Before the streaming monopoly was aligned with big brands and pretended to make us believe that Latin American music is only reggaeton, Latin rhythms had already changed the world’s history.
From jazz to rock n’ roll, there is no musical genre that does not root in Latin American music. Moreover, the storytelling of Latin music — from the desolate rancheras to the revolutionary Trova — has set the bar very high for what today attempts to be reduced to a “dale.”
It is precisely that richness that Apple Music has decided to celebrate, against all the odds.
The streaming giant presented SOMOS (“we are”), a monthlong celebration “of the unifying cultural contributions of the singers, songwriters, and musicians whose work has provided a soundtrack to Latin culture.”
According to a press release, Apple Music’s SOMOS aims to highlight the grand tradition of storytelling in Latin music through “robust multimedia portrayal amplifying the sheer breadth and diversity within Latin music, while also underlining the cultural ties that bind the community together.”
“SOMOS is an opportunity to celebrate the rich and vibrant work of the Latinx creative community — from the expressive visuals created by rising artists to thought-provoking essays from this generation’s most poignant writers,” said Jennifer D’Cunha, Apple Music’s global head of Latin Music. “All of this sets the stage for a deep exploration of Latin music, its beautifully diverse roots, and far-reaching impact on our world today.”
SOMOS will explore a different foundational theme of Latin music and its traditions through several series:
Voces highlights the role of storytelling with a focus on the distinct influence of mariachi. Next up is Fuerza, spotlighting how Latin music has helped provide a platform and inspiration for social movements — including the ones gripping the world right now.
Ritmo addresses the many ways that African and Afro-Latinx peoples have shaped the music’s sonic foundations and hallmarks. Finally, Legado ties together how tradition, family, and culture keep Latin music alive and thriving. These themes feature exclusive “history-through music” editors notes by notable writers Jenzia Burgos, Julyssa Lopez, Gary Suarez, and Lucas Villa.
The SOMOS animated artist video series will feature renowned artists Gloria Estefan, Becky G, Christian Nodal, and Draco Rosa sharing personal stories on building legacies influenced by their heritage and brought to life via art by Latinx artists Niege Borges, Xoana Herrera, Willian Santiago, and Lucas Wakamatsu. Juline Lobao designed the striking SOMOS art, infused with bright, colorful florals throughout the special playlists.
Additionally, SOMOS Radio will kick off across Apple Music 1 and bring all of the moments into a lively and meaningful conversation hosted by Latinx singer and presenter Christian Acosta. The four-part series will feature cultural visionaries and artists in each episode to share an honest, open, and direct conversation about Latin culture, tradition, artistry, creativity, and more.