Alt.Latino's Best Music of 2021 (So Far) : Alt.Latino As we hit the midpoint of 2021, our host Felix Contreras is joined by Alt.Latino producer Anamaria Sayre, NPR Weekend Edition producer Isabella Gomez Sarmiento, L.A. Times culture writer Suzy Exposito and Alt.Latino contributor Stefanie Fernández to discuss their favorites of the past six months.

Alt.Latino's Best Music of 2021 (So Far)

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FELIX CONTRERAS, HOST:

From NPR Music, this is ALT.LATINO. I'm Felix Contreras. And I can't believe it's already June. And what that means is that we take a look and a listen to the best of the year so far - albums and singles that have stood out to us. And by us, I mean our panel of experts who make it a habit to listen to as much new music as they can. And this week, we have ALT.LATINO producer, Anamaria Sayre. Ana, welcome.

ANAMARIA SAYRE, BYLINE: Hey, thanks for having me.

CONTRERAS: NPR Weekend Producer Isabella Gomez Sarmiento. Isabella.

ISABELLA GOMEZ SARMIENTO, BYLINE: Hi, thanks for having me.

CONTRERAS: LA Times culture writer Suzy Exposito. Welcome to ALT.LATINO.

SUZY EXPOSITO: Thanks so much for having me, Tío Felix.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: And welcome back, Stefanie Fernández, with the Harvard Business Review. Stefanie, welcome back.

STEFANIE FERNÁNDEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

CONTRERAS: OK. It's so amazing to have you all here. I have so much respect for all of you and your musical acumen. But before we get started and get into your picks, I just want to throw a question out. Do you guys have any thoughts on any trends or surprising developments so far this year? One year after the pandemic lockdown, almost a year after the massive social movements that have changed the conversation about race in this country, anything stand out to you? Anybody want to throw it out there?

EXPOSITO: I will say - I did want to talk about this. I just want to say I think people are ready to dance. The people are raring to get back on the dance floor. And I feel like there are two big hits this year that have given me disco revival, like, a resurgence of, like, the house music sound. I, for one, welcome our new disco overlords.

(LAUGHTER)

EXPOSITO: I think that after this extremely long year, I'm, like, ready to get back out on the dance floor. We're getting curtain bangs.

(LAUGHTER)

EXPOSITO: We're getting our flares on. I see a big disco revival, personally. That's my observation. And I'm so here for it.

SAYRE: Suzy, I had that exact thought yesterday. I literally thought to myself - I was listening to "Todo De Ti." And I was like, I feel like I'm roller-skating right now.

EXPOSITO: (Laughter).

SAYRE: Like, I should be roller-skating down the boardwalk. That's how I feel inside - so 100%.

CONTRERAS: Roller-skating is back.

(LAUGHTER)

FERNÁNDEZ: It is.

EXPOSITO: Like, seriously, though, that's been one of the many, like, pandemic hobbies that people have taken up. And now you just see, like, hot girls everywhere roller-skating. I think I'm well overdue for my roller rink renaissance.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: We need video on that.

(LAUGHTER)

EXPOSITO: I can only skate forward. I cannot skate backwards, so...

(LAUGHTER)

SAYRE: That's all you need. That's all you need (laughter).

CONTRERAS: OK, Suzy, you mentioned the disco revival. Let's hear one of your picks. Which song epitomizes that right now?

EXPOSITO: I think Rauw Alejandro. "Todo De Ti" is it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TODO DE TI")

RAUW ALEJANDRO: (Singing) Contigo quiero despertar, hacerlo después de fumar. Ya no tengo nada que buscar algo fuera de aquí. Tú combinas con el mar. Ese bikini se ve fenomenal. No hay gravedad que me pueda elevar. Me pones mal a mí. Aceleraste mis latidos. Es que me gusta todo de ti. De todas tus partes - ¿cuál decido?

CONTRERAS: Because we're trying to get through so many songs, we're just going to play a little bit of each song. We're not going to play each song. OK, let's see. Stefanie, you're up. What's next?

FERNÁNDEZ: Ooh, OK. So it was hard to narrow it down. But I think one of my favorite songs of the year so far is "Ya," by Yendry. Yendry's a Dominican singer who was born in the DR and moved to Italy as a toddler. Now she's based in Miami. And I feel like all of the songs I picked today, just as a little teaser, have these, like, incredible first lines. And this is no exception. The first line of this song is yo quiero to'. I want it all. And Yendry's released just a handful of songs since she first emerged in 2019, a few ballads. But this song is just something quite different from what I think she's released so far. And it's an incredibly beautiful song about finding strength within yourself. There's a line that she repeats in the song that is, No llevo cruz en el cuello. Yo sola me sé cuidar. I don't wear a cross on my neck. I know how to take care of myself. I think it's just such a wonderful song, and I'm really excited to see what she does next.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YA")

YENDRY: (Singing) Aunque pueda morirme ya, esta lluvia no va a parar, todo el fuego que traigo acá, aunque pueda morirme. Ha! Tírame con to' que yo lo aguanto. No le prendo vela a ningún santo. Ya viví. Ya estoy curada de espanto. Antes que me caiga me levanto. Por lo mío haré lo que sea...

CONTRERAS: OK, we're talking best of the year so far. Let's see. Isabella, so what do you got going?

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: OK. Well, I think my top song of the year is "Fiel," by Jhay Cortez, Wisin, Los Legendarios. It's the standout track of a collab album that we see in draft con Los Legendarios. It's just really fun, and I think Jhay Cortez is coming out of this streak of, like, back-to-back bangers with Bad Bunny. You know, they had "No Me Conoce," "Cómo Se Siente," "Dákiti," obviously. And I think it's really fun to see him kind of, like, in the spotlight and see him stand his own ground and, like, really kind of, like, lead this big, big track. It's become huge on TikTok, which, you know, I scroll all the time. And - you know, and he's always shouting it out to body positivity. Tú estás dura sin ir al gym. Like, I need that on the days that I don't work out. Like, he makes me feel good. You're still hot if you're not going to the gym. So that's definitely my No. 1.

FERNÁNDEZ: He is such a hit-maker. He does not miss.

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIEL")

JHAY CORTEZ: (Singing) Tú estás dura sin ir al gym, taco' Louboutín, maquillaje de Sephora, pantie' de Supreme. Tu celular y tu corazón tienen PIN. Por nadie llora. A todas las relaciones pone fin. ¿Cómo se siente? ¿Cómo se siente? Baby, del uno al diez, yo te doy un 20. Contigo nadie gana por más que comenten. Hoy es noche de sexo. Llamé pa' verte. En la jeepeta arrebatado, tú me tienes engabetado. Siempre con ganas de darte, no importa cuánto te he dado. A ti nadie te deja. Tú a todos los has dejado...

CONTRERAS: OK, let's keep it rolling. Anamaria.

SAYRE: OK. Well, first of all, I would like to disclaimer and say I endorse all of these picks. So...

(LAUGHTER)

SAYRE: I have to pick three, but I'm, like, I'm here for all of them, so I just want to put that out there. But I'm going in kind of a different direction here - not a summer bop, not a huge hit. But Gabriel Garzón-Montano just released a second EP on "Aguita." It's the second one. And wow. I was actually blown away start to finish. He has this kind of, like, incredible experimental sonic diversity going on with this EP. He kind of opens it with these kind of, like, sweet and simple, more kind of guitar-heavy, vocal kind of carried songs, which is not kind of his norm. And then he moves into almost, like - it's a little haunted, I would say. The whole EP, the sound of it is a little haunted. And he has these kind of, like, ethereal, floaty melodies that he ties and he brings back down to Earth with these more intense bass lines and kind of hard-hitting beats that would kind of lean towards his more hip-hop, R&B kind of typical elements. So it's a little different for him, but it all makes for this really, really interesting listen from start to finish. So here it is.

CONTRERAS: OK, let's hear the track "Tombs" from that album "Aguita Dos" or "Aguita II."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOMBS")

GABRIEL GARZÓN-MONTANO: (Singing) So we stroke each other's feathers, wiggling with glee, animals with charming concepts, conspicuous and cheap, hiding under plastic sheets.

CONTRERAS: OK, that definitely made me want to hear more. That's Gabriel Garzón-Montano. OK, Suzy, you're next.

EXPOSITO: My next pick is by this Chilean band called FrioLento. And they've been doing a lot of covers of reggaeton songs but making them post-punk, dark wave. That's what FrioLento specializes in. As we know, our Chilean friends love a good, like, post-punk sound. They - they're just - I feel like they are the reigning country. No offense to any of the others, but I feel like Chileans really have it down. Like, that, like, alternative, like, dance pop, dance punk kind of thing - they really have it down pat.

And what I love about FrioLento is that they do have, like, their own songs, of course. But lately, they've been garnering a lot of interest through their covers of - for example, they - earlier this year, they released a cover of Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee's "La Santa." And that was sick. I loved it. And then they released a cover of Karol G's song "Bichota." And so it's like, they translate the, like, theme of the female big shot into something fit for, like, the goth club. And as many people in this Zoom room know, that is extremely relevant to my interests. Give me reggaeton that I can also be a little bit, like, goth to. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

EXPOSITO: Give me something dark, give me something danceable, and I'm happy.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: OK. To get an idea of just what this band is up to, we're going to play a little bit of the original "Bichota" by Karol G and then hear FrioLento's version.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BICHOTA")

KAROL G: (Singing) ...Roncan, pero no pueden con mi pum-pum con mi pum-pum...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BICHOTA (POST-PUNK)")

FRIOLENTO: (Singing) Roncan, pero no pueden con mi pum-pum, con mi pum-pum. Y si hay alguien que me ronca porque no pueden con mi pum-pum, con mi pum-pum, con mi pum-pum. Por encima se me nota que me sobra el piquete, piquete. Nos dimos par de botellas, y ahora estamos al garete. Yo también tengo una jeepeta...

CONTRERAS: You're listening to ALT.LATINO. I'm Felix Contreras. And we're zooming through our favorite picks of the year so far. And just for the record, Isabella, Anamaria, Stefanie and Suzy are contributing the songs. I'm going to have a few honorable mentions at the end. But for now, it's all about you guys. So let's see. Who's next? I think it's - who's next, Stefanie?

FERNÁNDEZ: Oh, yeah. My next pick is "rosas (dímelo)" by Girl Ultra. Girl Ultra is Mariana de Miguel, a singer based in Mexico City. And she's just, like, such an architect of high drama and builds these delicious, typically R&B songs. And this song "Rosas" is kind of a bolero that builds into this really delicious R&B longing, dramatic song about - I think she's said in a couple of interviews - about leaving your roses on the table for someone, figuratively and literally. I mentioned these epic opening lines, and this song opens on the question, ¿cómo te digo? - you know, how do I tell you? And that is, like, kind of the phrase that this song builds around and the tension of not knowing how to communicate what exactly you're feeling in a tense conversation with a loved one. And it's just so - damn, it's just so powerful. And it's her first release since her 2019 album, "Nuevos Aires," that was awesome and is, I think, the first tease of an upcoming EP. Everything about this is so intense, and I can't wait to hear more.

CONTRERAS: Loving all the R&B coming out of Mexico and Latin America with these new vocalists. Just crazy, crazy - big fan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROSAS (DÍMELO)")

GIRL ULTRA: (Singing) ¿Cómo te digo? ¿Cómo te digo? ¿Cómo yo te digo? Rosas sobre el mantel, que no te dicen nada, y yo derramando miel, y tú me das la espalda...

CONTRERAS: Again, we're just playing snippets of the music. You can hear this entire playlist on our website at npr.org/altlatino. OK, I'm losing my place here. Who's next? I think Isabella's waving at me over Zoom. OK, go ahead.

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: I'm here. I'm here. OK? My second pick - I am totally biased, and I'm going to have to plug Weekend Edition because this is someone we had on Weekend Edition recently. But it's the song "Vicio" by Simon Grossmann. He's a Venezuelan American singer-songwriter. His past music is very, like, acoustic guitar-focused. It's been more emotional. It's been more serious. And he released a new album recently, "Bahía Margarita," and the whole thing - I mean, I think, related to what Suzy was saying when we first started talking, it's just so much more dancy (ph) and, like, pre-game party summer vibes, which is really the energy I'm trying to maintain all of the time. So it really takes you there. And this song in particular, "Vicio" - like, it has that kind of, like, beachy flow that Simon is more known for and then it's kind of, like - what really makes the song is this verse by Trainer, who is a Venezuelan trap artist. And I think just the combination of them two kind of riffing off each other takes the song to another level. It's just super fun, song about being single, enjoying being single - definitely, like, a vaxxed and waxed hot girl summer energy, and I'm all about it. It's really fun.

CONTRERAS: What did you say, what and what?

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: OK, it's waxed and vaxxed, right? You're waxed. You're vaccinated. Hot girl summer - like, people are dancing, people are meeting people again. You know, that's kind of what 2021 is about, in my opinion.

CONTRERAS: OK. That's what I thought you said. Just checking (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VICIO")

SIMON GROSSMANN: (Singing) Ahora me gusta estar así, aquí. No me llames. No tengo servicio. No maltripeo más por ti, por ti. Tú no eres nada más que un vicio. Ahora me gusta estar así, aquí. No me llames. No tengo...

CONTRERAS: OK, let's keep moving around the virtual table. Ana, you're next.

SAYRE: OK, so this next one, "Como La Piel," the album by Rita Payés - I just think she is an angel. Her voice is an angel. She is an angel. This album is angelic. She is a multi-instrumentalist coming out of Spain. She does incredible vocals. She plays the trombone, which is very exciting. And she made this record with her mom, which I think is very sweet. It has kind of this beautiful mother-daughter chemistry that is unique to her. This is the second time they've collaborated on an album together. And there's, like, this incredible performance they do outside at one point that I love. I keep watching it over and over again on YouTube. And it's, like, her and the whole family sitting down, sobremesa, just, like, playing their instruments together. Her mom's riffing on the guitar. And I think that's kind of, like, the sweet energy that embodies what she does with this record. So I think it's something that is - it's a different - not quite hot girl summer energy, I would say. It's more like if you're trying to spend your summer, like, relaxing by a lake and, like, enjoying nice tea and such. But it's really worth listening to, and I'm always endlessly impressed with Rita. So...

CONTRERAS: I completely endorse this one. This was one of my honorable mentions, and specifically because of the way she plays the trombone. The trombone is - like, you would think a flamenco-inspired song and music with her mom playing flamenco and classical guitar. But the trombone's, like, another voice. She plays it like another voice - a deeper tamber. Man, I'm just so impressed with Rita Payés. It was one of my honorable mentions. OK, Ana, since this album is on both of our lists, can I choose this one? I want to hear "La Rosa" again. This is Rita Payés and Elisabeth Roma, and the album's called "Como La Piel."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA ROSA")

RITA PAYÉS: (Singing) Cuentos cuenta (inaudible) canción...

CONTRERAS: Let's see. OK, we got one more round. Everybody got three songs. And I want to remind people that, if you're listening to the radio, you can go to our website, npr.org/altlatino to see all of the 12 picks that our guests have selected this week. We're going to have videos on there, and you'll see the whole thing. So let's see, the last round - let's start with Suzy. Go ahead.

EXPOSITO: It - this has been kind of hard to narrow down, but I feel like we should give what's been bubbling up in, like, the regional Mexican scene some love. And I feel like Natanael Cano has been all over the place. He's, like, 19 years old and extremely prolific, just keeps dropping albums of "Corridos" and - or "Corridos Tumbados." They're pretty bare-bones for the most part. I mean, some of them have, like, trap elements to them. But it's often, you know, him and a guitar and the occasional horns. But then, enter the, like, king of Mariachi, Alejandro Fernández, who came in earlier this year and remixed "Amor Tumbado." And I didn't really, like, grow up with this sound at all. Like, I'm not Mexican. I just really like the drama of, like, a full mariachi band. And Alejandro brought it. Nata is like this, you know, kind of - he's, like, a rascal, you know? Like, he has this kind of rascally presence in Mexican music right now, and he's a pretty polarizing guy. But then, you know, to have someone like Alejandro, who comes from this really mighty, like, dynasty in Mexican - regional Mexican music - for him to come in and kind of, like, give his co-sign is, like, very powerful. And they do that beautifully in "Amor Tumbado."

CONTRERAS: And again, I heartily endorse anything with mariachi in it. Just saying.

(LAUGHTER)

EXPOSITO: It's just such a - it's such a big sound. What would be so amazing is if someone who was not Phil Spector, but who sounded - who could make that wall of sound thing happen - I think a lot of people are doing cool things with it now and making all kinds of hybrid sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMOR TUMBADO")

NATANAEL CANO: (Singing) La canción se acaba y tú constante, y el WhatsApp me lo estás llenando de mensajes. Hey, ya no llames, que el amor también se volvió odio, recordé...

ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ: (Singing) Hey, mira nomás, como pagas el cariño. ¿O cómo ves, compa Nata?

CANO: (Singing) Y así nos pagan, compa Alejandro. Ay-ay-ay, viejón

CONTRERAS: OK, moving again around the table, the sobremesa. OK, where are we? I think it's Stefanie - your turn.

FERNÁNDEZ: Yes, my final pick is Myke Towers' album, "Lyke Mike," and particularly the song, "Mírenme Ahora" - literally, look at me now. Myke Towers is an interesting figure because he is, like, the rising star in Latin music right now, and he's got this, like, superstar presence. You know, it was a bit - done the pop reggaeton tracks with the usual suspects. But this album is far more strictly focused on kind of the hip-hop and trap that was instrumental to his early days and to the music he listened to growing up and how he got his start. He says, elsewhere on this album, literally, me comparan con Ozu, Bad Bunny y Anuel. Hice un conference call y a los tre' los llamé. Like, they compare me with Bad Bunny, Ozuna and Anuel, and I've been on conference calls with three of them. So he definitely has a lot in common with the big players, but I think this is someone who, relatively early in his career, is doing a lot of work to remain grounded in his roots. The album is quite long at 23 songs long, but it really is just this great vehicle for his lyricism, for his flow. And I think the first track, "Mírenme Ahora," is quite a stand out. It's - actually samples a Japanese ballad from the '70s by Midori Sasa, but that huge string sound that the song and the album open on kind of gives this old-school, film noir drama to this return-to-roots story.

EXPOSITO: He is such a powerful rapper. Like, he is a true wordsmith in so...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yes.

EXPOSITO: ...Many ways, and I think that, yeah, Myke Towers is definitely the future of, like, rap in español.

FERNÁNDEZ: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MÍRENME AHORA")

MYKE TOWERS: (Singing) Yo me hice rey al nacer. To' esto' cabrone' como yo quieren ser. Todo' mis pana' en la cárcel tienen cel. En la disco toda' las babie' tienen sed. Que traigan botella', Black Label, Buchanan's, que con una p**a voy a amanecer. A Biggie y a 2Pac les dieron en carro'. Por eso e' que yo soy mi propio chofer, ey. Tienen que manejarse mejor. No me bajo de la AMG. Digamo' que mi flow se añejó, y si se fueron alante e' que los dejé, hasta la' que no hablan español se pasan enviando "OMG." Lo único perfecto e' el tiempo de Dio'. Yo seguí joseando, y no me quejé. Hoy en día tengo...

CONTRERAS: Going back around the table, let's see - Isabella.

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: OK. My final pick is going to be "Setas Y Ceros," by La Doña. I'm a huge fan of La Doña. She released her first album last year, right as the pandemic was really getting serious. I think it was March of 2020 - "Algo Nuevo." And, you know, speaking of mariachi, she's someone who grew up - she's Chicana. She grew up in the Bay Area playing mariachi and ranchera with her family. And she kind of combines that with the hip-hop of San Francisco that she grew up around. She's very outspoken about making femmetón - so, like, reggaeton from a feminist perspective. And I really like this song because I think - I mean, it's a song kind of about critiquing capitalism and I think all of the cracks in the system that were so blatantly exposed during the pandemic. But she's, at the same time, so, so playful with it. Like, you know, the - you have this kind of, like, bachata guitar riff at the very beginning of the song. The beat comes in, and she's just kind of laughing. Like, yeah, you know, the system is super messed up, but what am I going to do? I'm still here. I'm still grinding. I'm still making music. And the video similarly has her in these very, like, embellished gold background, gold tones. I think she's a really talented writer, and I think she has a lot of fun on the tracks, and you could hear that. She goes back and forth between, you know, playing instruments and singing and even rapping a little bit. It remains very, like, socially conscious with the messaging that she's trying to get across. And even as she does that, I feel like she always, like, hits the mark musically. It's one of my favorite ones. And I think especially - she released it right as people were starting to get their vaccine. So I think it paired well with her album that came out at such a difficult time, to kind of have this to look back over what this past year has been like for so many people.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SETAS Y CEROS")

LA DOÑA: (Singing) Ow-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh I just be watchin' this shit (And I watch it pile up). Setas y ceros, setas, setas y ceros, mmm hmm. Setas y ceros, setas y ceros, setas, setas y ceros, setas y ceros, setas, setas y ceros, setas y ceros, setas, setas y ceros. (Laughter) Goddamn lil bruh, I know this is my poison. Capitalism is killing us, but I'm still out here. Soy la...

CONTRERAS: OK. Let's keep moving. Let's see. Is that - Ana, it's your turn.

SAYRE: For my last pick, I could not, in good conscience, not make a mention to our queen, the legend herself, Natalia Lafourcade. I feel like, Felix, I'm stealing one of your honorable mentions here, but kind of to answer your question earlier about any trends we're seeing with this year or things that artists have been leaning on - I think above all else, leaning on roots and preserving culture and preserving history and all of those things. People have been very reflective during this period, thinking a lot about family, thinking a lot about home. And I think, obviously, Natalia Lafourcade has kind of named herself as this torchbearer of tradition, as this person who, you know, takes care of reviving old music and creating new music and in the old styles and adding a more youthful touch to them. And I think that obviously, like everyone was expecting, this album, "Un Canto Por México," the second volume - everyone was expecting it to be incredible. The first one, you know, got itself a Grammy, so it's no surprise that it came out amazing. But I do think that there's something beautiful in the fact that she's not only celebrating this tradition and doing covers of these older boleros and really putting her voice, which I think is ripe for nostalgia - it is just this voice that can carry tradition. She's pulling together all of these younger, newer artists, and she's bringing them kind of along on this journey of remembrance with her. So it's not just about, you know, the ways that she's creating this sound and what she's deciding to put out there, but it's about kind of inviting all these other Mexican artists to kind of join her in that remembrance, and I think that that's really beautiful. I remember listening to the album when I first got it and being like, oh, my God, I can hear the sounds that my grandma loves. Like, I can hear the songs that she raised me listening to. And the fact that Natalia can do that and invoke that feeling and also, like, bring something young to it and bring something new to it so it's not just a remembrance, but it's really progressing the tradition forward - that's something really special.

CONTRERAS: You got my vote.

FERNÁNDEZ: So beautiful.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, definitely. OK, let's hear something. Had you picked a song?

SAYRE: I feel like "La Llorona" probably is the pick. She does it twice, which is crazy 'cause she's already done it once before, and she has a new take every time and something else to add to it every time. And on the second one, she includes Silvana Estrada, which is, like, my own personal - I adore her.

CONTRERAS: Again, be sure to check this one out on our website because this one includes not only Silvana Estrada but Ely Guerra.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA LLORONA")

NATALIA LAFOURCADE: (Singing) Sí, porque te quiero, quieres, Llorona. Quieres que te quiera más. Sí, porque te quiero, quieres, Llorona. Quieres que te quiera más...

CONTRERAS: OK, I want to thank you all for bringing in your three picks. Again, like I said, I'm going to do some honorable mentions. I was just completely floored and continue to be floored by "El Madrileño" from C. Tangana or C. Tangana - completely blew me away. If you haven't seen his Tiny Desk Concert or his Tiny Desk From Home Concert, check it out. It's amazing. I really liked what he's doing with the flamenco thing, with the fusion, and there's all kinds of stuff - caught me by surprise. The Rita Payés that you mentioned, I'm a big fan of hers, and also this duo from Argentina, Cande y Paulo. I think people who've been paying attention to the show have noticed that I'm a big fan of theirs. It's jazzy, it's folky, it's - like, it's their own sound, the Cande y Paulo sound. So check them out. Those are my three honorable mentions to go along with all the great choices you guys selected. Again, thank you so much to NPR's Anamaria Sayre and Isabella Gomez Sarmiento. Thank you guys for coming along.

SAYRE: Thank you. Thank you for having us.

GOMEZ SARMIENTO: Thank you for having us.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: And also Suzy Exposito from The LA Times. Thank you, Suzy.

EXPOSITO: Thanks for inviting me back. I love ALT.LATINO.

CONTRERAS: Thank you so much. And Stefanie Fernández, it's always great to have you here. Welcome back, and thanks for doing this.

FERNÁNDEZ: It's always so good to be here.

CONTRERAS: You can hear all of the songs we talked about this week on our website at npr.org/altlatino, we'll post the videos there. You have been listening to ALT.LATINO from NPR Music. I'm Felix Contreras. As always, thank you so much for listening. Be safe, vax up. Keep your distance as needed, and keep an eye out for all those summer cool girls, all right?

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: Thanks a lot, guys.

EXPOSITO: We're out here...

FERNÁNDEZ: Tío Felix...

EXPOSITO: ...Roller skating around.

FERNÁNDEZ: ...Felix is an honorary...

EXPOSITO: Let's go.

FERNÁNDEZ: ...Hot girl, for sure. For sure.

SAYRE: Exactly.

EXPOSITO: Yeah, absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

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