Mexican-American Singer Lila Downs

Singer Blends Mexican Folk Traditions, Contemporary Themes

CD cover of 'Una Sangre (One Blood)'

CD cover of 'Una Sangre (One Blood)' hide caption

itoggle caption

If you caught the award-winning 2002 film Frida, starring Selma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, then you've heard — and seen — Lila Downs. She recorded "Burn It Blue" with Brazil's Caetano Veloso for the Grammy-nominated soundtrack and also appeared as a tango singer in the movie.

Lila Downs

Lila Downs From the CD cover of 'Una Sangre' hide caption

itoggle caption From the CD cover of 'Una Sangre'

The Mexican-American singer's sound evokes the pulsing, vibrant rhythms of her home country's rich folk-music legacy. But in addition to modern instrumentation and arrangements, Downs has brought a new social awareness to her repertoire of original and native Mesoamerican songs.

Downs talks to NPR's Michele Norris about her music and performs a few songs from her latest CD, Una Sangre (One Blood). Many of the album's songs carry contemporary messages that promote respect for human rights and dignity, particularly for Latin American women.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.