The cultural influence of Latin America in music is undeniable as audiences enjoy jazz, pop and hip-hop flooded with Latin beats.
With an underrepresentation of Latinx artists in music, these communities are not seeing their experiences expressed or valued, making marginalized groups feel excluded.
As a woman of the Puerto Rican community, I find it comforting to find artists in music that discuss and relate to the experiences and cultural practices of my ethnic background. The lack of Latinx diversity in popular music today makes me feel less valued as a part of the American community that Latinx people greatly contribute to.
In an attempt to shine a light on Latinx artists during Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, here are five Latinx artists that deserve more recognition:
One cannot explore Latinx music without giving attention to Kali Uchis. The Columbian artist transcends all expectations of what Latinx music should sound like through her explorations into the R&B, pop and indie genres.
Her debut album, “Isolation,” encompasses the ethereality of what it would feel like to walk on clouds and dance under a blue light.
Her most recent Spanish-language album, “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios),” even broke through the charts after the single “telepatía” went viral on TikTok, as she provided listeners with soul-searching lyrics amidst the background noise of hopscotch pop.
This first-generation Mexican-American artist makes the perfect music for young lovers. His alternative spin on dreamy, acoustic melodies emulates the feeling of being with your crush for the very first time.
He doesn’t shy away from giving credit to older Latinx artists either, as his stage name is an homage to the left-field Chilean pop band Los Ángeles Negros of the 70s and 80s.
If you are looking for the ultimate crossover from Latinx-inspired sounds into the indie-pop genre, look no further than The Marías. The band is lead by frontwoman María Zardoya of Puerto Rico and produces smooth, melodic pop with guitar riffs, horn solos and beautiful vocals.
The music of Mexican artist Omar Apollo is chilling and rebellious. His alternative R&B discography has a striking sound that creates deep emotions in listeners.
His most recent album, “Apolonio,” is complete with lyrics and bass-pumping beats that make you feel like you’re in a coming-of-age film.
His effort to collaborate with other Latinx artists like Kali Uchis and C. Tangana creates a welcoming, inclusive environment for those of the same culture to share their art together.
Chilean artist Molina produces an illuminating sound of shoegaze, indie and experimental pop. She frequently utilizes synth hooks and calming, psychedelic vocals to deliver moving music that speaks on issues of love and liberation.
Her sophomore EP “Vanilla Shell” is self-aware and deeply relatable.
Through vivid expeditions into the meaning of life and all things questionable, Molina gives Latinx music a new perspective.