Today marks the start of Latinx Heritage Month, an annual appreciation of the diverse and dynamic Latinx communities around the world. In honor of this celebration, Spotify is launching Aquí Siempre, an awareness campaign to support our dynamic, bicultural Latinx community and the myriad of musical genres it continues to influence. Our goal is to amplify the voices shaping Latinx culture today, including those that challenge stereotypes, fight adversity, and uplift Latin American communities through their work.
As part of Aquí Siempre, which will continue through mid-October, Spotify is releasing three Spotify Singles on our revamped, genre-agnostic playlist Mixto, which spotlights artists across the Latinx diaspora, as well as working with renowned creators like photographer Camila Falquez and poet Yesika Salgado to share what the month and its theme mean to them.
The Voices of Latinx Music
At the center of Latinx Heritage Month is the Mixto playlist, which features a mixture of sounds, artists, and languages from various countries that aren’t easily labeled as a specific genre but share Latinx origins, in addition to non-Latinx artists that will resonate with listeners. The playlist serves as a destination for artists both in and adjacent to the Latinx space as a place to share music that exists outside of clearly defined labels. It also works to reflect the Latinx community’s multifaceted connection to music, which isn’t limited to any one genre, with a unique range of songs and artists curated to appeal not only to our U.S. Latinx listeners but to listeners of all cultural backgrounds around the world.
This Latinx Heritage Month will be the first time Spotify launches Spotify Singles in collaboration with the Mixto playlist—the latest in a series of collaborations between Spotify Singles and other flagship playlists including Are & Be, RapCaviar, mint, and more. Spotify asked rising Latinx artists Twin Shadow, Ambar Lucid, and Tokischa to add their voices to the catalog of over 600 Spotify Singles by recording a unique version of one of their own songs (Side A) and covers of songs of their choice (Side B).
Twin Shadow, one of the three artists to record Mixto Spotify Singles, shared his view of the ever-evolving Latinx music scene with For the Record. “The future of Latin music is happening right now,” he said. “It’s seeped into everything. Everyone is taking from it, and it’s mainstream in the best way. I think it will continue to be relevant and affect people profoundly forever.”
Singer-songwriter Ambar Lucid’s Side A single is a fresh take on her song “Lizard” that offers an energetic and magnetic up-tempo rendition of the original. Her Side B single is a catchy Spanish-language interpolation of Billie Eilish’s “Billie Bossa Nova” called “Ambar Bossa Nova.” The Mexican Dominican artist makes the crooning number her own by infusing an underlying beat to accompany the English and Spanish lyrics. “I love Billie’s music, so adding my own lyrical twist to ‘Bossa Nova’ was lots of fun,” explained Ambar, adding, “There are so many bops in [the Mixto] playlist!”
Tokischa’s Side A release creatively reimagines her 2020 punchy reggaeton rap “El Rey De La Popola” into an acoustic single wracked with emotion. She also released her Side B rock cover of the 1967 salsa hit “La Tirana” by La Lupe, swapping the original’s brass accompaniment for a soulful electric guitar sound. The Dominican singer-songwriter and rapper explained her choice in songs, reflecting, “I identify with La Lupe and especially with what the song ‘La Tirana’ represents.” She elaborated on the importance of the genre-agnostic playlist, adding: “I think that Mixto is important for those artists who express their art through their voice and not a specific genre.”
Twin Shadow recorded a special version of his soothing acoustic single “Alemania” that moves listeners with a dance beat and the pep of a retro pop song for his Side A single. He also released a cover of Kali Uchis’s genre-blending “telepatía,” one of this year’s biggest hits by a Latinx female artist, for his Side B single. The Dominican American singer-songwriter explained his approach to recording his upbeat reinterpretation of “Telepatia,” sharing: “I set out to reinterpret the song as if it was on my most recent record. The hard part was following Kali’s vocal flow and the clever way she approaches the lyrics in Spanish, especially the way words melt into words and the speed of her melody against the relatively mellow track of the original…I love the song and am glad to have a new appreciation for something once I’ve dissected it and tried my best to make it my own.”
Seeing the Latinx Community
To put a face to the mission of Aquí Siempre, renowned Latinx photographer Camila Falquez captured a series of powerful portraits that visualize Latinx performers, activists, and business owners with dignity and honesty. Some of her subjects include the owner of the Caribbean Social Club in New York City, Maria Antonia “Toñita” Cay; Dominican trans activist, organizer, former sex worker, and founder of nonprofit Bridges4Life Tahtianna Fermin; Mexican American artist, DJ, and community organizer Elíseo Equihua; and Mexican American filmmaker, multimedia artist, urban planner, and social worker Jose Richard Aviles.
The portraits are accompanied by self-recorded videos from Latinx creators like Kali Uchis, Chucky73, Cimafunk, Juleyka Lantigua of How to Talk to [Mamí & Papí] about Anything, Erick Galindo of WILD, and Edwin Covarrubias of Scary Story Podcast celebrating their cultural experiences and uplifting their communities. Camila’s work can be found both online on social media and on billboards in Times Square.
Speaking Truth to Culture
Additionally, Spotify asked Los Angeles-based Salvadorian poet Yesika Salgado to create an original poem for Aquí Siempre. The poem, also called “Aquí Siempre,” speaks to the strength and passion of the Latinx community and depicts its multifaceted culture. It’s available on Spotify starting today, along with a podcast playlist curated by Yesika herself.
Today also marks the launch of two Spotify Original Latinx podcasts. The first, Spanish-language podcast Neoyorquinos, is a celebration and exploration of New York’s Latin American artists. And the second is Identity at Play, an English-language podcast where hosts Leslie Ambriz, Manolo López, and Esteban Gast share their journeys to embracing their Latinx identities. Plus, stay tuned later this October when we will release a video feature on experimental, multicultural artist YEИDRY on Frequency, a global initiative and destination for celebrating Black art.
Ready to move along to the beats and melodies shaping Latinx music today? Stream Mixto and the new Spotify Singles here.