11 Music Bands that Own the Streets of LA

Punk, cumbia, new wave, reggae — there’s a legion of Latino music bands from Los Angeles that are borrowing rhythms from all over the globe and making them their own. Here are 11 essential LA bands you should check out.

La Chamba Cumbia Chicha

Photo Credit: The Get Down Collective / Facebook

They carve a Peruvian sound with an East LA twist and a band name that means “to put in work.” Think cumbia with guitar leads and heavy bass lines. A working-class message that is, as they put it, “adding a rhythm to the daily bustle of life.”

More: Facebook, Bandcamp

Las Cafeteras

Photo Credit: Las Cafeteras / Facebook

This is an active group that has unapologetically created a hybrid sound of Son Jarocho, hip hop and pop. An East LA music scene staple with an infectious, politically conscious sound, Las Cafeteras have created a sound that crosses generational lines.

More: Official Site, Facebook

Chicano Batman

Photo Credit: Josué Rivas / chicanobatman.com

Their most recent achievement is being added to the lineup for Coachella 2015. Led by Mexican-Colombian Bardo Martinez, their sound is probably the most experimental on this list. Blend romantic ’70s Latin American music with its heavy keyboard sound add a Pink Floyd feel and sprinkle with funk.

More: Official Site, Facebook

READ: Irene Diaz – From Trader Joe’s to Touring Musician

Thee Commons

Photo Credit: Cristian Vargas / Facebook

With a new approach to an old vibe, this three-piece band brings an aggressive, stripped down sound — think cumbia channeling punk. A rebellious, youthful is sure to win over new fans; their covers of Selena and Los Caminantes are must-listens. With nine independent albums last year alone, their momentum keeps growing.

More: Facebook, Bandcamp

Viento Callejero

Photo Credit: Farah Stop / Facebook

This is the band that other bands go see. They are open to many sounds but the thread that binds them together is funk. Also a three-piece, the difference is that Viento Callejero have rotating singers, so the focus is the sound. The technique seems to be working for them as they are quickly gaining traction throughout the Los Angeles music scene.

More: Official Site, Facebook


Photo Credit: Buyepongo / Facebook

Mixing afro beats with hip hop swag, Buyepongo has been hitting the scene hard for a few years. If you’ve ever been to one of their shows, you know that the groove will have you dancing all night long. Hailing from Norwalk, Calif., this group keeps the party going well into the morning hours.

More: Official Site, Facebook

Boogaloo Assassins

Photo Credit: Wendy Le / Facebook

The musical is in the bands’ name, boogaloo, a genre that took root in New York City. Thrown into this mix of 60s sounds are soul, salsa and other Latin rhythms. They’ve been active since 2007 and have a strong following throughout Southern California. It’s like having a slice of New York in Los Angeles.

More: Official Site, Facebook

Zapoteca Roots

Photo Credit: Zapoteca Roots / Facebook

Reggae meets Sonidero. What sets this group apart is the it has created. The “Sonidero” sound is a Mexican type of cumbia that has many fans in LA, and Zapoteca Roots caters to them. They create a contemporary vibe that will bring back memories of family gatherings and quinceañeras.

More: Facebook, Twitter

ECNO (El Conjunto Nueva Ola)

Photo Credit: ECNO / Facebook

ECNO has managed to turn New Wave ’80s classics into new cumbia mash ups. This Mexico City band hit the scene with a fury and acquired fans just as quickly. But they don’t consider themselves a cover band. They’re more interested in keeping the new wave melodies and giving the lyrics new life. Oh, and they wear luchador masks.

More: Official Site, Facebook

La Santa Cecilia

Photo Credit: La Santa Cecilia / Facebook

Perhaps the best known band on this list is Latin Grammy Award-winner La Santa Cecilia. They’ve come a long way from playing free fundraisers. Lead vocalist “Marisoul” has a voice that many have compared to classic rock icon Janis Joplin. An eclectic sound that covers a wide range of genres has been key to their success.

More: Official Site, Facebook

El-Haru Kuroi

Photo Credit: El-Haru Kuroi / Facebook

This bossa nova-influenced trio has been under the radar but they’ve definitely got a of their own. They combine Mexican, Central American and African sounds and rhythms at a pace that echoes punk. This year they plan on expanding their fan base by taking their blistering sound to the midwest.

More: Official Site, Facebook

Read: Yes, Latinos Were Present During the Birth of Hip Hop

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Yes, Beyoncé Really Did Run Into Selena Quintanilla At A Mall Back In The Day


Yes, Beyoncé Really Did Run Into Selena Quintanilla At A Mall Back In The Day

Part 2 of Netflix’s “Selena: The Series,” is currently streaming, which means fans of the late Tejano singer are getting a chance to learn more about her origin stories. In the second part of the series, fans can expect to see more of the icon’s tragically brief but beautifully successful life. The new episodes chronicle Selena Quintanilla’s rise as a superstar and will no doubt make fans of the singer feel a deep sense of love for her.

Particularly when it comes to one episode in particular!

Part 2’s episode 6, called “Lo Más Bello,” sees the lives of two superstars collide.

The endearing episode sees Selena, played by Christian Serratos, on a shopping trip to an outdoor mall with her mother and sister. It’s then that the young singer catches the eye of a young girl who is also with her mother and sister.

Perhaps it’s real seeing real, but in either case in this episode, the young girl stops to gaze at Selena. She’s star-struck. In the episode, the young girl’s mother asks who she’s looking at and the girl replies, “Selena, a famous singer. Be quiet!”

Knowing that her daughter is a singer herself, the mother encourages her to introduce herself. Of course, the young girl is too shy to say hello but she does wave.

When Selena walks away, the young girl’s mother reveals a fun twist when she says “Beyoncé Knowles, you better learn not to be afraid of people if you ever want to be famous too.”

Like we said…

Real recognizing real.

“Selena: The Series” / Netflix

While it might seem like the producers took creative liberty, it turns out they actually didn’t. And it makes sense. Fans of Selena and Beyoncé know that the two singers are Texan-icons.

In a recent interview for MTV Trés, Beyoncé revealed that she actually did see Selena, in the Galleria Mall in Houston. “I didn’t say much to Selena because I wasn’t a celebrity,” Beyoncé said in an interview for MTV Trés back in the day. “I just saw her and said hello and kept it moving. Definitely growing up in Texas I heard her on the radio, and I think listening to her album, even though I didn’t know exactly what she was saying, it helped me in the studio with my pronunciation.”

Fans of the Texan starlets might also remember how Beyonce, in a 2007 interview with People en Español, spoke about her love of Selena.

At the time, Beyoncée was celebrating her re-release of six Spanish-language tracks. “I listened to Selena all the time” she recalled at the time of the interview. “She’s close to me because of where I’m from.”

Both “Selena: The Series” Parts 1 and 2 are streaming right now on Netflix! Check them out!

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Shakira Dyed Her Hair Red And It Will Give You Major ‘Ojos Asi’ Vibes


Shakira Dyed Her Hair Red And It Will Give You Major ‘Ojos Asi’ Vibes

Twenty years have passed since Shakira released her fourth studio album ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? which featured her song “Ojos Asi.”

The music video for the hit song featured Shakira belly dancing with a vibrant red hair look that so many of us spent the early aughts attempting to emulate. The video won the International Viewer’s Choice Award (North) at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and the hair won a place in our hearts.

Now, it’s 2021 and Shakira has returned to the red color.

The Colombian singer-songwriter showed off her dyed locks in a post shared on her Instagram on Wednesday.

The post showed Shakira preparing for a recording session and saw her dressed in a chic green-and-white outfit. She teased her upcoming project with the caption “Ready to leave my house to go to my first in-person studio session to meet with some awesome collaborators thanks to safety measures and vaccines. I can’t wait!”

Shakira made waves earlier this month on Instagram that weren’t about her hair.

In an effort to highlight Earth Day, Shakira signed a letter written by Earth shot Prize Council which called on people to tackle our planet’s current climate crisis with the same tenacity used to fight Covid-19.

In a post shared to her Instagram and Twitter pages the singer wrote “As a Member of The @EarthshotPrize Council, I’m calling on the world to Give the Earth a Shot. This #EarthDay, let’s be inspired by the innovation of the past year & work together to repair our planet.”

She also attached a link to the full letter which underlined how “People everywhere have worn masks, stayed at home and made sacrifices for the greater good. The availability of vaccines after just a year is both a triumph of science and a victory for collaboration. There is a long way to go. None of us are safe until everybody is safe. But we have learned what it means to pull together in the face of a truly global crisis. These lessons apply not just to pandemics but to the most pressing challenge in human history: stopping the climate emergency. If we do not act in this decade, the damage to our planet will be irreversible, impacting not only those of us alive today but threatening the future of generations to come.”

Shakira’s upcoming album is most anticipated by her fans. It will be her first studio album release since the 2017 release of her album El Dorado.

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