Alt-Chilean songstress with NYC-underground tribal hip-hop and Afro-Caribbean electronica
Norma Monserrat Bustamante is a renaissance woman of many musical stylings. Born in Chile, she began playing all manner of instruments at a young age. After joining a musical conservatory at age 13, she promptly set out on her own, teaching herself the intricacies of composition. Navigating the night, she played her guitar, piano, drums and harmonica and sang at bars all throughout the city of Valparaíso. She released her first album in 2003, the playful, classically Latin La Chica de Rojo, a showcase of her clear and powerful vocals. Over the next few years, she truly came into her own. She moved to Mexico City and her sound evolved into the breathtaking fusion of rock, blues, pop and electronica that it is today. In 2011, she put out Desechable, under the brand new handle Mon Laferte. As some songs featured folksy acoustic guitars and others pulsed with synth, this album delivered an aural rainbow of flavors. As her fame grew, she was asked to act as a judge on the Chilean hit show Factor X. Next came the vivacious, layered and soulful album Tornasol in 2013, and then 2015’s semi-self-titled Mon Laferte, Vol.1, where her true appreciation of and penchant for a multitude of musical forms is on full display. Bustamante is also an accomplished actress, dedicated vegetarian and all-around gorgeous person.
The fearless frontwoman of New York’s rising star collective Princess Nokia is Destiny Frasqueri (once known in some subterranean circles as Wavy Spice), an urban monarch of mixing genres and styles. Her mind-blowing hybrid sound is a seamless blend of trip-hop, rap, R&B and drum & bass, underlaid with transportive tribal beats. Her principal album, 2014’s Metallic Butterfly, highlights her ability to fuse tradition with the starkly modern and even the metaphysical. Vice magazine raved the record to be “one of the most exciting and ambitious… of NYC underground.” Two years later, she released 1992, and a tidal wave of praise followed, as Rolling Stone listed it as one of the 15 Greatest Albums You Didn’t Hear in 2016. This release features the potent knockout “Tomboy,” a transgressive track that celebrates female individuality, a roaring speed-read of a rap anthem. Reclaiming femininity with a powerful tribute to her ancestry is “Brujas,” a bewitching million+ viewed YouTube hit. Destiny also leads a feminist art collective, Smart Girls Club, that empowers women of all backgrounds to excel in the arts.
Created by the Puerto Rican musical sage Otura Mun, ÌFÉ is a gallant new compilation of original music stemming from the island. Mun is an ordained Ifá priest, known as a “Babalawo” in the Yoruba faith, and he has been orchestrating authentic Puerto Rican sounds since the 90’s. Working in conjunction with the most prominent indigenous talents, like Mima, Cultura Profetica and Calma Carmona, Mun has produced numerous, critically well-received records. ÌFÉ represents his first solo effort, and has garnered instant acclaim. The track “Umbo (Come Down)” is an intensely poetic tribute to the higher powers of Yoruba, invoking incantations of ancient praise songs. ÌFÉ represents a positive experience in utilizing religious practices to connect with the musically uplifting aspects of the soul and surrounding environment.