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El Tiny Desk: 4 artists you can't miss during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond

Ivy Queen performs onstage during the 35th Premio Lo Nuestro at Miami-Dade Arena on Feb. 23, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Ivy Queen performs onstage during the 35th Premio Lo Nuestro at Miami-Dade Arena on Feb. 23, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

It’s the tail end of Hispanic Heritage Month — but any time is a good time to get into these Latinx artists. And what better place to start than their Tiny Desk performances?

NPR’s Alt.Latino program took over the space this month and rebranded it to El Tiny.

Alt.Latino hosts Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras say not to miss these four El Tiny concerts.

DannyLux

Watch on YouTube.

On his latest album “DLux,” Chicano singer-songwriter DannyLux conveys love and romance in the style of what Sayre calls “the regional Mexican revolution” — a genre from Northern Mexico and the South Western U.S. that took over the charts this year. At age 19, Lux is a rising star of this moment.

“All of the young people on TikTok really gravitate towards the way that he’s able to emote,” Sayre says.

Becky G

Hailing from Inglewood, California, with roots in Northern Mexico, Becky G has been on a journey as an artist since her first hit “Shower” made her a star in 2014.

After pivoting away from the English-speaking pop market, Becky G is now one of the biggest Latin artists right now, Sayre says. The artist’s new regional Mexican album “ESQUINAS” pays homage to her roots.

“This is something that’s really meaningful for her, for her family, and definitely for a huge subset of her fan base who grew up listening to this music, loves this music, lives by this music,” Sayre says. “So it’s really exciting that she’s pivoted and finally put something out that honors all of us.”

J Noa

Watch on YouTube.

At just 17, J Noa proclaims herself as “La Hija Del Rap,” or the daughter of rap.

J Noa’s El Tiny concert marks the first time the Dominican rapper performed outside of her home island — and she put on a commanding, technically perfect show, Contreras says.

“It was like one of those things where you’re sitting there and you know history is being made,” Sayre says. “You know you’re gonna be able to tell everyone, ‘I was there.’”

Rawayana

Watch on YouTube.

After political upheaval forced the members of Rawayana to leave Venezuela, they recently performed in their home country for the first time in six years at a festival in Caracas.

“It’s a little difficult to actually sing about what’s going on, but as with protest music in other Latin American countries, there are veiled references. There’s metaphors,”  Contreras says. “And that’s one of the ways that the musicians of Venezuela are able to express all the things that are going on within them and around them.”


Gabrielle Healy produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd MundtAllison Hagan adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.