The Top Emerging Musicians from Ecuador You Should Know

C66D2D Museo Intinan Equator museum near Quito in Ecuador.
C66D2D "Museo Intinan" Equator museum near Quito in Ecuador. | © Janice and Nolan Braud / Alamy Stock Photo
Rick Segreda

Cultural Activist

Amid the lush landscapes and vibrant culture of Ecuador, a thrilling musical renaissance is underway, led by a new generation of talented and daring musicians. With reverence for the country’s rich musical legacy, they boldly pave the way for an exciting future, fusing tradition with innovation to create an enchanting tapestry of sounds. Join us as we embark on a musical journey through Ecuador’s dynamic music scene, where eight remarkable artists shine as beacons of creativity and promise. From preserving the nation’s roots to forging an innovative path, these trailblazers beckon music enthusiasts to immerse themselves in Ecuador’s diverse and mesmerizing melodies. Prepare to be captivated by the vibrant rhythms and soul-stirring harmonies of these exceptional artists, as they redefine Ecuador’s musical identity, one note at a time.


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Nicolá Cruz

Nicolá Cruz , this French-born, Quito-based musician with Ecuadorian roots, has attracted a great deal of attention in the last few years with his fusion of traditional Ecuadorian music from the Andes to the Amazon, combining familiar melodies and traditional instruments with fresh “cumbia” beats, combined with a more modern, electronic production and sound. He himself resists a specific genre label. As he told Vice Media, the “idea of categorizing my music is mocking the age we live in — I simply find my inspiration from traditional root rhythms and work from there.”

Mateo Kingman

Mateo Kingman has emerged as one of the key players in the Ecuadorian music renaissance, merging musical traditions past and present. His ambient and meditative compositions, incorporating hip-hop, reflect the folklore influences of his early years, such as Chile’s revered Violeta Parra. Yet with their jungle-like sound effects and thematic preoccupation with nature, they also serve as an expression of how growing up in the Amazon city of Macas, in proximity to the Shuar tribe, impacted his outlook on the world.

La Máquina Camaleön

No, not all Ecuadorian music necessarily sounds “Andean” or tropical. La Máquina Camaleön mines the world 60s pop and psychedelia with such influences as Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground, Arthur Lee’s Love, and the Moody Blues, not to mention such 80s bands as the Jesus and Mary Chain, to provide a fresh serving of melodic, psychedelic rock – slightly hard but not too heavy – for a millennial audience.

Clo Sismico

Though he is strongly influenced by Dr. Dre, Carlos Osejo, aka “Clo Sismico” has scored big with his own distinctive Ecuadorian hip-hop; the video for his song, “El Raton” currently has more than 235,000 hits. His slow but terse raps speak passionately about the tough realities of urban life in Ecuador. He is also a producer, and the bands whose sounds he has shaped, such as Marmota and 77 seven, are worthy of attention in their own right.

Ataw Allpa

Ataw Allpa (“Ataw” meaning “blessed” and “linker”, and Allpa meaning “Earth”, the name can be interpreted as meaning “word linker”) has been described as a “one-man digital cumbia band”. With the accordion as his favorite instrument, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Latin America’s rich and danceable heritage of coastal music, from cumbia to carimbo and more, Ataw Allpa has brought a fresh interpretation to this genre with very catchy melodies and rhythms. You can hear samples of his compositions, such as “Cyberfolk” here.

Daniela Albán

This 26 year-old prodigy from Guayaquil has mastered the guitar, bass, synthesizer, and drums. At 18 she was already mixing music at parties, and has since become a name in Ecuador’s underground scene. Her own work, a series of dance tracks entitled Departycule Hyena, shows off her flair for hypnotic, pulsating beats.

Los NIN

This is Andean hip-hop, in which the melodies of indigenous folk compositions, complete with pan flutes and the guitar-like charango, alternate with pointed, often highly political rap, and in both Spanish and Quichua at that. All the better to underscore a pride in the musician’s racial and cultural identity.

Lascivio Bohemia

A graduate of Quito’s National Music Conservatory, Lascivio Bohemia has created his own niche in the local music scene by sampling and remixing the Afro-Ecuadorian sounds and beats of the country’s coastal region with the native music of Ecuador’s sierras. Indeed, the title of a recent release, Afro Andes EP, is a literal declaration of his musical leanings.

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