A few of the women in the Latin music scene will be coming together for the virtual event Urban Divas United. Among the headliners announced so far are reggaeton music icon Ivy Queen and rising stars Chesca and Goyo.
Here’s to hoping for “Yo Quiero Bailar” live.
Urban Divas United will be taking place on April 10 at 7 p.m. EST. The virtual concert presented by Neutrogena will be livestreamed from downtown Miami. Conciencia Collective is also a partner in helping put on the event. Ivy Queen is among the performers that have been announced.
“I’m extremely thankful to be part of this activation that will unite us all through music, and to me, it’s a great honor to be the one who kickstarts [the movement] with mic in hand,” Ivy Queen said in a statement. “And for those who want to delve into the urban music genre, remember that the biggest stories are born out of the most challenging of sacrifices.”
Chesca is on the come-up thanks to her spin on a Frank Valli classic.
Also confirmed for the event is rising Puerto Rican singer Chesca. Last year, she released her breakthrough hit “Te Quiero Baby” with Pitbull. The song is a Spanish version of Frank Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Valli also features on the reggaeton version with Chesca and Pitbull. Last week, Chesca made her late night TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with “Como Tú (Dirty)” featuring Migos’ Offset and De La Ghetto.
Goyo has got the hits with ChocQuibTown.
Goyo is one of the leaders of the Conciencia Collective that was born last summer to help Latine folks understand Afro-Latinidad and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. She’s also one of the members of the Afro-Colombian hip-hop group ChocQuibTown. Last October, the Latin Recording Academy selected Goyo as one of the Leading Ladies of Entertainment alongside Selena Gomez, journalist Maria Elena Salinas, and “Despacito” songwriter Erika Ender.
Fans must register by April 10 to enjoy the free Urban Diva United event. You can start signing up now at UrbanDivasUnited.com. More performers will be announced soon.
Afro-Colombian group ChocQuibTown and Boricua artist Rico Nasty are headlining AFROPUNK’s Black Spring concert. The virtual event in collaboration with NPR’s Tiny Desk will highlight Afro-Latine and Afro-Caribbean musicians.
AFROPUNK and NPR are teaming up for the first time.
AFROPUNK’s Black Spring event will take place this Friday, April 23. The festivities will kick off at 3 p.m. EST with Tiny Desk Meets AFROPUNK. That will be streamed on NPR and NPR’s YouTube channel. This marks the first collaboration between AFROPUNK and NPR. Nenny, Calma Carmona, and Luedji Luna will perform.
“Black Spring is a moment to celebrate our African lineage and not allow the exploits of colonialism to further separate us whether we speak Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, or Dutch,” Tina Farris, NPR Music’s producer of the event, said in a statement. “We are Black. Celebrating with Tiny Desk is the perfect partner for this expansion in highlighting Afro-Latine and Afro-Caribbean voices.”
The main event Black Spring will start afterward at 4 p.m. EST. Fans can stream the event worldwide at planetafropunk.com. Joining ChocQuibTown and Rico Nasty for the virtual concert will be Seu Jorge, Seafoam Walls, DAWERXDAMPER, Black Pantera, Projexx, and Jup Do Bairro. Santana Caress Benitez will host.
Don’t miss ChocQuibTown, Rico Nasty, or the rest of the acts lined up.
ChocQuibTown is a Latin Grammy-winning group. This year will mark the band’s 15th anniversary since releasing the independent debut album Somos Pacífico. ChocQuibTown has teamed up with artists like Chicana singer Becky G, fellow Colombiano Manuel Turizo, and Panamanian superstar Sech. In our Nu Music Friday list, we highlighted the group’s collaboration “Midnight Boom” with Ir-Sais and Afro B.
In December, Rico Nasty released her debut album Nightmare Vacation. Last year, she also teamed up with Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis for “Aquí Yo Mando.”
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.