entertainment

From Maxwell To Cardi B, These Afro-Latinos Are A Driving Force In The Music Industry Today

ibeyi2 / Instagram

Afro-Latinos (Latinos of African descent) are often some of the most marginalized and underrepresented when it comes to mainstream media. While artists like Celia Cruz is one of the most notable Afro-Latino artists, there is way people that need to be recognized for their impact. You might be surprised to hear about the origins of some of these artists or even find out that they are Afro-Latino. Here are Afro-Latinos that have made an impact in the music industry today.

Princess Nokia

CREDIT: princessnokia / Instagram

Afro-Puerto Rican artist Princess Nokia comes from New York and has shot to fame thanks to her music celebrating female empowerment. Nokia started off with relative small fave until her debut album 1992 was released in 2017. Since then she has garnered credit for her unapologetic and raw music talking about the day to day life of an Afro-Latina living in New York City.

Miguel

CREDIT: miguel / Instagram

Miguel, born Miguel Jontel Pimentel, is one of the most well-known musicians in the world with hits like “Sky Walker” and “Adorn.” The San Pedro native has a unique musical sound that includes jazz, funk and hip-hop have garnered him many fans worldwide. Miguel is paving the way for a new generation of Afro-Latino artists just like him.

Amara La Negra

CREDIT: amaralanegraaln / Instagram

Afro-Dominicana Amara La Negra is unique not only in name but in her artistic message. She has become an outspoken voice on the Afro-Latina identity that shows how she has embraced her African roots. Amara is one of the fastest rising artists in the industry that is sure to keep making more waves for years to come.

Young MA

CREDIT: youngma / Instagram

After creating a huge name for herself with the rap anthem “Ooouuu” in 2016, Young MA has become one of the hottest MC’S in the game today. The Brooklyn native with Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots has shown her skills as an artist and a producer. The 26-year-old is also a philanthropist in her own community. The Kweens Foundation, founded in 2018, helps low-income families by assisting single mothers who’ve lost children to street violence.

Ozuna

CREDIT: ozuna / Instagram

Easily one of the biggest stars of reggaetón at the moment is Afro-Latino artist Ozuna. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Ozuna is part of a mixture of artists that riding high on the trap reggaetón scene in music today. He’s scored big hits with other stars like Bad Bunny and J. Balvin that are making a huge splash on the mainstream music scene.

Cardi B

CREDIT: iamcardib / Instagram

What’s there to say that hasn’t been said about Cardi B? She made the leap from reality television to the top of the Billboard charts in 2017 in seemingly effortless fashion. Since then, Cardi has released a Grammy-nominated album and has grown a following on social media of well over 40 million fans. Looks like there is nothing that can stop the Dominican Bronx native from reaching the top.

Chocquibtown

CREDIT: Chocquibtown / Instagram

This Grammy-nominated group has garnered acclaim for their fusion of Afro-Colombian sounds with a hip hop feel. The group consists of Carlos “Tostao” Valencia, his wife Gloria “Goyo” Martínez, and her brother Miguel “Slow” Martínez. They all bring a unique sound to the table that is unmistakable in today’s music scene. Chocquibtown discusses Afro-Latino identity and taking pride in its native region in many of their songs. The group is widely respected in their hometown of Choco, Columbia and are already being recognized here in the U.S.

Maxwell

CREDIT: maxwell / Instagram

The Afro-Puerto Rican singer has made a name for himself in the music industry by playing by his own rules. Many have credited Maxwell with influencing what has been termed the “neo-soul” movement that what popular in the late ’90s. He’s been compared to artists like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo because of their impact on the R&B genre.

Kid Cudi

CREDIT: kidcudi / Instagram

It may come as a surprise to some but Kid Cudi has Latin roots in his blood. His father is of Mexican-American descent and has incorporated some of that Latin style in various songs. Cudi rose to fame with hits like “Day N Night” and has worked with some of the biggest hip-hop artists of the last decade. His psychedelic sound and far-out production have made him one of the most influential rappers of the 21st century.

Maluca Mala

CREDIT: malucamala / Instagram

If you haven’t been introduced to Maluca Mala yet here’s your chance to learn a bit about this Afro-Dominicana. Born Natalie Ann Yepez, she quickly rose to fame in 2009 for her experimental electro hip-hop sound. The rapper hails from New York and has been very vocal against some of President Donald Trump’s policies. Mala’s unique sound and unmatched attitude alone is a reason to check her music out.

Esperanza Spalding

CREDIT: esperanzaspalding / Instagram

Esperanza Spalding is a star in her own right. She plays several different instruments masterfully—including bass, the oboe, the violin, and the clarinet. Spalding even sings in three languages and played for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Both of her parents are of African and Hispanic descent. The Grammy-nominated artist has been able to make a name for herself in the world of Jazz all while keeping her roots proud and loud.

Ibeyi

CREDIT: ibeyi2 / Instagram

This dynamic twin sister duo of Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, or simply known as Ibeyi, are one of the music industry’s fasting rising stars. The talented 22-year-old sisters were born in Paris and grew up in Havana, Cuba which influenced their unique sound. Both sisters play multiple instruments including piano and traditional Peruvian percussion instruments like the cajón and Batá drum. Ibeyi got their biggest break when they appeared on Beyonce’s Lemonade HBO special in 2016. With hits like “River” and “Me Voy”, the duo is clearly just getting started.

Nitty Scott

CREDIT: nittyscottmc / Instagram

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father, Nitty Scott, has been one of the more versatile females in rap this decade. She has worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Action Bronson cementing her name into the hip-hop scene. Scott’s last album, Creature!, released in 2017, aims to empower women in the Afro-Latina community and is regarded as her best work to date. Here’s hoping Scott is releasing more music in the near future.

Aloe Blacc

CREDIT: aloeblacc / Instagram

His voice has been the background to countless hits this past decade and there seems no sign of that stopping for Aloe Blacc. Born to Panamanian parents, Blacc has made a name for himself in mainstream music with his strong vocals and soulful bravado. Best known for his chart-topping singles like “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man,” Blacc has had cross-over success few could ever dream of.

Don Omar

CREDIT: donomar / Instagram

Don Omar is a pioneer in the reggaetón genre. The Puerto Rican singer has always stayed true to himself and his musical roots. He’s worked with some of the most well-known reggaetón genre like Daddy Yankee and Pitbull. It’s no surprise when you think of reggaetón Don Omar is always mentioned.

Taio Cruz

CREDIT: taiocruz / Instagram

The part-Brazilian and part Nigerian Taio Cruz is a pro when it comes to making music that just gets us up on our feet. Born in London, England, Cruz made his debut back in 2008 but it wasn’t until his hit singles “Break Your Heart” and “Dynamite” did he make a big name for himself. He also co-wrote the hit David Guetta song “Without You.”

Swizz Beats

CREDIT: umpg / Instagram

Swizz Beatz is a man of various talents. He’s a record producer, a DJ, a rapper, a painter and even a fashion designer. Born to a mother of Afro-Jamaican and Puerto Rican ancestry, Beatz has made a name for himself in the music industry. He’s worked with some of the biggest artists in the game including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Nas. He is also married to Alicia Keys and has a baby with the acclaimed singer. The Grammy-nominated artist doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Mariah Carey

CREDIT: mariahcarey / Instagram

Mariah Carey has made an impact on modern music like few others have. From her amazing singing career to her aspiring film career, Carey definitely has had her imprint on pop-culture the last 20 years. Carey has Afro-Venezuelan roots due to her father and is something she has talked about at length that has impacted her life. She has sold well over 200 million records and is bonafide star any way you put it.

DJ Jigüe

CREDIT: dj.jigue / Instagram

Cuban music experimentalist and historian, DJ Jigüe has performed on countless stages all around Europe and South America. He might be relatively unknown in the mainstream music scene but when it comes to house and dance music, Jigüe is the man. Hailing from Havana, Cuba, he has been able to uproot his career and rise to the top of various music festivals around the globe.

Alex Cuba

CREDIT: iamalexcuba / Instagram

This Latin Grammy-award winning artist is a star in the world of Jazz. Hailing from Artemisa, Cuba, he changed his name from Alex Puentes to Alex Cuba because of his adoration for his home country. He’s won and been nominated for just about every major award you can think of. But for Cuba, it’s not about the accolades. It’s all about making sweet jazz music that brings people together.

Bruno Mars

CREDIT: brunomars / Instagram

He came onto the music scene in 2010 and if he retired after that year we’d still be talking about him today. Bruno Mars, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has made some of the most popular and critically acclaimed music of this decade. With songs like “Uptown Funk” and “Just The Way You Are“, Mars has proven he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.


READ: 25 Inspiring Afro-Latinos To Celebrate For Black History Month

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Here Are The Latinos Who Have Taken Home The Top Prizes From The Grammy Awards

Entertainment

Here Are The Latinos Who Have Taken Home The Top Prizes From The Grammy Awards

brunomars / esperanzaspalding / xtina / Instagram

The 2019 Grammy Award ceremony is fast approaching, and it is a good opportunity to recall how Latinos have slowly but surely escaped the niche of Latin music and totally slayed the mainstream awards. Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Bruno Mars are but a few of the musicians with Latino blood who have proudly worn their heart and their heritage on their sleeve. As Spanish-language and Portuguese-language music has broken into popular culture worldwide and talented Latinos have slain language and ethnic barriers, Latino culture has become a source of pride, fun, and inspiration.

Here are 21 times that Latinos took home a Grammy, showing everyone that harmful stereotypes are pure fiction and political trickery. They also proved that music is indeed the language that can tear down real and imaginary walls.

Bruno Mars (birth name: Peter Gene Hernandez) for “24K Magic”

Year: 2018

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: 2018-01-29T051540Z_216392007_HP1EE1T0DBVL6_RTRMADP_3_AWARDS-GRAMMY. Digital Image. eNCA

The proud Hawaiian of Puerto Rican descent showed everyone what Boricua rhythm can do when it is pumping through your blood! A bailar se ha dicho.

Carlos Santana for “Supernatural”

Year: 1999

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: Carlos-Santana-Grammy. Digital Image. Ultimate Classic Rock

The godfather of Mexican-American rock totally smashed the Grammy awards in the turn of the century. His guitar sounds still haunt our fondest memories of the weird 1990s.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto for “Getz/Gilberto”

Year: 1964

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: R-170884-1324248990.jpeg. Digital image. Discogs

Brazilian bossa nova became mainstream with the release of this amazing album. You should listen to “Getz/Gilberto” while sipping a delicious pineapple juice while watching the sunset.

Ruben Blades for “Mundo”

Year: 2003

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: ruben_blades_grammys. Digital image. Playa Community

The superstar from Panama is a master of salsa, but he has been able to combine it with other rhythms throughout his decades-long career. “Mundo” is the perfect album for our globalized times, and it ruled supreme in the World Music category.

Sergio Mendes for “Brasileiro”

Year: 1993

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: sergio_mendes_hero118685141. Digital image. GRAMMY.com

This Brazilian powerhouse beat the favorites, the Gipsy Kings, in a year when it seemed impossible. Mendes proves that there is nothing Latinos can’t do when they set their minds to something.

Caetano Veloso for “Livro”

Year: 2000

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: caetano. Digital image. O portal da noticias de Globo

Caetano Veloso is like the Brazilian Bob Dylan. A poet and troubadour, Veloso has been able to capture the essence of our convoluted times. If you haven’t listened to him… well, you should.

Antonio Sanchez for “Birdman”

Year: 2016

Category: Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Image: 635911665189820341-USP-ENTERTAINMENT-58TH-GRAMMY-AWARDS-79703050. Digital image. USA TODAY

This Mexican-American jazz one-man-band injected energy into the Oscar-winner movie, following the main character’s every step with an incessant, delirious beat. There’s no arguing. His music made the movie the hit it became to be.

Lin-Manuel Miranda for “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)

Year: 2018

Category: Best Song Written for Visual Media

Image: Giphy. @disneymoana

Miranda burst into the scene with “In the Heights” and hasn’t looked back. He is so talented we wouldn’t be surprised if he wins many more Grammy awards in his lifetime.

Bruno Mars for “Unorthodox Jukebox”

Year: 2014

Category: Best Pop Vocal Album

Image: 1200x630bb. Digital image. iTunes Apple.

It seems that Bruno Mars can do it all. This year he beat Lana Del Rey and Justin Timberlake, not an easy feat by any means! He just makes us mover el esqueleto doesn’t he?

Jose Feliciano

Year: 1969

Category: Best New Artist

Image: Giphy. @soultrain

This Puerto Rican trovador has made everyone, including non-Latinos, sing “Feliz Navidad” at the top of their lungs. Talk about an iconic musician.

Bruno Mars for “That’s What I Like”

Year: 2018

Category: Song of the Year

Image: That’s_What_I_Like_Remixe. Digiral image. Wikipedia.

Our money was on “Despacito,” a nominee whose win would have been truly groundbreaking for Latinos. However, we were super happy for Bruno Mars, though.

Carlos Santana (with Rob Thomas) for “Smooth”

Year: 2000

Category: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Image: Giphy. @SonyMusicColombia

There’s no doubt that 2000 was the year of Santana. We can still remember this very suave collaboration with Rob Thomas let me forget about it, woooo.

Christina Aguilera (with Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink) for “Lady Marmalade)

Year: 2002

Category: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Image: large. Digital image. We hear it.

This awesome badass girl has an Ecuadorian father and a German mother. We can still hear this collaboration for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, in which her voice penetrated deep in our pop culture memory. She was equally unique and sexy. Don’t lie. You know that you just started singing the song when you saw the title.

Gustavo Dudamel for “Brahms: Symphony No. 4”

Year: 2011

Category: Best Orchestral Performance

Image: Giphy. @medicitv

Gustavo Dudamel is a great Venezuelan conductor who is the inspiration behind Gael Garcia Bernal’s character in the amazing TV show “Mozart in the Jungle.” He is an energetic conductor who has revolutionized classical music with his fun style.

Christina Aguilera for “Ain’t No Ather Man”

Year: 2006

Category: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Image: Giphy. @xtina

Well, Aguilera has one of the best voices ever this side of Amy Winehouse. Her range is just fantastic and we can just imagine the concentration it must take to sustain some of those bluesy notes. Una chingona.

And of course Christina Aguilera again! This time for “Beautiful”

Year: 2003

Category: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Image: MV5BNWQ4NTZiODYtNWIxMy00NThkLTljMTMtYjk0NTBlZTI4N2VhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk1NTMyNzM@._V1. Digital image. Internet Movie Database

All hail the queen. She is one of the greatest vocalists of our time and her awards prove it.

No surprises here… Christina Aguilera again.

Year: 1999

Category: Best New Artist

Image: christina-aguilera-best-new-artist-grammy. Digital image. Today in Pop.

This was just the beginning of what was to come: a total takeover of the pop music scene. Yes, Britney Spears had the moves and the scandals, but Aguilera had that raspy voice that made us temblar como gelatinas.

Esperanza Spalding

Year: 2011

Category: Best New Artist

Image: esperanza_custom-656025a93c6a8ca33d6ac4afe7e08ef7a78bffa5-s800-c85. Digital image. NPR.

Few people in the world are as talented as Esperanza, who is a true representation of America’s multicultural society. Her father is African-American and her mom has Latino, Native American and Welsh genes. Esperanza plays a multitude of instruments and just brings unrivaled energy. Trivia fact: she beat Justin Bieber for this award.

Armando Manzanero

Year: 2014

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Image: 636513209910027130. Digital image. Hola News.

The Mexican composer and singer has probably influenced world music more than anyone else. Ask your abuelita about the great Armando Manzanero and her face will light up. This award is reserved for true legends only, and Don Armando is certainly one.

Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez

Year: 2015

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Image: musicetc2-1. Digital image. San Antonio Current.

This true legend of Tex-Mex music was recognized for his influence in spreading Latino rhythms in Hispanic communities all across the U.S. He got recognized the same year as George Harrison and Buddy Guy, which gives you an idea of his importance in the music industry.


READ: Before ‘Despacito’: 25 Latino Artists Who Stormed the Grammys 

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories