Juanes And An '80s Pop Cover Are In This Alt.Latino Sampler NPR Music's Alt Latino host Felix Contreras shares some new tunes via a "musical blindfold test" with Lulu.
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Juanes And An '80s Pop Cover Are In This Alt.Latino Sampler

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Juanes And An '80s Pop Cover Are In This Alt.Latino Sampler

Juanes And An '80s Pop Cover Are In This Alt.Latino Sampler

Juanes And An '80s Pop Cover Are In This Alt.Latino Sampler

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686980919/686980920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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NPR Music's Alt Latino host Felix Contreras shares some new tunes via a "musical blindfold test" with Lulu.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

It's time for another visit with our friend Felix Contreras from NPR Music's Alt.Latino. This month, we are doing something we haven't done in a while. He sent me some tracks without any information attached, labeled song No. 1, song No. 2 and so on - a classic musical blindfold test.

Welcome, Felix.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: Good morning. Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I picked four songs. And I have no idea who the bands are. You're going to fill me in. Let's start.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA PLATA")

JUANES: (Singing in Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I love this.

CONTRERAS: I sort of guessed what you were going to pick.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: OK? We've been doing this for a while.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We have.

CONTRERAS: You recognize the voice?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It sounds like Juanes.

CONTRERAS: It is Juanes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah.

FELIX CONTRERAS AND LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go.

CONTRERAS: I thought you would pick this one.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: This is a new track by Juanes. It's a preview of an upcoming album that he's doing. Juanes is - for those who don't know, is this global superstar that's been in the music business probably about the early 2000s - from Colombia.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I interviewed him in his early days...

CONTRERAS: Really?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...In Bogota. I did.

CONTRERAS: And he's taken his career and just done everything he can with it. And he's at this space where he is - OK, what can I do next? How can I keep it fresh? How can I keep it vital and still maintain artistic integrity? And his last album was this concept album that just was just incredibly complex and beautiful and nuanced. And just from this single, it sounds like he's sort of digging into the roots.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA PLATA")

JUANES: (Singing in Spanish).

LALO EBRATT: (Singing in Spanish).

JUANES: (Singing in Spanish).

EBRATT: (Singing in Spanish).

JUANES: (Singing in Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Behind curtain No. 2, we have...

CONTRERAS: "Pretty In Pink" by Ceci Bastida.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PRETTY IN PINK")

CECI BASTIDA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: This is indeed a Spanish-language remake of the song "Pretty In Pink" by The Psychedelic Furs from 1986, OK?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome.

CONTRERAS: So what I really like about this is that she, of course, infuses it with a lot of different stuff, more contemporary things that are happening compared to 1986. But it also shows the passion for music of all kinds that was spreading across Latin America, big appetite for music from all over, from England, from the United States. And this whole "Pretty In Pink" thing - I'm just thinking big shoulder pads, big hair...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I know. It brings back such happy memories.

CONTRERAS: ...Molly Ringwald.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PRETTY IN PINK")

BASTIDA: (Singing in Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think, you know, I didn't recognize it as "Pretty In Pink." But clearly, it went into my subconscious. And it just, like, thrummed at those 1980s...

CONTRERAS: Right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...(Laughter) Nostalgic feelings, which is why I picked it. All right, take us to song No. 3.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TURISTA")

FERRAZ: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: We're bopping our heads.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We are bopping...

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Our heads. This is the kind of music you don't like that I do.

CONTRERAS: You know what? I do. You know...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You do not.

CONTRERAS: Oh, yeah. This is - (laughter) you're so funny. OK. This is called "Turista" by Venezuelan producer who goes by the name of Ferraz. This song was selected by the Alt.Latino minister of new music, Stefanie Fernandez, for our weekly Spotify playlist. And what I really liked about it - believe it or not - is that it reminds me of, like, early '70s R&B/jazz stuff that Quincy Jones produced.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK.

CONTRERAS: There's a handful of records where the instrumentation, the feel, the groove and that sort of lusty passion, it's infused in all those records. And that's what this reminded me of.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TURISTA")

FERRAZ: (Singing in Spanish).

(SOUNDBITE OF TAGUA TAGUA'S "NA BANGUELA")

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And this brings us to our last one - No. 4.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NA BANGUELA")

TAGUA TAGUA: (Singing in Portuguese).

CONTRERAS: This is a band from Brazil...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK.

CONTRERAS: ...Where you used to live.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That feels right.

CONTRERAS: This is a band called Tagua Tagua. And they are part of a resurgent Brazilian rock scene in Brazil. Rock in Brazil has always been huge.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NA BANGUELA")

TAGUA TAGUA: (Singing in Portuguese).

CONTRERAS: I really like this song because of that killer bass line. If you hear it, it's sort of reminding me of some Barry White stuff, you know, from the '70s.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Now, I see a theme here, OK?

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The stuff that you like that's contemporary reminds you of stuff that was from the '70s.

CONTRERAS: There is nothing...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: See; the '80s was my moment...

CONTRERAS: Right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...But clearly, the '70s was yours.

CONTRERAS: There's nothing new under the sun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Everyone learns from everyone else. That's Felix Contreras from NPR Music's Alt.Latino. You can hear the songs from this week on the Alt.Latino Spotify playlist. Thank you so much.

CONTRERAS: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NA BANGUELA")

TAGUA TAGUA: (Singing in Portuguese).

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