Ana Tijoux Redefines Herself With Latin Folk Music | WVIA

Ana Tijoux Redefines Herself With Latin Folk Music

Last Updated by Felix Contreras on

In the spring of 2014, I was in the audience at Vive Latino, the massive music festival held in Mexico City every year, when Chilean hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux took the stage.

I was expecting the kind of riveting performance I saw in 2012 in New York, full of the rhythmic verbal intensity and bravura that made her one of the fiercest MC's in any language.

But what I saw instead was a set that was full of singing that was confident, playful, emotive, sensual and (to my surprise) steeped in soul.

Ana Tijoux is about to make good on the singing preview I witnessed. Her upcoming album, Roja Y Negro: Canciones de Amor Y Desamor (Red and Black: Songs For Being In Love and Falling Out Of Love), is an acoustic guitar celebration of Latin American folk music.

This exploration of a new direction isn't really out of the blue for Tijoux. She was born in France to Chilean parents who were in exile from the brutal dictatorship back home and she has said singer-songwriters with messages were on her parents' playlist when she was a kid. She has said in a statement:

"From my earliest years I took inspiration for my lyrics from singer-songwriters such as Chico Buarque, Violeta Para, Victor Jara, Mercedes Sosa – revolutionaries with an acoustic guitar, who to me are not so different from my hip-hop heroes."

Tijoux and her stripped-down sound will embark on a limited U.S. tour this month, and to whet our appetites, she's released a video for Roja Y Negro's first single, "Tinta Roja." It features a collaboration with Mexican vocalist Lila Downs, who seems to be granting Tijoux her blessings as one of the foremost practitioners of classic and historic Latin folk music.

Ana Tijoux has more than made her mark in the music she grew up with. But in a way she comes of age with this music. These are the kinds of songs that — after you've lived, loved and lost a bit — have the potential to mean much more, both to the performer and the listener.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

listenlive_fulllength.jpg cove_spacer.png
Now Playing on WVIA-FM



ISIS' Parting Gift To Its Former Capital: Thousands Of Explosive Booby Traps

Raqqa may be cleared of ISIS fighters, but hidden throughout the city are thousands of hidden bombs. U.S. special...

Rivals Japan & South Korea Face Off At Olympics Amid Chilly Ties

The fierce rivalry between Korea and Japan is in full view at the Olympics. And showdowns on the ice are happening...

Trump To Talk About 'School Safety,' But Will He Do Anything About Guns?

The president has meetings scheduled with students and teachers centered on safety after the latest mass shooting at...

CHART: How Have Your Members Of Congress Voted On Gun Bills?

Search members of Congress by state to find out how they have voted on key gun legislation in recent years.

Election Heads 'Straddle The Line Between Sounding The Alarm And Being Alarmist'

State election officers from all over the country met in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and received a classified...

healthybites_sidebar2.png reserve3.png