DJ Valadez Launches KROQ’s First-Ever Latin Show “Alternalido”

Anthony Valadez (a.k.a. DJ Valadez) is hitting the Southern California airwaves to celebrate Latin music.

The Latino deejay and radio host has launched KROQ‘s first-ever Latin show Alternalido from his makeshift studio at home in Venice Beach.

Anthony Valadez (a.k.a. DJ Valadez)

The two-hour show, the first of its kind for L.A.’s alternative KROQ-FM station (owned by Entercom), kicked off with the music of artists including Chicano BatmanCucoOzomatli and Bomba Estéreo, to name a few.

“Last night I had a lot of anxiety,” Valadez, who serves as host and curator of Alternalido, tells Billboard. “Latin alternative means so many things to different people. You’ve got fans that love Maná and then you have new artists like Omar Apollo and Ambar Lucid who want to break rules and do their own things.”

In an effort to better serve the bilingual Latin community in California — which has the largest Latino population in the 

U.S. — Alternalidoaims to spotlight an array of Latin alternative sounds from around the world. 

“Think of it like it’s Anthony Bourdain behind the turntables taking you around the world through sound,” Valadez says.

While the idea of a Latin-centric show was floated around a few years ago, now was the “perfect time” to go live, according to Jeff Federman, Entercom’s regional president. “We are so much better than we were when we entered March because we were forced to catch up on technology and learn to be even more resourceful. It’s almost a renaissance for radio.”

Mike Kaplan, senior vp/programming at Entercom, echoes Federman. “It’s exciting to know that we’re evolving and taking it to the next step. It was needed in this station. There are no boundaries in music.”

It was precisely that that drew Valadez — who will keep his weekend show on KCRW— to be part of the show as a host and curator. “In a new space and a new era, there’s more room for experimentation. Latin alternative is not new — it’s been there and it’s been neglected. And for these guys to say, ‘Let’s showcase this,’ yeah let’s break rules, that’s super important to me.”

Valadez, who has hosted weekly radio programs for the past 20 years, says he’s not only excited to offer a new home for Latin alternative artists but to be able to create a sense of community in trying times.

“People need community more than ever,” Valadez says. “This is music that is hand-picked and that’s a beautiful thing. The show is very inviting, it’s created with love for everybody and no matter where you come from, you’ll hear something you like.”

Alternalido airs Sundays from 8:00 -10:00 pm PST on KROQ.

Kali Uchis Among the Artists Featured on Pandora’s New Latin Music Station “El Detour”

Kali Uchis is taking a special detour…

Pandorais adding a new Latin music station, El Detour, which aims to highlight the work of Latinx recording acts who don’t necessarily belong to a genre or have the exposure of mainstream artists, like the 25-year-old Colombian American singer/songwriter.

Kali Uchis

Uchis will appear alongside acts like Girl Ultra and The Marias, all known for their distinct and vibrant music styles, from R&B to psychedelic soul.

“We wanted to create a station that highlights the genres and artists that don’t necessarily fit in a box and defy genres, music that is outside of the mainstream created by Latinos both in Latin America and the U.S.,” Marcos Juarez, Pandora’s head of Latin music, tells Billboard. “We were very intentional in the way that we chose songs. We wanted to highlight Latin music in 2019 that is outside of the mainstream.”

The Pandora Latin team, including music programmer Leticia Ramirez who came up with the El Detour station name, oversees Pandora’s Latin offerings, including El Pulso’s urban music and RMX, a station dedicated to the regional Mexican genre. 

El Detour aims to show the diversity of Latin music in thoughtfully curated playlists that include everything from electro-pop to tropical fusion as the music streaming platform celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month


“It became clear to us that there were a ton of artists — and this has been true for ages — operating in the margins outside of mainstream commercial music,” Juarez said. “El Detour highlights some of these bigger artists who are huge right now such as Cuco, Kali Uchis and Bomba Estero, artists we have heard of and some are signed to major labels. But we also really wanted to highlight and celebrate a lot of those artists working to build audiences in their respective regions.”

Juarez revealed that Pandora is kicking off the El Detour marketing campaign with Cuco, Kali Uchis, Helado Negro and The Marias, adding that they represent a diverse cross section of distinct sounds.

“Something in English, something in Spanish, they are bicultural and they straddle both sides of Latin identity, American identity and they are emblematic of young Latinos of the U.S. consuming music from all over the place,” Juarez said. “We see this reflected in festival culture such as Viva Pomona[in Southern California] or Tropicalia, which is coming later in the year.”

Juarez also pointed out some of Pandora’s offerings of Latin classics, nostalgic music from around the world, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico and Colombia. It’s a way of “creating relatable listening music experiences in whatever genre or mood you are in,” he adds. 

“Pandora has always been adept at fostering discovery,” Juarez said. “With this project we are looking to accelerate that process of discovery and put music in front of people that otherwise may not be aware of. Latin music continues to thrive and I think we have had success in being reflective of Latino culture and being representative of the diversity of it all.”

Caifanes to Perform at This Year’s Tropicália Music and Taco Festival

It’s time for Tropicália and tacos for Caifanes

Goldenvoice has announced the return of Tropicália Music and Taco Festival, with the Mexican rock en español band joining the lineup.

Caifanes

Takin place on November 9 and 10 in Southern California, the two-day festival will feature performances from Caifanes, Los Tigres Del NorteKali Uchis and Chicano Batman at its new location at the Pico Rivero Sports Arena grounds in Los Angeles County.

Enanitos VerdesHombres GNatalia LafourcadeZoeCucoBoy PabloOmar ApolloMaldita VencidadPaquita La Del BarrioYellow DaysWallowsThe DrumsFidlarBomba Estereo and more will also perform at this year’s fest.

The packed lineup also includes Beach FossilsOh SeesChulita Vinyl ClubMen I TrustPeach PitSALESLos Angeles NegrosLos Cadetes De Linares, Los Freddy’sand Los Hurricanes.

After two years in Long Beach, the Latin indie music festival will relocate and partner with L.A. Taco. The Los Angeles-based taco-focused website will curate the vendors for the first time, including Teddy’s Red TacosBalam Mexican Kitchen and Triple Threat, with more to be announced.

https://twitter.com/Tropicalia_Fest/status/1168963130136944640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1168963130136944640&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.billboard.com%2Farticles%2Fnews%2Ffestivals%2F8528976%2Fcaifanes-los-tigres-del-norte-tropicalia-festival


Mon Laferte to Perform at the Immigrant Rights-Themed “Selena for Sanctuary” Concert

Mon Laferte is taking on the music of a legend… And it’s all for a good cause.

The 35-year-old Chilean singer-songwriter will perform at “Selena for Sanctuary,” a free concert that’s part of the summer festival Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Mon Laferte 

The concert aims to raise awareness about the dire situation of undocumented immigrant that has caused a national outcry, with the music of Selena being used to entertain and educate people about the plight of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

“I am very excited to be part of this event,” said Laferte, a Latin Grammy winner. “I admire Selena and I grew up singing her songs. It is an honor for me to be able to sing her songs and to support this initiative with a subject like migration, which concerns us all.”

The show will also feature singers Gaby Moreno, Cuco and Nina Diaz, as well as special guest appearances by guitarist Chris Perez, Selena’s widower; Omar Apollo, and August Eve.

Created by Doris Munoz, daughter of undocumented immigrants, “Selena for Sanctuary” pays tribute to the most successful artist in Latin music while fighting for a cause. It arrives at the outdoor stage of the prestigious Lincoln Centerafter having smaller editions in South California.

“This event started as a simple idea and call to action after the current administration threatened our community’s sanctuary cities which affected my working-class undocumented parents,” Munoz said, referring to the policies of President Donald Trump.

She added: “It only feels necessary to leverage the platform we have been blessed with to help our community in need. This event is as personal as it gets, there are millions of families like my own and if this inspires at least one person to get involved we’ve done our job.”

More than two decades after her passing, Selena Quintanilla still inspires fans and musicians alike.

“We know Selena is a Tejano music icon and a legend, but beyond that, she represents the Latin American people as someone who fought for her dreams, overcoming many difficulties, always defending tooth and nail the Latino roots she carried inside,” Moreno said in an email.

Selena broke barriers for women in Latin music and opened the floodgates for a new generation of contemporary artists of Latin descent who would go on to enjoy huge popularity with mainstream American audiences.

She was fatally shot by her fan club’s president at 23. She has sold more than 65 million units worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.

To Cuco, the late Tejano star launched a new era of representation for people of color in the industry.

“This event is important to me because it paves a way for people that went through the same struggle that my parents went through,” said the Mexican-American singer.