The second season of KCRW’s Global Beat — a series about emerging artists from around the world — focuses on Mexico. Host Raul Campos teams up with three curators: Mexico City DJ and music supervisor Junf, Festival NRMAL director Moni Saldaña, and freelance music journalist Betto Arcos. Hear Global Beat Mexico every Thursday at 10 a.m. during “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”
Check out these artists and their songs:
Vico Diaz - “Tortuga”
“He's basically a classically trained jazz musician, which is why he's … breaking those boundaries of what we would imagine to be traditional marimba playing,” says Campos.
Diaz also uses the leona, an instrument that’s uncommon in jazz. “He's really pushing those limits of what an instrument can do and really fusing with modern sounds and just mixing up the vibes. And that's really what we're trying to go for with Global Beat Mexico … these are traditional sounds but with a modern twist.”
Los Vaguens - “Las Rosas” (The Roses)
This band is from Acapulco, and they have a tropical, romantic sound.
Veronica Valerio - “Ayotzinapa”
“This is probably her most well-known song and it was released in 2015. And this was following this pretty big massacre that happened in Guerrero in 2014. It's a gorgeous song, but if you listen to the lyrics, you can hear she's really diving deep into what had happened the year prior.”
In that case, the country's former attorney general was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of the 43 students.
Hela San - “Temporal”
This song is from San’s album “Humana,” which came out in 2020. “It was funded by the government … because they're really proponents of exporting the art and the music from Mexico.”
Don Couto - “Cumbia Binaria (Amantes del Futuro Remix)”
“Don Couto is one of these guys that is really connected with … this young sound and a modern take on what is traditional Cumbia, which everybody knows and everybody dances to, and it's one of these genres of music that you still hear at parties and clubs.”