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This year’s Latin Grammy nominees are quite amazing, and the potential awardees are much-less-than-usually-rife with major pop artists.We’re really excited to see indie artists such as Kevin Johansen and Ceú vying for Best Song, as well as Buika in the running for Record of the Year.

But the most exciting category is that “Best New Artist”, with a truly great line-up of nominees, including two Chilean and three Colombian artists/bands.

Here’s some of our very favorites from that selection of artists:

Alex Anwandter: Dance-perfect tunes with a potent message

Chilean Anwandter is also nominated for a Latin Grammy for the “Siempre es viernes en mi corazon” video in the “Best New Short Form Video”, a song that takes on the church and politics singing about being exhausted: “It’s always Friday in my heart, wanting the destruction of the world and its endless work.”

The Chamanas: Surreal border ballads at their best!

Perfect for a surreal quinceañera playlist, with members based in both Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, The Chamanas wield Spanish, English and Spanglish masterfully in retro-frontera-rock ballads that straddle two cultures as well as the “in-between and beyond” culture they create.

Esteman: The  sunniest tropi-pop grooves ever!

This Colombian musician and actor’s music has just the perfect, gentlest feel-good vibe.

iLe: Passionate neo-boleros

The younger sister of Calle 13’s Residente and Visitante can do no wrong in our mind, with her beautifully crafted new boleros laden with feminist touches.

Mon Laferte: Chilean songstress with touches of melancholic quirk

Having recorded five albums, Mon Laferte has been on our radar for a some time, but we are glad to see the Latin Grammy acknowledge the uniqueness of her musical vision.

Ian Ramil: Brazilian Singer-Songwriter with more than a touch of quirk.

We have to admit we discovered this artist thanks to the Latin Grammys. The video below doesn’t have tens of thousands of plays like Ramil’s more accessible material, but we are trying to get a full translation of the purportedly NSFM lyrics of this tune, Molotov Cocktail, which starts off with “The world is a skinhead, I am gay”.

 

Check Catalina’s weekly exploration of the past, present and future of Latino music every week on out Beat Latino, as well as the special on Latin Grammy nominees.

Feature photo: The Chamanas, courtesy of the artist

 

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