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New Favorites From Alt.Latino: Aventura, Rawayana And More

Aventura, from left: Romeo Santos, Henry Santos Jeter, Max Santos and Lenny Santos, photographed while attending the White House music series "Fiesta Latina" on October 13, 2009 in Washington D.C.
Aventura, from left: Romeo Santos, Henry Santos Jeter, Max Santos and Lenny Santos, photographed while attending the White House music series "Fiesta Latina" on October 13, 2009 in Washington D.C.

Taking a much-needed break from the week's news, NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro takes a listen to some Alt.Latino-curated discoveries with the help of producer Anamaria Sayre.


Silvana Estrada, "Marchita"

Mexican singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Silvana Estrada mixes celestial vocals and powerful strings on her latest single, "Marchita." She writes all of her music with a cuatro venezolano, a ukulele-type instrument with a deeper sound that gives a layer of mysticism to every track she produces.

Estrada comes from a small town in Veracruz, Mexico, born to a family of instrument-makers and musicians – not-so-surprising, then, that she dedicated her life to becoming a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist at a young age. And, as a result of that training, her voice is used with a precision and complexity that is typically associated with more standard instruments.

"Marchita" marks Estrada's debut on Glassnote, the major-indie label home to successful artists like Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford and Sons, and is the company's first-ever Latin artist. Between that structural support and her artistic mastery, Estrada is positioned to quickly emerge as torch-bearer.


Rawayana feat. Los Amigos Invisibles & Cheo, "Váyanse Todos a Mama"
Venezuelan band Rawayana make an oddly cool political statement with the release of their new single, "Váyanse Todos a Mama." The band's verses have been known to lean towards protest, and this particular track is no exception. In a ringing chorus, they encourage the listener to value the gray area and reject extremism via a playful set of instrumentation. The band toes the line between rock and reggae with a pop flair, an atypical melding of sounds for a Venezuelan band.

Rodrigo Amarante, "Tao"
"Tao" comes from Rodrigo Amarante's latest masterpiece, Drama, which fuses different musical styles and paradoxical sounds to produce musical moments that mix the modern and the nostalgic to perfection.

Amarante recently described the album to NPR as a "musical tantrum" that he threw in response, and as a corrective, to the overbearing masculinity he was taught as a child. "I thought, 'You know what ... I'm going to be the drama I wasn't supposed to be.' " In Amarante's hands, it's a beautifully composed conniption.

Aventura feat. Bad Bunny, "Volví"
This is, simply, one of the most sensational pop crossovers in recent history. The five-member Aventura, reigning kings of Bachata since the early 2000s, went on hiatus a decade ago, with short reunions in 2015 and 2019 largely based around Romeo Santos' superstardom. So what a proper return this is – in full force, collaborating with none other than Bunny Benito himself on a massive combination of Reggaeton and Bachata.

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