Marisa Arbona-Ruiz

"¡De...spa ... cito!"

The song of the summer actually became the Song of the Year at the 18th annual Latin Grammy's held in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee also picked up Record of the Year, Best Urban Fusion Performance and Best Short Term Video.

The Alt.Latino team is so grateful for the positive feedback to our periodic "Music Magazine" shows — and now, we're happy to present the Fall edition.

This week we put the spotlight on two playwrights, one of whom you probably know, the other someone you should.

Where cultures converge, great music happens. Last Sunday night three of the biggest acts in Latin Alternative music were brought together at the historic Hollywood Bowl amphitheater in a rare and brilliant line-up, as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time LA/LA to create dialogue between Latin American arts and Los Angeles.

The latest stunner from La Santa Cecilia's visual album, Amar y Vivir, is "Ingrata," an interpretation of Café Tacvba, featuring Chilean pop star Mon Laferte.

If you took a snapshot of Latino demographics here in the U.S., you'd find substantial numbers in places most people wouldn't expect. In particular, the South has become a hotbed of new Latinx culture and artistic expression.

What does an artist do to follow up a critically and commercially successful album? The short-sighted might go for more of the same. But the truly innovative and visionary shed that success like a snake's skin and do something completely different.

That is the story behind Mexican vocalist Natalia Lafourcade's new album Musas. Music writer and Alt.Latino contributor Marisa Arbona-Ruiz had a heart-to-heart with the singer to talk about the motivations behind her new sound.

"Despacito" isn't the only catchy song of the summer that has people singing in Spanish. The Mexico City-based Chilean vocalist Mon Laferte has teamed up with Colombian superstar Juanes for the steamy single "Amárrame," whose video has lured nearly 60 million views on YouTube.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


There should be fireworks named after this band, for all the intensity and color and life that bursts forth from Flor de Toloache.

Bring on the tequila for this one.

The Grammy-winning Mexican-American roots band La Santa Cecilia journeys into the heart of Mexico for what might be its greatest adventure yet: recording a gorgeous new visual album, Amar Y Vivir. Ditching the studio to record at 12 different locations in and around Mexico City, the band captures the spirit of the music in its natural habitat. Its members pay tribute to Mexican culture with the traditional sounds of boleros and rancheras, while subtly blending their American influences into the songs.

Daymé Arocena must be an old soul. She's a bright, young singer with a surprisingly mature voice that's deep and dynamic. Her spirit is exuberant and her style is rich, steeped in Cuba's African rhythms and Santería culture and influenced by Whitney Houston, North American pop and jazz.