Despite the technological advances and the number of available platforms to expose creative efforts, being a full-time artist has not become any easier. Independent artists and musicians do their best to spread their work by touring as often as possible, especially during summers, realizing they can barely make ends meet once they’ve returned home.
Most recently, for example, while on tour Chicago rock band La Armada’s vehicle was crashed into by—get this—the popo. The damages set them back.
Any type of unexpected situation like this, even bad weather not allowing for a gig to happen, can derail an independent artist’s ability to continue by creating financial chaos.
Fortunately, the conversation continues, and these amazingly talented artists are exploring ways to support themselves and each other, be it through alliances or fundraising.
Regardless of all that, we must congratulate, support, and encourage all the independent Latine artists who continue to produce music, tour, and survive, despite the lack of financial resources. Let’s give them their due by supporting their efforts.
How can you support artists not backed by mega labels, sugar daddies, and corporations?
- Attend local/indie shows (and pay the freakin’ cover).
- Buy their merch (at the show and online).
- Buy their music (as directly from them as possible).
- Share their music, their videos, and their social media posts.
- Retweet, repost, and click links they post.
- Share (positive) feedback on their social media platforms.
Let me help you achieve more. The following artists have just released new music.
Listen. Like. Repost. Repeat.
Asi suena September…
Siul Reynoso is a Chicago-based musician who forms part of the band Los Gold Fires. He began his solo project, Gabacho, a few years ago and has quickly garnered everyone’s attention with his feel-good, nostalgic tunes that reflect his love of traditional Mexican and Latine music, with a surfy twist. He’s released several singles, including fantastic collaborative tracks with Caloncho and Dromedarios Magicos, and is working on his debut album.
Reynoso chose the name Gabacho because it was the nickname he was given as a kid when visiting Mexico from the U.S. “Gabacho, more than anything, is a representation of the identity crisis experienced by Latino people in the United States,” he explains. “‘Neither from here nor from there.’”
Gabacho’s most recent single is a sweet, surfy cumbia, “Sal de Mar,” which came to him while in Acapulco working with artist Caloncho.
“The idea for the song came during the recording of the video for the “Shulaguapa” song I did with Caloncho in Acapulco,” he says. “When I got out of the sea from one of its beaches, I felt covered by the characteristic salt of the ocean, something I’m not used to since Chicago’s lake is fresh water. That feeling was enough to fill me with inspiration.”
Some may recognize Paulina Sotomayor as one-half of the sibling duo, Sotomayor, but in the summer of 2022, she hit the road to debut her solo project, Pahua, and her summer EP, Amuleto.
I was finally able to enjoy her music from this project at Ruido Fest which included her as part of this year’s lineup. She did not disappoint.
Watching Pahua joyfully strike down rhythmically on electronic gadgets, clad in a banana-speckled jumpsuit, playing an assortment of her original folktronica sounds, was enthralling. The Mexican producer exudes empowering energy as her sounds resonate with all kinds of audiences, most especially women.
For this fresh remix of “La Cura,” Mexican producer Diegru added some techno to hype up the track for those last strands of summer fun.
It’s been a #spiceboi summer for L.A.-based artist, dancer, and community builder, Figgy Baby, who has been busy on tour premiering their latest singles.
The multi-faceted artist’s Latinx hip-hop sounds and rap goes deeper than “f-this” and “f-that.” Figgy’s music shines a spotlight on “the fluidity and range of the human condition, redefining the limits of self-expression.” The West Coast “music maker and experience provider” snaps on this hot new track, “Spice Boi.”
I have a personal connection to Audry Funk. During her first visit to Chicago, to perform at the National Museum of Mexican Art, I was asked to DJ. I also DJ’ed for Audry’s set, after she and I met, we rehearsed her set. I’m grateful I got to know her a little better.
She is a fierce oaxaqueña, based in New York, who uses her platform as a way to bring attention to what’s going on in her world. There’s so much going on beneath the surface, in her communities, and she vocalizes for change, especially when it comes to injustices against womxn.
One of the things I enjoy most about Audry’s style of hip hop is her mixture of rapping and singing. It’s a wonderful combination of hard and soft, of grief and hope.
In Audry’s latest single, “Tiro Buena Mierda,” she declares, “My art is my word, It is not in a museum/ It’s on the streets where I wander.”
It’s great to listen to new Latine-influenced original music like the tropical sounds artist Nino Augustine is creating. Not only does he bring in his Panamanian roots, but he also seeks to showcase the unlimited possibilities of creating new music with traditional sounds. Nino’s music includes fusions of merengue, salsa, Afrobeat, and more.
“Shot” is a song that just premiered and is referred to as “a tropical Afro-fusion track that showcases Nino’s multilingual range and versatility across afro-diasporic genres.”
There is no doubt that Nino Augustine is a personification of alegría caribeña.
LA DAME BLANCHE
She captivates audiences from the moment she does anything. If you can catch a performance please do so because the phenomenal Afro-Cuban artist is currently on tour across the U.S.
Her latest single is a fresh remix of her song, “A La Verita Tuya” by Shangó. This tropical anthem includes catchy combinations of reggae rhythms, West African guitars, and her flute.
We recommend listening to the remix, but follow that up by watching her performance of the song, Live on KEXP. My goodness!
“A La Verita Tuya” (Shangó Remix) is a delicious farewell to summer song.
LOS COTOPLA BOYZ
Aya Records (ZZK Records Imprint) just debuted Mamarron Vol.1, a fantastic take on alternative cumbia-friendly songs by Bogota cumbieros, Los Cotopla Boyz.
The group’s newest single, “Dame Tu Wasap,” is a tongue-in-cheek “millennial cumbia”—a term they’ve designated as “a modern-day representation born out of the world-renowned DIY tropical music scene in Bogota, Colombia.”
SANTI & TUĞÇE
The Berlin-based electro-folk duo, Santi & Tuğçe, are set to release their fourth album, The Marvelous Real. The full-length includes this ethereal and evocative song titled “Zaman Zaman,” which translates to “From Time to Time.”
The lush soundscape features synths, horns, guitars, and the most delightful of surreal vocals. It’s mystical and otherworldly.
I love the unexpected funky-rock beat that contrasts so well with Tuğçe’s voice. It’s such a cool interfusion of vibes, just like their own interfusion of cultural influences, which stem from Paraguay and Turkey.
On their Bandcamp they describe the power of “Zaman Zaman,” explaining that the song “invites the listener to live and remember. Like mystics from ancient lands, it calls you to come, come and be what you are, adorn your colors, sing your song through all seasons of life.”
“Zaman Zaman” is the perfect soundscape for welcoming fall.
Souls Alive in the 305 continues thriving in the top 20 of the NACC community college radio charts in the U.S., in three different genres.
No pos wow! Congratulations are in order for Jose Conde who dug into poppy funk and soul sounds for the album, released on PiPiKi Records.
In his latest single, “Poetry in Motion,” Conde jazzes things up (in his cool abstract way) in a song he wrote while studying at Berklee, which was inspired by poet Kirsten Zanders.
“She was a positive, powerful force in purple leathers doing poetry readings in high schools and universities,” he explains. “She was in love with words and so was I. And she was on a mission to inspire young people about words and poetry and extract the absolute most out of a moment.”
Featured image: Afro-Cuban artist La Dame Blanche (Instagram)