Latin alternative music finds a niche in the US
Gaby Moreno steps onto the stage of the dark Miami club, cradling her guitar. Glasses clink. Voices ricochet across the walls. The diminutive singer with a mop of dark curls opens her mouth, channeling Etta James, Edith Piaf and Dolly Parton — all in Spanish.
The glasses and voices fall silent.
The Guatemalan native’s eclectic mix of sounds has captivated more than people in intimate venues. She’s won a strong, devoted following in the United States and has had a taste of mainstream success with the instrumental theme of the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation,” which she co-wrote.
Moreno is among a small but growing number of alternative musicians and rockers who sing mostly in Spanish but are gaining a diverse fan base across the United States.
These artists barely get play on commercial Spanish radio stations, dominated by hip-hop, salsa, regional Mexican music and by pop stars like Alejandro Sanz. Yet they are attracting new listeners through social media, public radio shows, cable TV and festivals.
Tomas Cookman, president of the independent label Nacional Records, likens the Latin alternative movement in the United States to new wave before the bands Blondie and The Cars made it on to the airwaves.
Read the full story at NBC Latino