I think it’s important to mention here that Latin music is not actually a genre. Synthesizing the cultures of almost one billion people across two continents and an entire hemisphere into one category is not possible.
Musical expression stands on its own and defies genre; that’s what draws me to the music of Latin America and its far-reaching diaspora. Traditions endlessly reinvent themselves through creativity and drive. Today’s artists and musicians are standing on the shoulders of centuries of innovation and experimentation. Read More →
As Pandora listeners, you are quite a discerning group – and that’s what makes the Pandora listening experience so unique. Through the power of thumbs, stations become personalized and attuned to your individual tastes. And believe us, we pay very close attention to the feedback that we receive from each of you. It’s this very feedback that can be infinitely revealing when trying to anticipate trends in music and popular culture.
So with that in mind, we decided to consult the predictive powers of your thumb data to try and intuit who will take home the top prizes in the year’s Billboard Latin Music awards, airing this Thursday, April 30. More specifically, we asked our crystal ball of listener data who would walk away with awards for Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.
If you’ve paid attention to Latin music at all this year, the results should come as no surprise. You basically had to be living under a rock to not take note of the monumentally successful year enjoyed by Latin music royalty, Enrique Iglesias and Romeo Santos. So put your money on these two to be showered with trophies (ouch!) in a Billboard Latin music love-fest. You heard it here!
Kali Uchis will make you feel lazy – like you need to be a more productive human being. The 20-year old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer/retro-future fashion icon has earned a lot of attention since the release in early January of her acclaimed EP, Por Vida, and for good reason.
“I find it crucial to remain true to myself, my vision, and to never compromise or let anyone take that from me,” says Uchis. Her mystifying aura, substantial musical prowess and aesthetic seem to reference every marginalized subculture of last 50 years. Already celebrated amongst diverse circles for some time now, Kali Uchis is a safe bet to soon to be a more broadly recognized phenom. Read More →
If you’re looking to stretch it out and dance this weekend, we recommend tapping into the boundless rhythms of one of the most musically and culturally diverse nations in the Americas, Colombia. We’re highlighting the incredible musical output that Colombia has generated over the past 70-plus years by offering up a trio of genre stations: Cumbia Colombiana, Salsa Colombiana and Vallenato.
The rhythm that has become most synonymous with Colombian identity is that of Cumbia. Centuries in the making and born out of the confluence of African, Indigenous and European cultures; Cumbia is by far the most popular Latin American dance rhythm and continues to be endlessly appropriated and adopted up and down the hemisphere, spawning countless offshoots and innovations.
From the infectious swing of the early big band interpretations, pioneered by bandleaders like Pacho Galán, Lucho Bermúdez and Pedro Laza, to the stripped down accordion sound of squeeze box masters such as Alfredo Gutiérrez, Lisandro Meza and Andrés Landero; Cumbia as interpreted by the architects of the sound define the genre. Also included are some of the groups that would become international superstars like La Sonora Dinamita and Los Corraleros de Majagual, responsible in large part for so effectively disseminating Cumbia across Latin America and the world. Read More →
In response to listener feedback we’ve grown our Latin Christmas offering this year. We are pleased to feature some of the most requested music of the season, guaranteed to bring joy and happiness to all of your December celebrations. There’s nothing quite like celebrating Christmas by indulging in the vast repertoire of recorded holiday music, evoking sweet nostalgia and memories of family and friends.
Navidad Latina offers a mix of Latin genres and artists, from up-tempo dance tracks to more subdued interpretations of classic Latin American Christmas music. There’s a little something for everybody here – you’ll find artists such as Luis Miguel, José Feliciano, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Jerry Rivera.
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Every June, on the second Sunday of the month, New York’s Puerto Rican community takes to the streets of Manhattan in a mass outpouring of nationalist pride and profound love for their beloved Isla del Encanto, manifested in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a hugely prolific event that’s been taking place in the Big Apple since 1958. Also known as el desfile puertorriqueño, the parade is a mass celebration of the social and cultural contributions of the more than four million Puerto Ricans currently living in the United States, as well as the four million that still reside on the island. The day is an opportunity for the island’s diaspora, many of whom have never set foot in the Caribbean, to reflect on and honor their ancestors.
More than anything, the New York parade is a huge street party, where friends and family can let loose to the traditional sounds of bomba, plena and of course, salsa! With this in mind, Pandora invites you to dig deep in to the sabor boricua and unleash your inner coquí with these two Puerto Rican themed salsa stations! Read More →
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the somewhat improbable victory in 1862 of the Mexican army over a larger and better equipped invading French force, in what became known as “La Batalla de Puebla,” or “The Battle of Puebla.” The French returned the following year, occupying Mexico for the next three years, but we’ll save that for a different blog.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a festive celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, which seems to gain in popularity every year. It provides us with a chance to indulge in some of Mexico’s many profound cultural contributions, with music being at top of the list. With this in mind, we at Pandora would like to invite you to give our Cinco de Mayo genre station a spin! Read More →
The Curation Team at Pandora has been hard at work enhancing some of our selection of Latin genre stations and we’re very excited to share the new additions with you. Latin music is hugely popular on Pandora, with a large portion of the songs and artists requested by our listeners. Often, Latin music is thought of as a singular, all-encompassing genre, but we think this does a disservice to the wide variety of Latin music out there. Here are a couple of the stations that we’re excited to share:
Why not give our Cumbia station a spin at your next house party. Originating on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, cumbia is arguably the most popular Latin dance rhythm in the world, routinely making dance floors shake and sway across oceans and hemispheres. While many countries have successfully appropriated and adapted the cumbia in their own way, perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in Mexico, where cumbia is as common as the ranchera and the polka. This station features some of the giants of Colombian cumbia, like Lisandro Meza, La Sonora Dinamita and Aniceto Molina, as well as some of the stars of its Mexican counterpart, including artists like Fito Olivares, Celso Piña and Rigo Tovar. Read More →
“…it’s Spring again
I can hear the birds sing again
See the flowers start to bud
And see young people fall in love”
So goes a well-worn refrain in the song “Spring Again” made famous by Lou Rawls. As we step out of the icy, wind-swept clutches of winter and into the regenerative dawn of spring, there’s a palpable optimism that fills the air, as the days grow longer and the temperature slowly warms. The season exacts a sensation of excitement in us all, which is magnified for those of us who happen to be students. The growing anticipation of relief and respite culminates with the arrival of the infamous Spring Break, which represents a weeklong opportunity to forget about deadlines, research and studying in exchange for some well-deserved R and R…and a chance to PARTY!
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It’s February, and love is in the air… depending, of course, on your stance on Valentine’s Day. But love it, hate it or plead indifference to the whole thing, February 14th provides us a good opportunity to reflect on why we adore the one we’re with, long for the one we lost, despise the one that did us wrong or simply how much we love to indulge in chocolate and champagne until we’re sick. At Pandora, we understand the intimate role that music plays in our love lives and so we’re offering up a slew of stations recommendations to get you in the mood for romance, flirtation or a good cry session in the name of shameless self-pity. Check out below for all that Pandora can offer you this Valentine’s Day: Read More →