Latinx Heritage Month is designed to take a look at the contribution Latinx and Hispanic people have made to culture and society here in America. TIDAL’s celebration of the Latinx culture over the past month was in full effect.
In honor of the cultural month, the streaming service created a playlist highlighting Latinx people’s musical contributions of past and present, but that’s not all.
At the end of September, TIDAL held a showcase of some upcoming hot Latinx musical acts at the El Museo De Barrio. Along with the observance of rich heritage, the historic museum on the Upper East Side also celebrated its 50th anniversary, this year.
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The showcase roster comprised of Coast City, Anthony Ramos, Rauw Alejandro, and Melii. The show’s host, comedian Joanna Hausman who herself is Latinx hailing from Venezuela, had to say this about the showcase:
“I think tonight’s event very much represented what the future of the Latinx community can offer this country. It just goes to show not only the wide variety of types of music we create in our community but also the type of people we put on our stages.”
The people that TIDAL chose to put on stage for the showcase made it a point of emphasis to represent their Latinx backgrounds. Beginning the first act of the night was Miami based R&B group Coast City.
The duo jumped on stage asking for all the Puerto Ricans to make some noise. The group makes soulful R&B songs that switch back and forth between English and Spanish.
Within their performance, they sang their rendition of the classic Juan Luis Guerra song, “Burbujas de Amor.” The group cited Juan Luis Guerra as one of their biggest inspirations.
When asked how important it is that their Latinx heritage comes through the music, they said:
“It’s natural. It’s what we were fed as babies. That’s what our parents listen to. [For us] it all comes together naturally, on top of that, there was growing up as teenagers in the US. That’s the mixture of our music, that’s what makes us Coast City.”
Anthony Ramos was the second performer to arrive on the stage. His songs always have a meaningful message behind them and for the She’s Gotta Have It actor it’s important that those who are listening are aware.
His set was powerful and for his finale, he ended his performance with his unreleased song “Woman” that many are expecting to hear on his album AT HOME dropping October 25.
For “Woman” Ramos incorporated Spanish in the last verse. We spoke to him about the importance of bringing his Latinx heritage into his music.
“If I didn’t bring that element to my music, I don’t know if I’d be truthful, I need to show it…”
Furthermore, the event showed the Latinx community’s contributions to American mainstream music and the ways they have been influenced by American culture.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. Johana Hausman spoke about the progress Latinx artists have made.
“It’s a point of pride to see so many talented artists not only breaking through our Latinx community but also breaking through to the general market in the states. It’s a new era for Latino music and we are killing it”.
Rauw Alejandro the third performer of the evening simply called it “a blessing” to be in this showcase. In his native Puerto Rican Spanish, Rauw told us:
“I’m always proud to represent the Latinx people. We are different so this is just so much fun for me. It’s my first time in New York and I’m loving it.”
Melii, the last performer of the night rose to fame with her 2018 hit song “Icy.” The song’s hook features the Dominican singer going off in Spanish. She’s also known for her song “HML,” with Bronx rapper, A Boogie.
TIDAL’s showcase brought all these artists with Latinx backgrounds together in order to demonstrate exactly what it means to be Latinx and proud.
The importance of having events like this wasn’t lost on the performers. Coast City said,
“It’s an opportunity for us to learn from each other. It’s a really beautiful thing.”
The showcase was a perfect demonstration of what makes New York so great and the osmosis of foreign cultures “for the culture” in America.
Plus, being the son of immigrants that hail from the Dominican Republic, the showcase brought my two worlds together.
I sat there and thought, ‘events showcasing art made by second-generation immigrants like myself can really bring our sometimes divided nation together.