Entertainment

Here Are Some Of The Afro-Latinos celebrities Who Continue To Impact The Music Industry

These stellar musicians and artists are showing the beats, language and fashion of their Afro-Latino roots through a variety of music styles. Celebrate Black History Month by getting to know these eight influential Afro-Latino musicians.

1. Oscar D’Leon

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtUHoyggjgl/

When you’re dancing salsa classics such as “Llorarás” or  “Qué bueno baila usted” with your familia at your prima’s wedding, thank salsa grand maestro Oscar D’Leon. The Venezuelan salsa singer has been singing his way to the top of the salsa charts for decades, and his mega-watt smile is also a welcomed asset to Operation Smile, of which he is an ambassador for.

2. Ozuna

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtwSyaAlito/

One of the most popular reggaetoneros who is having a major ???? moment right now is Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trip artist, Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado, aka Ozuna. He recently made history for the Billboard Latin Music Awards by being nominated for 23 awards, the most of any Latin artist thus far. Catch him on nominated tracks including “Taki Taki” and “Te Boté.”

3. Chocquibtown

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtuGCBfhs5t/

Colombian hip-hop group Chocquibtown might be under the radar to some music enthusiasts, but the group is internationally-acclaimed and award-winning, so they’re moving like the silent g in lasagna.

The group’s name pays homage to the Colombian department of Chocó, which has many inhabitants of African descent.

4. Vakeró

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt3K5eMFeLz/

Manuel Varet Marte, known by his stage name, Vakeró, is an urban Latin artist from the Dominican Republic. He has told Billboard he is proud to be associated with the African part of his Afro-Latino roots, saying in Spanish to call him “negro”, not “moreno.” Don’t get it twisted.

5. Ibeyi2

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtRC-iyllrM/

This French, Afro-Cuban and Venezuelan duo mixes electronic beats with hip-hop, piano, a little bit of French and a side of Yoruba (a language brought to Cuba from West African slaves.) Equally stunning and talented Ibeyi2 is probably best known for being in Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ special on HBO. Now that is what you call #BlackGirlMagic.

6. Princess Nokia

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt3sKW2llT3/

This Afro-Puerto Rican rapper is giving rap music the royal treatment. Her brand of feminism is both on display through her lyrics AND her activism. This go-getter is both a founder of Smart Girls Club AND recently announced she would be starting her own YouTube channel to promote self care, wellness and beauty. YES, QUEEN. YYESSSS!!

7. Amara la Negra

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btwjz0bgQtH/

Afro-Dominican singer Amara la Negra has been a fixture in Latino households since she was a child. First she appeared on TV on the classic show, Sábado Gigante, and now she is scoring millions of views through YouTube and was a recognizable face on Love & Hip Hop: Miami. She is using the insults people have thrown at her for not being Latina enough, or not being black enough, and showing that Afro-Latinos ARE enough. She told Rolling Stone in a recent interview, Somewhere along the way, I started to feel this energy in my body – this need to empower other women, this need to liberate people. This need to talk.” And now people are definitely listening through her music.

8. Celia Cruz

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtVrkV4BpkC/

The absolute, unquestionable QUEEN of salsa is and always will be the beloved Celia Cruz. Perhaps the first Afro-Latin artist to break through the class ceiling of identity and showcase to the world what it means to be black and talented, Celia Cruz put her country of Cuba and her style of salsa on the map. Her legacy continues on to this day, with musicians still revering her as one of the greatest Latina singers OF ALL TIME.

Did we miss any of your favorite Afro-Latino musicians? Let us know in the comments!!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

2021 Latin American Music Awards Highlights: Ozuna, Eslabón Armado, Karol G and More

Latidomusic

2021 Latin American Music Awards Highlights: Ozuna, Eslabón Armado, Karol G and More

The 2021 Latin American Music Awards were last night and Bad Bunny emerged victorious. Even though the Puerto Rican superstar was absent, he won five awards.

Karol G and Nicki Minaj were big winners.

Right behind Benito, who took home Artist of the Year, was Karol G, with three wins. She won for her smash hit “Tusa,” which also made her collaborator Nicki Minaj a three-time winner. “Tusa” won the Song of the Year award over Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola” and Colombian singer Maluma’s “Hawái.”

Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro also won big.

In the New Artist of the Year category, rising Puerto Rican pop star Rauw Alejandro took home the award. Like Bad Bunny, he was also absent from the ceremony. “Thanks to all those who voted for me,” Alejandro wrote in his Instagram stories. “I’ll see you all soon. Wait for me.”

The night was also filled with plenty of performances. Latido Music is here with five of our favorite Latin AMAs performances.

Eslabón Armado

Eslabón Armado is the Mexican-American trio that is reviving the sierreño sound in regional Mexican music. They’re doing it with their own emo spin on the genre. The guys won two awards: Favorite Regional Mexican Duo or Group and the Favorite Duo or Group general category. In one of their first major award show performances, the crowd was treated to Eslabón Armado’s “Con Tus Besos” live.

Ozuna

Last night Ozuna was honored with the Extraordinary Evolution Award for his incredible music career. The moment was extra special for the Puerto Rican superstar because his grandmother gave him the award. Ozuna was in tears of joy over the gesture. He also performed a medley of hits like “Vaina Loca” and “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres.”

Karol G

Fresh off her new album KG0516 topping Billboard‘s Latin Album chart, Karol G performed at the Latin AMAs. She gave her first live performance of “El Makinon” with rising Latina singer Mariah Angeliq. The sensual performance was a show of girl power at the awards.

Maluma

Maluma performed a few times at the Latin AMAs. He teamed up with Wisin, Myke Towers, and Anitta for their remix of “Mi Niña.” He also joined fellow Colombian act Piso 21 for their hit duet “Más de la Una.” His best performance of the night was “Tonika” from his 7 Días En Jamaica (#7DJ) album. He sang it with Jamaican music royalty Ziggy Marley for the first time.

David Bisbal and Carrie Underwood

In one of the most-anticipated moments of the night, Spanish singer David Bisbal teamed up with country music superstar Carrie Underwood. The duo debuted their duet “Tears of Gold” live and Underwood sang in Spanish.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Karol G’s ‘KG0516’ Album Has Landed: Our 5 Favorite Songs

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Arthur Hanlon and Venezuelan Singer Nella Talk Recording HBO Special ‘Piano y Mujer’

Latidomusic

Arthur Hanlon and Venezuelan Singer Nella Talk Recording HBO Special ‘Piano y Mujer’

World-famous pianist Arthur Hanlon is premiering his HBO Latino special Piano y Mujer this Friday. The Detroit-born musician will be teaming up with Latina artists like Venezuela’s Nella, Puerto Rico’s Kany García, and Colombia’s Goyo. The collaborations are already available on Hanlon’s album of the same name. Hanlon and Nella talked with Latido Music about recording Piano y Mujer and a few of their career highlights.

Hanlon fuses his jazz sound with his love of Latin music.

Hanlon is an Irish-American musician who has made an impact in the Latin music world thanks to his incredible piano-playing skills. Previously, he’s collaborated with artists like Luis Fonsi, Juanes, Marc Anthony, Lunay, and Prince Royce.

“It’s the rhythms more than anything,” Hanlon tells mitú about his fascination with Latin music. “That was the main attraction for me. La bachata, la salsa, and la merengue. There’s so much piano in those genres. For me, it was like a marriage made in heaven.”

“You can tell how much Arthur is passionate about Latin rhythms,” Nella adds. “It’s like he was born in Latin America. It’s a beautiful thing to play with [Arthur] because you also have the influence from the Anglo world, which I love.”

Hanlon also teamed up with Ozuna for a stellar collaboration.

Most recently, Hanlon featured on Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna’s Aura album. It was a feature on the most important song on the album, the title track, and he didn’t know about it until the eleventh hour.

“It was a great vibe,” Hanlon says. “He sent me an idea about a mirror called espejo. I just took that idea and I tried to play a mirror [on the piano] is what I did. I sent it back to him and I never heard anything back. I swear to God the night before, it was like, ‘Dude, it’s the title track. It’s not espejo anymore. It’s called ‘Aura.” That was cool.”

Nella is a Latin Grammy winner.

Nella is one of the women that’s featured in Hanlon’s Piano y Mujer album and HBO special. She’s in the company of García, ChocQuibTown’s Goyo, Spanish singer Natalia Jimenez, and Evaluna Montaner, the daughter of Argentine icon Ricardo Montaner. Nella rose to prominence after winning the Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2019.

“My music doesn’t exactly follow the radio format,” Nella says. “I was like, ‘I’m very glad to be nominated. I’m not expecting anything.’ When I heard my name, that was freaking crazy I’ve got to admit. It makes me so happy and proud to know that an album that was made with roots [in Venezuela] and vanguardia was recognized by The [Latin Recording] Academy. It was obviously a before and after in my life.”

Nella recently received a co-sign from Juan Luis Guerra.

A recent high in Nella’s career includes featuring on a song with Dominican icon Juan Luis Guerra. When she was a reference vocal in the song “Mi Guitarra” by Javier Limón, Guerra decided to keep her voice on there.

“When Juan Luis Guerra returned the song back to Javier, he didn’t delete my voice,” Nella says. “He kept my voice and did harmonies with my voice. It was such a beautiful and humble thing for him to do that he didn’t need to. It was a great honor to be chosen by him.”

For Piano y Mujer, Hanlon worked with Nella on songs that spoke to her Venezuelan roots.

Hanlon arranged the music for Piano y Mujer with Venezuelan producer Motiff. Hanlon played piano on two songs that are personal to Nella. The first one is “Caballo Viejo,” a popular folk song in Venezuela.

“I’ve listened to it since I was a baby and it’s been in my blood, but I’ve never performed it,” Nella says. “It was such a great opportunity to do this for the first time. It’s always beautiful for me to sing a little bit of my roots.”

Hanlon and Nella also worked together on “Me Llaman Nella.” That song was the lead single from Nella’s debut album Voy that helped her win her Latin Grammy.

“I always dreamed about having a remix of that song and there you go,” Nella says. “People got to know me [with that song] because it also tells my story. That’s going to be like my ‘Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. That song that you’re going to sing your whole freaking life. It was beautiful to hear with a different rhythm that respected the melody and the essence of the song.”

Hanlon and Nella also told us about who they want to collaborate with next.

As for what’s next, Hanlon says that he’s working on something that will hopefully make Colombian icon Carlos Vives’ Cumbiana Dos album. Nella reveals that she wants to work with more women. At the top of her list is Mayra Andrade, who hails from Cape Verde. Nella’s next album will be released on April 30.

Hanlon’s Piano y Mujer special airs on HBO Latino this Friday at 10 p.m. EST/PST. The show will be available to stream on HBO Max afterward.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Meet Breakout Pop Star Camilo: Our 5 Favorite Songs on ‘Mis Manos’

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com