For many of us, we’ve had to grown up within two cultures. Whether it is our mother’s culture and our father’s culture, or the culture of the place we moved to when we were little, the immigrant experience is universal. These are 7 bicultural artists that have navigated the world within their two cultures, sometimes even speaking two (or more!!!) languages, and have shared their experiences in their music. Get to know them below.
Polimá West Coast – Chile/Angola
Polimá West Coast is the song of a Chilean mother and an Angolan father. At only 24 years old, he’s Chile’s very own version of a Travis Scott that’s set his sights for stardom. Polimá is a versatile artist that can go from Trap, Pop, Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B, his unique sound and aesthetics in his music videos that have made him reach over 1.8 million Spotify monthly listeners. Polimá is shining a spotlight on the new wave of talent emerging from Chile and in his particular story, he’s able to blend in both of his cultures in his music.
To get a feel on his style, check out his latest album ‘Las Crónicas de Ngangu 2‘, in which he dabbles with hyperbeat instrumentals and gives fans an introspective look at his career, dealing with fame and more. Also check out the viral Bizarrap Sessions #19 which has over 21 million views.
marcos g – Nicaragua/Colombia
Pop singer marcos g grew up in a Colombian and Nicaraguan household in his native Miami, Florida, and both cultures have influenced his sound. As someone that grew up in Miami, it’s easy to relate with the way marcos can switch effortlessly from English to Spanish in his single “switch up” which has elements of indie pop and then it switches up to a Reggaeton-esque beat as he starts singing in Spanish. From his Spotify bio, it is his upbringing in Miami that led marcos to “develop an eclectic range of influences sonically; from many Latin Influences, to R&B to dance-pop. In Marcos’ music, we hear him take a unique spin on all of these sounds, in turn creating his own genre: G-pop.”
Yendry – Dominican Republic/Italy
She can sing in English, she can sing in Spanish, she will probably sing in Italian soon too. Dominican-born, Italy-raised Yendry knows what it means to grow up between two cultures and trying to find your place in the world. In our interview from June, Yendry told us what it meant for her to feel comfortable in her own skin and represent both sides with the utmost pride. She’s doing music in her own terms and is not letting the industry dictate what her sound should be, who she should work with, or which language she should pick to sing.
Venus X – Dominican Republic/Ecuador
NYC born and raised of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent, DJ Venus X has been named by Mixmag magazine as one of the artists that shaped the decade, and with good reason. She has been in the game repping for Latina DJs, and her GHE20G0TH1K parties in the mid 2010s changed the scene in the city by providing a space for the culture. Since then, she’s been booked and busy and has been a voice for her community. Follow her on IG @venusx to see where she’ll play next.
La Dame Blanche – Cuba/France
Born Yaite Ramos Rodriguez, La Dame Blanche was born and raised in Cuba and moved to France to expand her sound. Coming from a musical family and musical training, she’s a Latin jazz singer and classical flautist, and has been successful in incorporating hip-hop and other eelemts to her Caribbean roots, creating the perfect fusion of cultures and sounds. Living between her native Pinar del Río and Paris, La Dame Blanche is opening doors for Afro Latino artists in Europe with her eclectic sound and stunning storytelling in her lyrics. She just announced her 2021 Europe tour and I may or may not book a ticket to see her.
Nina Cobham – England/Spain
Living between Manchester, England and Spain, Nina Cobham is a 20-year-old bilingual singer-songwriter serving bedroom pop and R&B en dos idiomas. Even though she’s not Spanish by blood, growing up in the South of Spain influenced her sound and was her way of connecting to the culture and giving something to her family and friends back there. On her singles “Sola” and “lo que pasó“, she’s able to convey her emotions in both languages and navigate within both cultures effortlessly. Listen to her latest EP ‘what colour does this feel like?‘ and get familiar with Nina’s sound.
Lido Pimienta – Colombia/Canada
Lido Pimienta is more than just a singer: She is a skilled musician, GRAMMY nominee, activist and a single mom. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia to parents of Afro descent and indigenous Wayuu roots, Lido moved to Toronto, Canada where she has been based since her 20s. Now at 34 years old, with a GRAMMY nomination under her belt, Lido’s music goes beyond being a political statement, is giving a platform to the feelings that many have but are afraid to speak out.
In her CBC Music documentary for her album Miss Colombia, Lido explains that her album is “a cynical love letter to my country, but it’s a love letter nonetheless. It’s about the disconnect that immigrants feel, that longing for your country of origin, but the sense that maybe you don’t belong there anymore, and at the same time the feeling that you may not feel completely welcome in the country you now have to call home. That duality is the driving force behind Miss Colombia, the search to define what home means.”
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