Latin music is on the rise. In May of last year, the genre “garnered 1.82 billion weekly on-demand audio streams, making Latin the 4th most popular genre in the U.S., behind pop, rock, and R&B/hip-hop,” according to Luminate’s Midyear Music Report. The upward trajectory of Latin music can be credited to artists such as Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Kali Uchis who have brought this genre of music to the mainstream. Alongside these big names in the industry are many artists who have been making a name of their own.
The Marías are an indie-pop band based out of Los Angeles. With an impressive discography including a mix of songs in both English and Spanish, The Marías incorporate elements of jazz percussion, horn solos and careful use of a synthesizer. Lead singer María Zardoya’s unique vocals contribute to the dreamy aura that sets their music and overall sound apart from others.
Zardoya, who was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, moved to Los Angeles where she met her partner and now drummer of the band, Josh Conway. This musical partnership flourished, and now the group has released three albums, with their latest album “Cinema” being nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical in 2023. If you are searching for a new and dreamlike sound to add to your playlist, then The Marías’ fusion of jazz and psychedelic soul is perfect for you.
Maye is a singer and songwriter from Caracas, Venezuela. At just eight years old, Maye began writing songs, mostly in English, before her father, Fernando Osario, also a singer, encouraged her to keep in touch with her roots and write in Spanish. “My earliest memories are of him singing to me,” Maye said in an interview with Rolling Stone. She credits her father for her love and passion for music and the importance he placed on it while she was growing up.
Her sound can best be described as wistful. The smooth vocals tracked over the guitar and piano make her music perfect for a relaxing spring day. In 2020, Barack Obama even listed her second single “Tú” as one of his top songs of the summer.
Cuco is a Mexican-American singer from Los Angeles. His passion for music and production began when he was just a teenager, making music while living in his parents’ home. His self-produced mixtape “Wannabewithyou” was released in 2016 and “Songs4u” was released in 2017, around the time he sold out his first two shows at clubs in Southern California. He began to make a name for himself in the following years, by collaborating with other well-known artists such as Clairo and Kenny G. Eventually, his debut album “Para Mi” was released in the summer of 2019. Since then, Cuco has continued to make waves as an artist, even playing Coachella in 2022.
Cuco’s sounds blend indie pop and bossa nova together. Bossa nova is a style of samba with origins based in Brazil. To accompany this sound, Cuco typically incorporates both English and Spanish lyrics. His music has a Latin influence, but still can be labeled as bedroom pop.
Tim Bernardes is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and producer. He is also a member of the São Paulo based rock band, O Terno. Bernardes has been a part of O Terno since 2009, but has also released music of his own including “Recomeçar,” his first solo album released in 2017. His most recent album was released in 2022, titled “Mil Coisas Invisíveis.”
Bernardes’ music blends anything from contemporary indie folk to samba. Remezcla, a media brand that focuses on Latin American culture, described his music as an “orchestra-oriented take on 1960s Brazilian pop and rock songwriting style and lyrics capturing the millennial zeitgeist.” Bernardes music provides a sense of calmness with his smooth voice and contemplative and sometimes metaphorical lyrics.
Bratty is a rising indie pop artist from Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. She began her journey as an artist in 2018 with the release of her EP “Todo Está Cambiando.” Her most recent release was an EP titled “Es Mi Fiesta Y Si Quiero Hago Un,” which came out in January this year and followed two full-length albums that she released in 2019 and 2021.
Her musical origins were born within the walls of her own bedroom, where she wrote and produced songs. Now, she is currently on her first tour in the United States which began this month and will continue through August. She also made her Coachella debut this year, and remains the only Mexican-born act to play the festival, according to Billboard. A few other Latinx artists Bratty played next to at Coachella include Becky G, DannyLux and Conexión Divina.
Bratty’s bedroom pop sound includes her soft vocals and dreamy guitar, which make her music so easy to listen to. Since her start just a few years ago, Bratty has garnered a loyal fan following and amassed over one million monthly Spotify listeners.
Check out the playlist for song recommendations of these artists.