, now based in L.A., takes traditional Afro-Colombian cumbia and vallenato and updates it with modern beats and an electronic polish. The remix to the song “Blanco y Negro (Eli Brach Afro House Remix) [feat. Macondo & Mr. Vallenato]” dropped in April 2017, and the band also plans on releasing a new album later in the year.
Hailing from Madrid, indie pop band Hinds’ (formerly Deers) sound is cutesy garage pop with a dose of attitude. They released their debut album, Leave Me Alone, in 2016. Hinds was also part of the Latino wave that hit Coachella in 2017.
María del Pilar
CNN Español called Chilean-born and Los Angeles-raised singer María del Pilar “one of the most important voices in the Latin alternative music scene in the United States.” Her website describes her sound as “like hearing the soundtrack of a quinceañera for a riot grrrl.” Infectious beats are given emotional weight with lyrics that matter, as heard in songs such as “Ilegal en Estyle (Illegal in Style).” She was previously the lead singer in the band Los Abandoned; her solo album, Songs + Canciones I, was released in 2015.
San Bernadino’s QUITAPENAS borrows from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s to offer very danceable Afro-Latino tropical music that delivers on its name (something that removes hardships/sorrows).
The Brazilian songstress (born Marcela Vale) was featured on Remezcla’s “5 Rising Latino Acts From Nuevo Noise, Remezcla and Spotify’s Emerging Artists Playlist.” Think of her sound as “the velvety voice of Sade meets ’80s synth tracks with some R&B.” It’s familiar, yet it still sounds fresh. Her self-titled studio album was released in 2016.
Argentinian La Yegros’ (Mariana Yegros) music is described as “an explosive combination of the urban and the folkloric: chamamé dub, mixed with funky coplas and cumbia raps.” This description translates to an upbeat sound reminiscent of Juanes.
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
This Detroit band, fronted by Cuban and Mexican-American Jessica Hernandez, is described on their site as a “one-of-a-kind soundclash of Goth pop, Latin rock, psychedelic surf, punk cabaret, dirty dancehall, and bold balladry.” The sound will remind you of Gwen Stefani. Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas’ second album, Telephone/Telefono, was released in both English and Spanish this year.
Snow Tha Product
Born Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, Snow Tha Product is a San Jose, CA-born, San Diego-based, Mexican-American rapper. Spitting in both English and Spanish, Snow goes hard in her rhymes. In addition to her 2016 EP, Half Way There…Pt. 1, she provides a track (“Run That”) for the USA show Queen of the South, where she also makes her television debut.