Carla Morrison, Camilo Lara, BIIANCO, Kokoroko: Artists to watch in 2021

Even with a vaccine for COVID-19, we’re still many months away from gathering together at bars and concert halls for live music. Musicians are still working at home to release new songs for when those shows can happen. KCRW DJ José Galván talks about some of the artists he’s excited to watch in 2021.

Carla Morrison is a 34 year old from Tecate, Baja California. She’s been nominated for two Grammys for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. She’s won three Latin Grammys.

“You go to her shows and guaranteed — the first five rows are crying throughout the entire show,” says Galván. 

Camilo Lara is the frontman of the Spanish Morrissey tribute supergroup Mexrrissey, and music consultant on various films like Pixar’s “Coco.” He co-owns the record label Casete. 

His project, Mexican Institute of Sound, has a new record called “D.F.” coming out Feb. 5, and it’s a love letter to his hometown of Mexico City. 

“He doesn't have any pretenses about the music he makes. It's electric cumbia, but it pokes fun at a lot of stuff.”

BIIANCO is the electronic chill-wave moniker of LA-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Gabby Bianco.

“She actually describes it as music to dance and cry ugly too. So it's like emotional electronic music.”

Kokoroko is an eight-person afrobeat group out of the UK.

“They're doing afrobeat distinctly different, I believe. Because they have a heavy jazz element to them.”