Today is Bandcamp Friday, the first Friday of the month when the streaming site waives its fees to generate more income for the artists and labels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative made its return last month after it ended in May and will continue for the rest of 2021. Here’s a list of Latina artists to support this Bandcamp Friday.
The Peruvian-American singer/songwriter Cusi Coyllur advocates for mental health and invisible illness through her music. Her last summer release, “Welcome to Our War” is a piano-driven, angry response to the “privileged and ableist” remarks that were made during quarantine about working from home, being extra health cautious, and missing out on events. Even though there has been some progress with vaccinations, the surge of the Delta variant is a stark reminder that the pandemic is not over, and as Cusi sings in her song, “This war isn’t about you. This war is about us. ‘Til we think as us, we won’t defeat the enemy.”
“I’m Your Empress Of“ is 12 tracks of electronic bops that are reminiscent of ‘90s R&B dance tracks with her mom’s empowering wisdom integrated throughout. Glancing at her Instagram, it’s clear that the Honduran-American has stayed busy this past year producing more music. Her recent collaboration, “Vacío,” with Dominican-Brazilian singer Jarina De Marco, is now available. She also partnered with Sound It Out, a national campaign that helps caregivers start conversations with middle schoolers about their emotional health, to produce the song, “One Breathe,” with 14-year-old Marianne about being a first generation Honduran-American.
For those needing a mental health break, Latashá’s “MEDS BY TASH VOL I: CODES OF DESIRE,” provides a hip hop meditation and beat tape with hypnotic instrumental tracks intertwined with instructions to help soothe the soul. The multi-dimensional artist recommends listening to the album daily to manifest those desires. Latashá is typically known for her hip hop that celebrates divine femininity and Black joy and honors her identity as an Afro-Caribbean Latinx. Her music has been featured on shows such as Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker on Netflix and Grown-ish on Freeform. Her previous album, “PAST LIFE.” is also available on Bandcamp.
Colombian singer/songwriter combines her formal training as a jazz vocalist with soothing folk and pop music to provide the perfect soundtrack for a relaxing night in. But the lead single “Overworked and Overpaid” is the standout track on her full-length studio album “Heart.” It’s a catchy but bittersweet reminder that the Latinas are just as the title states – overworked and underpaid – as they earn 55 cents to every dollar a white man makes. Laura wraps the album with “Song of Gratitude” that is a gentle reminder to take a moment to reflect on the things to be thankful for.
The Linda Lindas became an internet sensation a few months ago through a video of their live performance inside the Los Angeles Public Library. Then 10-year old drummer Mila de la Garza, who is Asian and Latinx, shared that she co-wrote the song, “Racist, Sexist Boy,” after a classmate told her that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people. This happened before the countrywide shutdown, but Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States have seen an increase in hate crimes and racist rhetoric that blamed them for the coronavirus. While that song is not available on Bandcamp, there are other tunes to enjoy from the band, whose ages range from 11 to 16 years old. There’s a song to inspire people to vote (since they can’t just yet) and their latest single, “Oh,” a pop punk tune that they started recording on the first day of their summer break.
Jackie Mendoza’s blend of her ethereal voice and ukulele electro pop provides some adorable, bilingual ear candy. “Let U Go,” released at the end of last year, provides a musical hug for those who lost relationships, jobs, homes and/or lives during the pandemic or weren’t able to spend the holidays with loved ones. The Mexican-American singer is also in Lunarette, an indie pop band who released the catchy tune, “Tangerine Spritz,” a few weeks ago.
Born during the Guatemalan Civil War, Rebeca Lane has centered her art around activism using hip hop and the stage to speak out about inequalities and women’s rights. She’s the founder of Somos Guerreras, a project that creates community and opportunities for women in Latin America’s hip hop culture. The four tracks on her EP “Llorando Diamantes” combine world music with the lyrics she wrote during the first months of the pandemic, a reflection of the uncertainty at that time. Her most recent track on Bandcamp, “Nos queremos vivas,” is a hip hop declaration against femicide.
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