10 Sensational Chilean Music Artists You Don’t Want to Miss
Chilean music is famous for its quality and richness. People in Chile listen to many varied genres of popular music that go from hip hop to cumbia, from indie to reggaeton, from rock to pop, and everything in between. But only a few music groups and solo artists stand out as much as the ones I have included on this curated list.
Although no other genre is as popular as reggaeton is right now, to our listening pleasure Chilean artists insist on creating new material celebrating new and alternative styles. And their audiences could not be more ready for that kind of experimentation.
Icons of rock music that turned into movie stars, the pioneers of modern Chilean music, historymakers from Latin America, unforgettable voices, melodies and verses, all in a single post.
Stay tuned to find out who are the most famous Chilean artists, their music styles, and their music careers. But also, find out how you can benefit from listening to Chilean music!
Let’s do this!
1. La Ley
The music group La Ley (“The Law” in English) was an iconic band that transcended borders time and time again. They were once the most famous Chilean artists and were nominated to a Grammy category 9 times out of which they won 3. Their music style was different on each album, but their main genres were pop music, new wave, synth pop, and rock. What sets them apart, still today after 5 years of not creating music, is that they are the only Chilean musicians to have won an American Grammy. Also, the charismatic leader of the band, Beto Cuevas, continued his solo career and is still on the map.
La Ley won three times in the same category, Best Rock Album, in 2000, 2002, and 2004 with the albums Uno (One), MTV Unplugged and Libertad (Freedom).
The song Mentira (“Lie”) had a Best Rock Song nomination and people have listened to it more than 109 million times on the Spotify platform. Other songs worth listening to are Aquí (Here) and Fuera de mí (Outside of Me).
2. Beto Cuevas
Beto Cuevas is a singer, composer, producer, actor, and designer. People first got to know him as the lead singer of the popular music band La Ley. Later on, he decided to begin his solo career and try his luck in other different industries.
He got a nomination for Best Solo Rock Vocal Album with Miedo escénico (Stage Fright) in 2009, and won the Grammy Best Pop Rock Album category with Transformación (Transformation) in 2013. His most popular songs are Vuelvo (I’m Coming Back) and Háblame (Talk to Me).
3. Mon Laferte
Mon Laferte is a Latin American music phenomenon. She is one of the most famous Chilean artists in history. She is a singer, song-writer, composer, musician, and plays many instruments. Her music style flows between ballads, pop rock, bolero, cumbia, and mainly reggae. In 2017, she became the Chilean musician with more nominations on a single Latin Grammy edition. She is the Chilean singer with more record sales after the so-called digital era.
She has performed in Madison Square Garden, Mexico’s National Auditorium, and festivals like Viña del Mar, Austin City Limits, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Vive Latino, and many others.
Listeners have reproduced her song Tu falta de querer (Your Lack of Love) more than 216 million times on Spotify, and more than 390 million times on YouTube. If you are into dramatic style voices and Chilean music, also listen to Mi buen amor (My Good Love) and Antes de ti (Before You). Her most important albums are Mon Laferte Vol.1, La trenza (The Braid), and Norma.
4. Los Bunkers
Los Bunkers had a nomination for Best Rock Album for La velocidad de la luz (The Speed of Light) in 2013. They released a total of 7 albums and 31 singles and were number one on the Chilean lists. This is the kind of band people keep listening to years after they separated. Listeners have played their song Llueve sobre la ciudad (It Rains Over the City) more than 94 million times on Spotify, followed by Bailando solo (Dancing Alone), which has almost 158 million reproductions, and Nada nuevo bajo el sol (Nothing New Under the Sun).
International magazines like Al borde and The Rolling Stones ranked them among the most important iberoamerican rock albums and the best Chilean records.
These musicians play a very distinctive kind of modern Chilean music: New Chilean Cumbia, or as they call it, homemade cumbia. Their songs Cómo duele (how much it hurts), La espina (the thorn), and their very unique cover of Bob Marley’s Red red wine are responsible for their fame in Chile. This music genre is worth trying if you are here to learn a new kind of art.
Cami is the Chilean sensation and hit from The Voice Chile. Some of her most notable songs are Con las ganas (With Desire), and Odio que no te odio (I Hate That I Don’t Hate You). Her music influences and favorite artists are Aretha Franklin, Ed Sheeran, Nina Simone, John Mayer, and Víctor Jara. Cami’s music style is folk, soul, pop, and blues. Her 2019 album Rosa (pink) had a grammy nomination.
7. Claudia Acuña
Claudia sings jazz, ballads, and bossanova. She is one of the first famous Chilean artists to introduce her country’s folk music into the world, especially that of jazz. She often offers free open-space concerts in low-income neighborhoods.
Acuña has performed twice in the International Jazz Providence Festival, and she was a Grammy nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album with Turning Pages. Two of her most notable songs are Bird Alone and Agüita de corazón (Heart Water).
8. Alexander Anwandter
Audiences continuously ask Chilean music to renovate, and an alternative, modern result of this is Alexander Anwandter. He is a song-witer, singer, video director, movie director, record producer, and LGBT activist.
He was a grammy nominee in 2016 with his song Siempre es viernes en mi corazón (It’s always Friday in My Heart) and once again in 2019 with Latinoamericana. His style is technically alternative pop, but he sounds like nothing you have ever heard before. Malinche and Latinoamericana are two of his most representative songs.
9. Benjamin Walker
Benjamín is a guitar player, singer, and song-writer. In 2019 he got a nomination to the Latin Gammy as Best New Artist. He represented Chile in the Viña del Mar International Festival, and earned second place with his song Y arderán (And They Will Burn). He also has an alternative rock music band, Hausi Kuta.
10. Javiera Mena
Javiera is one of the most famous Chilean artists. She is a song-writer, singer, composer, and producer. She was nominated for Best Alternative song in 2015 with her number one hit, Otra era (Another era). Mena’s music genre is electronic music or electro-pop. She is also related to indie music, and pop. She plays the guitar, keyboards, bass, piano, and loves to play flute music.
Bonus: Anita Tijoux
Anita has a Chilean and French nationality. She is a musician, singer, rapper and composer. Her style goes from rap (political) to R&B. Tijoux is the daughter of two exiled opposers to the military dictatorship, a fact that has had a profound effect on her lyrics and music genres. She is a women’s rights activist, and got a nomination for MTV, 40 Principales and the Indie Music Awards. She also had Grammy nominations for Best Urban Music Album in 2012, and Best Urban song in 2013 and 2014. You can listen to any of these songs to get a taste, Shock and Sacar la voz (get your voice out).
Learn Spanish and Sing Along With This Chilean Music!
It sounds like fun to check out these famous Chilean artists and practice your Spanish by singing along! However, there are other excellent techniques if you truly want to learn beyond your listening pleasure.
While listening is a perfectly sound strategy to improve your comprehension, the best way to build fluency is through conversation! Let our more than 10 years of experience guide you in the path of Spanish language proficiency. Sign up for a free class to practice Spanish real-time with HSA certified teachers from Guatemala!
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