From Punk To Reggaeton, Here Are 12 Acts To Keep You Eye On In 2017

It feels truer and truer every day: the most exciting music, across sound and continent, is being made by Latinx voices. It’s not that the rest of the world is just starting to take notice of the massive Latin genre — it’s that it’s become unavoidable. When looking for the trendsetters, from political punk powerhouses to future rap superstars, we realized there were many, many innovative musicians coming from Latin backgrounds. Here are few to keep an eye out for in 2017.

Alegría Rampante

Credit: Ángel Flores / Alegria Rampante / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Ángel Flores / Alegría Rampante / Facebook

Alegría Rampante (“Rampant Joy” in English) is the project of Eduardo Alegría, former co-founder of Superaquello. Rampante is his pop project, one both theatrical and outspokenly queer in nature. All of his beautiful songs about love and loss songs manage to resonate with both his queer and his Puerto Rican identities.

Listen: “Armando”

Audri Nix

Credit: Audri Nix / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Audri Nix / Facebook

Boricua rapper Audri Nix has been around the underground hip hop scene for the last two years or so, first piquing the interest of sites like Vibe with her hauntingly earnest tracks “1,000 MPH” and “Veneno.” After taking a break to deal with her depression, she released an EP titled “El Nuevo Orden Vol. 1” last year. Her R&B-tinged music reflects that sorrow and the result is something that will make her fans feel a little less alone. We expect more beautiful things from her, and soon!

Listen: “Inevitable”


Credit: Maluma / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Maluma / Facebook

Colombian singer Maluma is already huge in Latin America, but 2017 is the year that his fame translates stateside. He’s hitting the road in the U.S. for the first time this spring and we anticipate his world takeover soon after. Check out “El Perdedor” if you haven’t already — 500 million plays do not lie.

Listen: “El Perdedor”

The Tracks

Credit: The Tracks / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: The Tracks / Facebook

Los Angeles has been a hotbed for indie rock for a while now — there’s something very attractive about trying to enter the unforgiving music industry on your own terms, with your own DIY ethics, under the shadow of the Hollywood skyline. Though the city’s population is nearly half Latinx, garage rock is still a very white subgenre. But The Tracks, a band out of Boyle Heights, is changing that. With their debut album due later this year, we know they’re going to be a very important band for Latinx people both in and out of L.A.

Listen: “Go Out Tonight”

Helado Negro

Credit: Helado Negro / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Helado Negro / Facebook

Helado Negro, the electronic pop project of Roberto Carlos Lange, has caught the attention of major mainstream press outlets like Rolling Stone and SPIN while maintaining a distinctly personal feeling. “It’s My Brown Skin” and “Young, Latin & Proud” prove that other worldly experimental pop can be resonant in a tumultuous racial climate.

Listen: “It’s My Brown Skin”

Downtown Boys

Credit: Downtown Boys / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Downtown Boys / Facebook

Recently referred to as America’s most exciting punk band in Rolling Stone, Providence, Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys operate in a crucial bilingual space. All of their tracks deal directly with social and political injustices. Singer Victoria Ruiz’s refrain of “She is brown! She is smart!” in the song “Monstro” might be the most important punk lyric of the last five years. Here’s hoping for a new album in 2017.

Listen: “Monstro”

Eduardo F. Rosario

Credit: Eduardo F. Rosario / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Eduardo F. Rosario / Facebook

This one is not for the faint of heart. Eduardo F. Rosario is an experimental musician based in San Juan — his noise textures are mechanical and cold, a sound not normally associated with warm Caribbean climates. There’s a certain physicality to his music that can make it feel disorienting but controlled. This is the closest you’ll get to hearing visual art.

Listen: “Obsolescencia Programada 4”

Maria Usbeck

Credit: Maria Usbeck / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Maria Usbeck / Facebook

Maria Usbeck released “Amparo” last year, an album sung almost entirely in Spanish and produced by indie celebrity Caroline Polachek of Chairlift. Of the Spanish-language acts on this list, this one has probably enjoyed the most indie press for its soft soundscapes and its release on beloved label Cascine Records. There’s a really attractive fragility to the release, one that makes use excited to see where Usbeck goes next.

Listen: “Moai y Yo”

Bomba Estéreo

Li y Simón @lifeisbeautiful playing 5.30 bomba estéreo in da House ????✌?️✌?

A photo posted by Bomba Estéreo (@bombaestereo) on

Colombian band Bomba Estéreo are well on their way to major mainstream fame. It’s all about “Soy Yo,” the lead single from their album Amanecer out last year. You might recognize it from a certain Target commercial that runs in Anglo-phonic spaces… shouldn’t be long before they’re infiltrating American pop radio.

Listen: “Soy Yo”


Credit: MNTJY / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: MNTJY / Facebook

MNTJY is an up-and-coming Costa Rican producer who first landed on our radar when he dropped a mixtape last year via Bueno Aires art collective I NEED SPONSORS. Most recently, he’s dropped “me calientas” and tagged it “elegant reggaeton.” It feels like the perfect moniker for this sound — it’s a bit sultry for the club, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect song to get down to.

Listen: “her note”


Credit: Porter / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Porter / Facebook

Porter hail from Guadalajara, Mexico and have already had a long and industrious career; they’re on this list is because of their recent reunion. If you missed them the first time around, it’s time to revisit the band. It’s been three years since 2014’s “Moctezuma” and it’s about time for them to drop a new full-length, so now is the time to do a deep dive into their older discography.

Listen: “La China”

Las Robertas

Credit: Las Robertas / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Las Robertas / Facebook

Las Robertas are the lo-fi garage pop acts of every indie Latinx’s dreams — the band hails from San Jose, Costa Rica and in the last few years have become festival staples, hitting South by Southwest, NRML, Primavera Sound and others. Their last EP, “The Feel,” dropped in 2015, so new recordings can be expected soon. Thank goodness!

Listen: “Marlene”

READ: 11 Music Bands that Own the Streets of LA

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Get To Know Krislian Rodriguez, The Los Angeles Native Who Was Just Eliminated From 'America's Next Top Model'


Get To Know Krislian Rodriguez, The Los Angeles Native Who Was Just Eliminated From ‘America’s Next Top Model’

Credit: VH1

After 13 years and 23 seasons of “America’s Next Top Model,” a Mexican-American finally appeared on the long-running reality show.

There have been a handful of Latinas who represented our beautiful cultures on “America’s Next Top Model.”

@yomania, @jaslenegonzalez, fopopps/Instagram
CREDIT: @yomania, @jaslenegonzalez, fopopps/Instagram

Yoanna House, who is Mexican-Canadian, won cycle two; Jaslene Gonzalez, who is Puerto Rican, won cycle eight; and Felicia “Fo” Porter, who is half-Mexican and half-Black, was fifth runner-up in cycle 12.

But 26-year-old Krislian Rodriguez, is the first Mexican-American model to ever be on this show.


Standing at 5’6″, this beautiful talent also represented for petite models, who are hardly ever seen on the show. While it might’ve been daunting to be the first Chicana featured on “ANTM”, Rodriguez is proud of this huge accomplishment.

She said she’s very honored to represent the Mexican-American community.


In this Instagram post, Rodriguez said she takes great pride in her Latino heritage and that she’s excited to “share her struggles and success as a Latina model.”

But she didn’t have the typical model upbringing. Rodriguez was faced with dozens of obstacles during her childhood.

Rodriguez on the left with her siblings. Krislian Rodriguez/Facebook
CREDIT: Rodriguez on the left with her siblings.

“Growing up, I was raised by my single mother who migrated to the states when she was only 18 years old,” Rodriguez writes on Instagram. “From the time I started Kindergarten to graduating high school I had gone to 15 different schools in two different states.”

So Rodriguez turned to dance as her escape.


She says that was a way to make friends in all the diverse neighborhoods that she lived in.

Dance was such a big part of her life that it turned into her career, leading to features in music videos like Calvin Harris’s 2014 hit song “Summer.”

As well as the 2015 single “Five More Hours” with Chris Brown and Deorro.


But it was always her dream to be on “ANTM”.


On the first episode, Rodriguez revealed that she’s been watching the show since she was a teenager. And you can definitely tell — she’s got that fierce look.

She proudly walked into the season as the only Latina with her own business. Rodriguez always credits her mother’s strength for giving her the initiative to start her own swimwear line. 


“I learned strength, perseverance, and determination from my mother,” Rodriguez writes on Instagram. “My mother barely spoke English when she moved to the states from Mexico. All on her own she raised me and my two brothers, and started her own business. All while being an immigrant and single mother. She taught me to never become victim of your circumstances and always always create opportunities for yourself and be your own boss. Now here I am on ‘America’s Next Top,’ the only Latina and with my own business.”

And she says the show helped her put her attitude in check.

On episode two, the judges criticized her for making excuses when they disapproved of her photographs. “Looks like I’m causing controversy already,” Rodriguez said on Instagram. “But just wanted to thank those of you for your kind words and support! I’ll admit I’m not perfect. But that’s part of this journey and this competition. To learn, to grow, and to evolve.”

There was at least one judge who said Rodriguez was just a “pretty face, but not a model.”

We can’t say we agree.

But as she progressed in the season, judges finally started to see a different side of Rodriguez.


While Rodriguez is constantly criticized for being too sexy on the show (we didn’t know that was a bad thing), she went from being at the bottom two to getting the best image of all contestants.


…Until she was eliminated this week. ?

CREDIT: RihannaVevo

But don’t feel bad for her. She’s walking away with her head high and a check next to her bucket list.

That’s right!

 Check out her exit interview here:

READ: Expectations Guys Have of Their Latina GFs

Are you proud to have a Mexican-American model finally on “America’s Next Top Model?” Share this story and comment below!

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