Throughout history, Afro-Latinas have emerged as trailblazers, infusing their artistry with soul, passion, and a profound connection to their heritage.
Afro-Latina music is a vibrant confluence of African and Latin American rhythms, melodies, and narratives. It finds its roots in the historical migration of African peoples to Latin America through the transatlantic slave trade. As these African communities settled in various Latin countries, they infused their traditional sounds and rhythms with the indigenous and colonial music of the regions. This blending birthed unique genres such as salsa, cumbia, and reggaeton. At its core, Afro-Latina music is a testament to resilience, cultural fusion, and the enduring power of storytelling through song.
This Hispanic Heritage Month, 21Ninety highlights five Afro-Latina musicians and their contributions to the music world. They produce musical harmonies and use their platform to highlight important issues, break down barriers, and proudly celebrate their African roots.
Representing the Afro-Boricua community, Nitty Scott hails from Michigan but spent her formative years in Florida and New York. She delves into hip-hop with a distinct twist, blending her Afro-Latinx roots seamlessly into her lyrics. Dive into songs like “La Diaspora” and “Negrita” to taste her lyrical prowess and bold celebration of her identity.
Originally from Argentina, La Yegros offers an energetic fusion of traditional chamamé and cumbia with modern electronic beats. Her songs like “Viene de Mi” and “Chicha Roja” introduce listeners to a spirited dance atmosphere, while her powerful vocals and catchy rhythms guarantee that they remain memorable.
Calma Carmona, a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, brings her listeners a sultry blend of Latin soul, R&B, and neo-soul. Her tracks, like “When I Was Your Girl” and “Who Knows,” highlight her deep and captivating vocals, making her one of the rising stars in the Afro-Latina music scene.
Latasha Alcindor, also known simply as LATASHÁ, is a dynamic Afro-Latina rapper, singer, and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. Rooted in the experiences of her Haitian and Trinidadian heritage, her music seamlessly blends various genres, drawing influences from hip-hop, soul, and Caribbean rhythms. Alcindor’s lyricism often delves deep into topics of Black womanhood, spirituality, and her city life experiences. With her captivating performances and powerful messages, LATASHÁ continues to carve a unique space for herself in the music industry.
Dominican-American artist Maluca combines electronic, merengue, and tropical sounds into her music. Songs like “Mala” and “Trigger” reflect her unique blend of genres, showcasing her dynamic range and innovative spirit. Through her music, she confronts the challenges women of color face and is determined to dismantle patriarchal norms.