Entertainment

Here Are Some Of The Afro-Latinos 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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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!!

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Jeimy Osorio, Reflects On The “Amazing Journey” It’s Been To Play Celia Cruz In The Hit Series

Entertainment

Jeimy Osorio, Reflects On The “Amazing Journey” It’s Been To Play Celia Cruz In The Hit Series

Jeimy Osorio is the Puerto Rican and proud Afro-Latina actress you should have on your radar. With lead roles in “Betty en New York” and “Celia,” Osorio has taken the entertainment industry by storm and reminds the world the importance of highlighting Afro-Latinx stories, and casting Afro-Latinx talent for Afro-Latinx roles. mitú caught up with the talented actress about what these experiences were like for her, the significance of portraying her characters on screen, and how they have impacted her acting and singing career.

So good to meet you, Jeimy! I hope quarantine has been treating you well, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. You play a young Celia Cruz in the series, “Celia.” Can you tell us about that journey? Was this your first major role?

Yes! Actually it was my first major role back in 2014 when we started filming. It was, if I’m not mistaken, one of the first Afro-Latina TV shows led by an Afro-Latina. It has been an honor because ever since I have been representing the Afro-Latina community even more so than before. It has been an honor for me to play this role as well because I have, in a way, kept with me the values and the tools that this character taught me about how to take care of my career and how to be as kind and understanding as Celia was when she was growing up, all of which led to her success, I would say.

You touched on this a little, but what does it mean to you to get to play such an iconic woman? I mean, we’re talking about Celia Cruz! 

It’s an amazing journey, I mean in the beginning, I knew that they were giant shoes to fill. I was thinking, “I don’t know how I am going to do this, I don’t even know if people are going to like this, I’m just going to enjoy each moment the best I can and I’m going to try to portray that joy in the camera.” And I think that worked. For me, it has still been a gift, a dream, and also like I said before, continuing the legacy of good music, message of self-love, of self-respect, of respect for others, loving your country, speaking up, using your voice, helping others through music, creating joyful music! I think that, for me, that’s the biggest one. As artists, performers, we are on the radio, we are inevitable to your ears. So whatever comes into your ears that comes from me, I want it to be joyful. I want it to be something that helps you grow, or at least touch your emotions, or helps you connect or helps you feel better. So for me to grab on to these values and tools that I would say that she left me, it’s an honor to just keep bringing these things to life with this new generation.

You’re also in “Betty en New York.” For anyone who isn’t familiar with the show, how would you describe it?

“Betty en New York” is definitely a show that you need to watch. At some point in our lives, we have all been Betty. It’s a beautiful story and it is so refreshing because it touches on the subjects that we are experiencing right now about racism, about bullying, and what social media is really doing with the minds of our kids and our teenagers. Also, the theme of self love is the most important. We’re touching all these subjects that are so deep, but the fact that we’re connecting it with comedy and that we’re going to bring this to you in your face as you laugh, it’s a magical combination. You can’t miss it and you can’t not love it. 

“Betty en New York” is a comedic series. Were there any funny moments from the set?

There were so many funny moments! Sometimes we had to stop filming because we couldn’t go on with the scene because it was so funny. We would have laugh attacks for 5-10 minutes and then you start laughing and then when you stop, I start laughing, and there was a moment where everyone started laughing and then no one could stop laughing. It was amazing. We would also sing, too, and perform in between scenes. We would make fun of each other, basically, but mainly with love. A lot of love.

Going back to “Celia,” can you tell me about one of your favorite moments on that show?

I think one of my favorite moments was when I was recording the talent show when she sang for the first time in front of her mother. When we were recording it, that sequence was so surreal for me because ten years before I was winning a singing contest at a university in front of my parents for the first time. It was just so parallel. I remember my friends were screaming my name, I was in second year and I didn’t tell my parents what the show was about, I just told them I was going to sing. They always knew I wanted to become a singer but they didn’t know my passion because I was shy! I would sing so low in my room, I didn’t want anyone to hear me. I kind of felt ashamed of it. I was still trying to figure out what was wrong with my voice, like, I felt that there was something wrong with my voice until that day. For me to play Celia singing, having her mother there and to look at the wood floor was exactly my same memory, and I was thinking  “wait a minute, I’ve lived this before.” I started crying in front of everyone. So the tears that you see in the beginning when they’re throwing her flowers in the opening of the show, that’s really me trying to stop the tears. And I remember I couldn’t stop crying for the next 15 minutes. They cut the scene, I was like “oh my god, this was me 10 years ago,” I was in shock. I couldn’t stop the tears.

A very full-circle moment, I’m sure. 

Yes, it was!

Congratulations again, on both of these shows! Are these shows available to stream anywhere? How can we watch “Celia” and “Betty en New York?”

Definitely! You can all go to Peacock.com, you’ll find more information there. You can [also] download it to your smart TV. It’s going to be under free programming and premium programming, for those that want a little extra. You can watch live programming from Telemundo and from different networks, content in both Spanish and English. I’m really happy we’re going to be representing the Latino community through Telemundo programming on the Peacock TV app.

Well, there you have it! Brb, going to binge-watch all seasons of “Betty en New York” and “Celia” on Peacock.

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Celia Cruz Was The Afro-Latina Queen Who Taught Young Black America The Importance Of Education And Hope

Entertainment

Celia Cruz Was The Afro-Latina Queen Who Taught Young Black America The Importance Of Education And Hope

PBS

If you’re a Latina from or living in the United States there’s no doubt that you have some memories of your days watching the longtime children’s program “Sesame Street.” For many Americans, the show has proven to be a  common ground. The show which was initially conceived as an educational intervention program directed at low-income, minority children gave kids of different colors and economic backgrounds a chance to learn numbers, the alphabet and speak rudimentary Spanish and English. Part of the show’s effort in this execution included featuring strong female characters that didn’t fall into regular female stereotypes.

Easily one of the greatest women to visit the show as Celia Cruz and video clips of her time on the show are resurfacing and stirring up comments commemorating her work as well as the show.

Fans of the Cuban-American Gurachara singer are commemorating her visit to Sesame Street on Twitter.

So far, the video which was posted on Twitter on July 22nd has received 11,618 retweets and 24,499 likes. Hundreds of Celia’s fans have commented

Many of the comments highlight how Celia’s music resonated with them as kids.

Literally every little Cuban girl knows La Madre de Azucar!

Many of the Cubana commentators have noted how the song takes them back to their time in Cuba

So many Cuban-Americans have commented on how they remember their abuelas playing Celia as kids.

And many remember seeing the episode when it first aired.

Ah to have seen this treasure back in the day would have been a true blessing.

Almost everyone is pointing out how cute the kids’ reactions are.

Literally, that girl is getting it and that boy is having an out of body experience.

And others are sharing her other visits to Sesame.

Cruz made multiple visits to the show, and by the comments, it’s clear that each one had a profound impact on little viewers.

Check out the full clip from Celia’s visit below!

And don’t forget to check out this moment Celia Cruz appeared to teach a song about numbers.

Or, this clip of her singing ‘Songo’s Song’

No doubt we could use more lessons and light from people like Celia Crus. Especially during these hard times.

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