Latin music wouldn’t be what it is without the influence from Africa, African beats and the African diaspora in Latin America and their contributions to our sounds. For Latin Heritage Month, we want to highlight 5 artists from the African diaspora that are making waves in Latin Music. From Colombia’s Chocquibtown to American-born Trinidadian singer LATENIGHTJIGGY who is fully bilingual, these five artists need to be part of your music library.

Chocquibtown – Colombia

Slow Mike, Goyo and Tostao are bringing visibility to the Chocó region of Colombia. The Pacific Coast territory is often forgotten by the government, something Chocquibtown has documented in their music, most importantly, in their 2011 Latin Grammy winning single “De Donde Vengo Yo“. The group has been very vocal over the years about uplifting Afro Colombians and becoming a voice for Afro Latinos everywhere. If you’ve never listened to them before, I recommend checking out the music video for “Qué Lastima” with Sech, which has a full Afro Latino cast.

Must-listen to: “De Donde Vengo Yo“, “Pa Olvidarte Remix“, Tiny Desk performance, “Somos Los Prietos“.

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When I discovered LATENIGHTJIGGY, I could’ve sworn he was Puerto Rican. Turns out the American-born Trinidadian singer grew up around Latinos (Dominicans to be more specific) in the DMV area, which led him to learn Spanish and today he can perform perfectly in both languages. LATENIGHTJIGGY is able to bridge cultures with his unique sound, with elements from afrobeat, reggaeton, salsa, R&B, hip-hop, and more, a true global superstar in the making.

Must-listen to: “Mimosas“, “Acuerdate de Mi“, “Baecation“.

Rafa Pabon – Puerto Rico

Reggaeton has had Afro Latino representation in icons like Tego Calderón, Don Omar in the past and recently with artists like Sech and Myke Towers, but it’s still not enough. Rafa has been in the game for years, but still feels like a rising star that’s waiting for the right moment to break through. In the past, he’s found success joining star-studded remixes with “La Mentira Remix”, “La Forma En Que Me Miras”, and more. He’s been extremely outspoken about Black issues and last year released a freestyle titled “Sin Aire“, which called out racism in our community. More recenly, Rafa has been in the studio and is also one of the songwriters behind Rauw Alejandro’s massive Summer hit “Todo De Ti”.

Must-listen to: “La Cartera“, “Quisiera Remix“, “La Mentira“, “Domingo de Bote“.

Aissa Aslani – Spain

One of my favorite musical discoveries this year. Aissa’s IG bio says “hago música africana en español” aka “I make African music in Spanish”, and Aissa does a fantastic job at it. He started off as an influencer doing funny sketches on social media, and later put all his chips into becoming a singer and trying his luck with a music career and its paying off. The Madrid-born Moroccan singer released his year his album African Lover, that sees him explore more with storytelling in his lyrics and afro beats in Spanish.

Must-listen to: “GUERRA“, “Lo Necesario“, “5 Casas De Un Millón

Ir-Sais – Bonnaire and Dominican Republic

Born and raised in the Netherlands island of Bonnaire and half-Dominican, Ir-Sais is the guy you need to bridge the gap between dancehall and reggaeton. Performing in his native language of Papiamento, Ir-Sais has found global success thanks to his collaborations with artists like Rauw Alejandro in the viral hit “Dream Girl”, “Midnight Boom” with Afro B and Chocquibtown. His latest EP Pelikula we can listen to Ir-Sais switching between Papiamento, English and Spanish and transport us to an island.

Must-listen to: “Dream Girl Remix“, “Midnight Boom“, “Juntos

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