KVRX DJ’s Top 20 Latinx Artists

Playing “none of the hits, all of the time,” the student DJs over at KVRX 91.7 are pros at discovering up-and-coming names in music. This month, they share their favorite Latinx artists. From mariachi to techno, lost loves to border walls, this list covers the vast array of music coming from Latin America. 

Check out our Spotify playlist at the bottom of the post for the full list, plus 10 extra picks.



DJ Pick: Shamika Kurian, Liminal Space Songs – Sundays 9PM

DEZORAH is a post-prog band from McAllen, Texas. Their heavy, distorted sound is broken up by Danica Salazar’s soaring Spanish and English vocals. We love these guys so much that we had them play Local Live this summer, our live TV and radio broadcast where we host local bands every Sunday at 10pm. No surprise, but DEZORAH killed it.


2. El Shirota

DJ Pick: Aaron Martinez, The Hadal Zone – Tuesdays 11PM

This powerful rock quartet has been the fuel of many mosh pits throughout Mexico since their founding in 2013. Rooted in loud and fuzzy garage rock, El Shirota’s two EP releases (both only four songs in length) expand into the territories of psych-rock, progressive rock and krautrock. The group has not been one to shy away from experimentation, though they are still able to stay true to their punchy, noisy garage-rock origins.


3. Vuelveteloca

DJ Pick: Sam Paulsen, Electric Funeral – Tuesdays 7PM

Vuelveteloca play psych rock that is aggressive yet melodic, with pummeling drumming and steady bass. Throughout the years, the lineup has changed a number of times, but has always been led by Tomas Olivos and Marcos De Iruarrizaga. The band just came to the United States for the very first time, playing at Levitation Fest 2018.


4. Chingadazo de Kung Fu

DJ Pick: Ignacio Martinez, Grain Death (on summer break)

You won’t find an album longer than 20 minutes from Chingadazo de Kung Fu. The Mexico City trio are loud and brash punks with a penchant for what punks do best: partying, skating, and creating chaos. Since their underground days they’ve amassed a solid following, even securing a spot on the Tecate Pa’l Norte lineup this past April.


5. Sad Saturno

DJ Pick: Ignacio Martinez

Sad Saturno is nostalgic emo music by Cheke Mondragón. Most notable in their sound is the vocals, fervently shouted out over dialogues sampled from film and TV. The lyrical matter of lost love in songs like “Cuando fuiste la Rachel de mi Joey” (“You Were the Rachel to My Joey”) will take you straight back to middle school, pretty literally.


6. Johnny Pequeñín

DJ Pick: Ignacio Martinez

Johnny Pequeñín is a five piece neo-punk group based out of Mexico City. Their sound echoes that of of the post-hardcore/emo greats of the late 90s and early 00s. High energy, fast-paced drums accompanied by heavy intricate guitar licks and supporting keyboards give their hardcore sound a modern twist. Since 2015, Johnny Pequeñín has put out four EPs, with a total of nine released songs.


7. Ases Falsos

DJ Pick: Kai Foster, Far East of East

Ases Falsos is a four-piece from Santiago, Chile that used to be known as Fother Muckers. Now past any growing pains, the band has fully settled into their electro-pop/rock sound. They’ve mastered harmony and melody to create cohesive soundscapes, rich with synthesizers, falsetto hooks, and punchy percussion.


8. The Holydrug Couple

DJ Pick: Harold Urteaga, Andes Chest – Tuesdays 9PM

The Holydrug Couple was born with a drum-machine in a bedroom outside of Santiago, Chile. Over the last ten years, Ives Sepúlveda Minho and Manuel Parra have flourished in the budding Chilean psychedelic-rock scene. The duo draws from 60 and 70s influences to create dreamy and cinematic soundscapes. With waves of fuzzy reverb and spacey vocals, Ives and Manuel create a mystic slow-dance of sound.


9. No Somos Marineros

DJ Pick: Ignacio Martinez

No Somos Marineros have been through a few iterations to reach the melancholy indie rock on their newest record D’arcy. What started off as emo with a math rock bend has become more refined, more introspective.


10. Fármacos

DJ Pick: Diego Britton, Dreaming Wide Awake (on summer break)

Fármacos began as a solo project by singer Diego Ridolfi, though the Santiago-based band now has five members. A fast-paced lifestyle and lack of media attention on indie bands has made surviving as full-time musicians in Chile difficult. Nonetheless, Fármacos carries on with a new single “Cuando Quieras,” a shoegazey pop song.


11. Los Valentina

DJ Pick: Jane Palacios, Cup of Jane (on summer break)

In Los Valentina, Valentina Martinez covers the seldom discussed realities of being a woman in the male-dominated music scene of Santiago. She does so through music heavy with nostalgia, grief, love, and hope. Her Señoras EP is a heavy hitter, graced with album art from her grandmother.


12. Prehistöricos

DJ Pick: Jane Palacios

Prehistöricos is a group from Santiago, Chile that play a poppy indie-folk blend. The group formed in 2014 and has been very active since, releasing three albums and a slew of singles. Their music will surely leave a smile on your face.


13. The Chamanas

DJ Pick: Alexander Houy, Lords of Boptown – Wednesdays 7PM

Self-described “fronterizo (border) indie-pop fusion,” The Chamanas channel the blended culture of their El Paso/Ciudad Juarez home. Featuring lyrics both in Spanish and English, the band seamlessly sutures traditional Latin beats with modern synthpop melodies. Using their music as a voice for their community, their latest single “If You Build it, We Will Break It” features Jim Ward of At The Drive in protest of Trump’s border wall.


14. BOAN

DJ Pick: Aaron Martinez

BOAN is the new dance pop project of scene veterans Mariana Saldaña and José Cota. The duo is signed to Austin’s own cutting-edge electronic label Holodeck (think S U R V I V E, Troller). Their catchy darkwave synth lines are bringing something exciting to Barracuda on August 19th.


15. Paul Marmota

DJ Pick: Aaron Martinez

Paul Marmota is a versatile DJ and producer hailing from Mexico City, usually incorporating unconventional elements into his mixing, including Afrobeats, techno, Algerian Rai, and rap. His newest work, Zona, came out in May of this year.


16. Sailorfag

DJ Pick: Ignacio Martinez

On top of being a social media fashion icon, Guadalajara rapper Sailorfag produces a unique fusion of trap and reggaeton beats. Rapping in Spanish with unapologetically vulgar lyrics, Sailorfag’s music offers an honest critique of toxic masculinity and strict gender roles. His debut self-titled album came out late July and features nine dancey tracks full of glittery attitude.


17. La Santa Cecilia

DJ Pick: Harold Urteaga

The ultimate modern Mariachi, La Santa Cecilia is a Latin rock group based in Los Angeles. Between touring internationally at some of the hottest festivals (Bonnaroo and SXSW to name a few), winning a Grammy with their debut album, and having a song featured in the soundtrack of Disney movie Coco, it is clear that La Santa Cecilia are serious about their craft. Their music is perfect for dancing with a loved one or just relaxing on your porch.


18. Debit

DJ Pick: Aaron Martinez

Eerie, dark, ambient techno fused with latin-based club beats, the artist Debit is an up-and-coming producer out of New York. While living in Mexico City, Debit linked up with some of the producers/members in the NAAFI, a collective focusing on musicians in the Latinx community. Her newest album, Animus, came out in February of 2018 and features haunting ambient techno with some underground club influences. Debit is also enrolled in school studying music theory, which she has been working on incorporating into her sound.


19. Z@p

DJ Pick: Jorge Hernandez, The Philosophy of Sound and Machine (on summer break)

Coming from Montevideo, Uruguay, Z@p is at the center of a booming electronic scene. They produce a highly engaging, bouncy, house/techno blend that feels like a dark, smokey, body-heat filled basement (the ideal environment if you ask us). Z@p has accrued a cult following, as well as a feature on Resident Advisor.


20. Juana Molina

DJ Pick: Harold Urteaga

Beginning her career as a famous sketch comedy actress, Juana Molina saw great success from 1988-1994. At the peak of her acting career, she quit altogether and began focusing solely on her music aspirations. She has released seven albums since her debut in 1996, and the most recent work “Halo” has been played here on KUTX. Her music is a thoughtful blend of indie-folk, electronica, and experimental pop.

Descriptions by Sam Paulsen, Ruben Paquian, Maddy Kaniewski, Thea Robinson, and Josh Winik

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