Pan Caliente: Spotlight on Niña Dioz

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The ‘musica indie’ classification is a broad, general term; partly because there is so much diversity in sound, projects, and experimentation going on in the sub-genres of Latin music.

So, if we must acknowledge that this Latin Urban movement – which reached peak marketability with the J Balvin/Beyonce collab & Bad Bunny’s meteoric online ascent – is a thing… then we might as well stay true to the Pan Caliente ethos, and search a little deeper than the mainstream.

Bringing us to Niña Dioz!

This female MC from Monterrey, Mexico in the last couple years relocated to Los Angeles, and has been creating her own brand of hip-hop in Spanish for almost a decade. Her recent album REYNA shows tremendous musical growth and stays true to her original intense style of lyricism.

“Salsa” brings about her political critique, while using the metaphor of the spicy goodness. On “Nubes,” we get a jazzed up funky track, that brings a lot more melody into the MCs’ dense flow. And, on “Plata o Plomo” she achieves a catchy urban ballad with guitar riffs that could peak the mainstream’s interest.

Truth be told, Niña’s strongest jams have always been her collabs with other voices in the musica indie scene.

Take the first single, “Tambalea.” You’ve got a tropical marimba/steel drum melody overlaid with crisp drums which give space to Lido Pimienta’s unique style. And, as if that wasn’t enough to say, ‘dayumm,’ Ceci Bastida certifies the track as ‘BADASS’ with her participation also on vocals.

The album REYNA is an amalgamation of different sounds happening right now in musica indie and you should definitely check it out.

Photos Courtesy of Nacional Records