Marking its 18th year, the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) is returning to New York this summer for a series of concerts and panels. LAMC aims to redefine the perceptions that people have regarding Latin music, opening their arms to a wide range of genres and artists from numerous countries. They always draw crowds of forward-thinking individuals to their shows in Central and Prospect Park. The conference runs from July 11-15 and features a series of panels such as “Latin Music in the Digital Age: Where Do We Go From Here?” and “Content Is King: Latin Music Synchs in the Streaming TV and Film Era” with panelists from Spotify, SXSW, Pandora and YouTube. LAMC also boasts an impressive series of live performances. While all of these musicians may not be well known here, they showcase innovative stylings that have erupted out of the Latin community, defying what stereotypical sounds the public may expect. These artists include Princess Nokia, Mon Laferte, Chicano Batman and A.CHAL, plus many more. For additional information, head over to their website http://www.latinalternative.com/ to find out how you can register for this forward-thinking conference and a vast variety of live music.
For a taste of what can be heard, check out the work of some of the featured artists:
Chicano Batman: Influenced by a multitude of genres ranging from psychedelic soul and Tropicalia to good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, Chicano Batman has a flair all its own. We interviewed the group in 2015 after wrapping up a tour with Jack White where they served as a supporting act. Since then, they have released two albums, Black Lipstick and Freedom Is Free, the latter of which came out this March. They also brought the house down in their recent NPR Tiny Desk Concert featured below.
A.CHAL: A Peruvian trap/r&b singer, Alejandro Chal, known as A.CHAL, was named one of music publication Pigeons and Planes’ “Best New Artists” of 2015. His debut album, Welcome to GAZI, was released in 2016 and premiered on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe. He has received praise from rapper A$AP Rocky and recently released this Tron-inspired music video for his song “Matrix,” from his upcoming second album which should certainly be on your watchlist.
Princess Nokia: Earning a spot on Afropunk’s lineup this summer, the Afro-Nuyorican rapper/singer Princess Nokia has steadily been gaining traction in New York. Known for her unapologetic raps, this artist is one to watch out for this year as she’s expected to blow up nationally. What better way to celebrate the summer than this aptly named, carefree tune from Nokia.
Jesse Baez: Garnering comparisons to The Weeknd and PARTYNEXTDOOR, Chicago-born Guatemalan artist Jesse Baez croons in a way that separates him from his laidback r&b brethren. Check out his single “Apaga La Luz,” meaning “Turn Off the Light.”
Mon Laferte: Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer would be enough to stop most people ,but Norma Monserrat Bustamante Laferte, better known as Mon Laferte, is not most people. This Chilean singer and multi-instrumentalist served as a judge on her country’s version of X Factor and has recorded four albums since 2011. Her most recent LP, La Trenza, came out earlier this year. Her wildly successful track “Amárrame” with Colombian singer/guitarist Juanes will have you swaying along to the sensual stylings of this duo.