Argentina has a long and dynamic music history. Tango was born in Buenos Aires and fuelled by icons like Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel and Julio Sosa. Its folk music is as rich as any in South America, giving rise to stars such as Mercedes Sosa, the queen of the scene. And in recent years Argentina has pioneered a new generation of electronic cumbia that has expanded the envelope of dance music.
That’s set to change with La Yegros, the most recent signing to the influential Waxploitation/ZZK labels. Her debut album “Viene de Mi” will be released June 17th worldwide.
La Yegros has been a powerful presence on Buenos Aires’ underground scene for many years. Her vibrant sound, unique voice, and larger-than-life performance presence, gives her the point-of-view of an artist with South American flair, but a global mindset.
La Yegros resides in the pulsing heart of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, but her family hails from the tropical climates found in the rural rain forests of the north, bordering Brazil. She received classical, conservatory training in music and got her break when she played before thousands as part of the De La Guarda experimental theatre.
“I was brought up with the spirit of folklore, and my father carried a radio around all day and night… I was always
surrounded by music.” says La Yegros, “So writing, for me, is inspired by a wide array of sounds and styles, and narratives. And today, I live in a very modern city, and am moved by very modern musical concepts.”
“Viene de Mi” recording sessions were overseen by Argentina’s groundbreaking producer and composer King Coya, who saw in her something “sharp and high, wild and aboriginal”.
Confident and vibrant in approach, she’s been championed by MTV Iggy, as well as by Fader Magazine, who hailed La Yegros’ “raw urgency while sounding completely relaxed and conversational”. Listening to her sing, there’s the swagger of a Kelis or even Jamaican dancehall combined with the indomitable homespun wisdom of a vintage soul queen, such as Laura Lee or Angie Stone.
There’s a sass to her singing, at once fresh and urgent yet aged in experience and attitude, that cuts through the male-dominated contemporary cumbia, drawing on both deep folk traditions and cutting edge beats.
It’s a move that hasn’t gone unnoticed. As Time Out said recently, “La Yegros is at the helm of no ordinary revolution…It’s a revolution you can dance to.”
But traditionally, and perhaps increasingly, the voice carrying Argentine music has been an overwhelmingly male voice.