Articles, Music

International Playlist #3: Music of South America

International Playlist #3: South Africa

This week’s global musical journey brings us to South America, a continent full of diverse musical styles and dances:


Popular Music Genres:

* Vallenato, Tropical (ex. Merengue and Salsa), Ballads, Reggaeton, Rancheras, Pop, Cumbia, Champeta

> Vallenato translates to “born in the valley”. It is “a music style that is composed of four airs or typical rhythms of the region. The songs talk about the personal experiences of the writers and the feelings of the mestizo (mixed race) culture that represents most Colombians” (World Music Central). Vallenatos are typically made with three instruments: the caja, the guacharaca, and the accordion.

> “Ranchera, a style of music that grew out of the Mexican revolution, highlights the beauty and simplicity of Mexican life for all citizens” (Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh).

> Cumbia is “a blend between European, African and indigenous cultures. It was born on Colombia’s Caribbean coast where it was originally an African courtship dance that evolved” (Colombia Co).

Artist Spotlight – Shakira

Quick Facts:

> Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia.

> Singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress, and philanthropist.

> Debuted in 1990 when she was just 13 years old.

> Creates music in Spanish and English.

> Is a well-known figure in the Latin Music scene.

> Was a coach on NBC’s The Voice for two seasons.

Global Achievements:

> Had 21 songs peak in various places on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

> Won 41 Latin Billboard Music Awards and 6 Billboard Music Awards.

> Won 11 Latin Grammy Awards, 1 Latin Grammy Special Award for Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, and 3 Grammy Awards.

> Won 4 MTV Video Music Awards and 2 MTV Europe Music Awards.

> Won 5 American Music Awards and 2 Latin American Music Awards.

> Won 7 World Music Awards, 1 People’s Choice Award, and 1 iHeartRadio Music Award.

> Was named the fourth top-earning female artist in the music industry by Forbes (2008).

> Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2011).

> At age 18, Shakira founded the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation which provides education and meals to impoverished children in Colombia.

> Won the Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year award for her musical contributions and humanitarian efforts (2011). She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of the agency’s global representatives.

> Was appointed as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2011).

> Won the Global Literacy Award from the World Literacy Foundation (2020).

> In 1999, Shakira’s MTV Unplugged became the program’s first episode to be broadcast entirely in Spanish. In 2001, Shakira’s Spanish version of her song “Whenever Wherever” was the first Spanish-language video to be aired on the U.S. MTV channel.

> According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, Shakira’s song “Hips Don’t Lie” broke the record for the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history. It was played 9,657 times in one week during 2006.

> Forbes ranked Shakira on their list of “Top 100 World’s Most Powerful Women” at number 40 in 2012, at 52 in 2013, and at 58 in 2014.

> In February 2020, she and Jennifer Lopez performed for the Super Bowl LIV halftime show.

Song Recommendations:

  1. Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
  2. Ocean” by Karol G
  3. Deja Vu” by Shakira and Prince Royce
  4. Dame Tu Amor” by Mauricio & Palo de Agua
  5. La Aventurera” by Mónica Giraldo
  6. Gypsy” by Shakira
  7. Dia Gris” by Valentina Rico
  8. El Diablo” by Sanalejo
  9. Beautiful Liar” by Beyoncé and Shakira
  10. Bonita” by Cabas
  11. No Soy de Callar” by Ana María Vahos


Popular Music Genres:

* Pop, Sertanejo (a.k.a. Música Sertaneja), Rock, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), Choro, Hip Hop, Samba & Pagode

> Sertanejo is a music genre that originated in the rural area of central Brazil. Lyrics of this genre often deal with the topics of emotions, romance, and suffering. In terms of American music, Sertanejo is a close equivalent to the genre of country music.

> Choro is an instrumental music genre that originated in mid-19th century Rio de Janeiro. Despite the genre’s name, choro meaning “cry” in Portuguese, its music is often happy and upbeat. In terms of American music, Choro can be described as “the New Orleans jazz of Brazil” (American Public Media).

Artist Spotlight – Anitta

Quick Facts:

> Born in 1993 in Rio de Janeiro.

> Brazilian singer, songwriter, and actress.

> Creates music in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

> Was signed by Warner Music Group and debuted in 2013.

> Her main music genre is pop mixed with elements of R&B, EDM, Reggaeton, and more.

Global Achievements:

> Collaborated with various international artists including J Balvin, Iggy Azalea, Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Major Lazer, Andrea Bocelli, Rita Ora, Snoop Dogg, and more.

> Won Best Brazilian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards (2014-2018).

> Was the first Brazilian artist to win Best Latin American Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards (2015).

> Was nominated for 5 Latin Grammy Awards.

> Performed at the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

> Was elected “Woman of the Year” by the Brazilian edition of GQ magazine (2017).

> Won the Social Star Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards (2018).

> Won Hit del Año (Hit of the Year) at the MTV Millennial Awards México (2018).

> Won Favorite Video at the Latin American Music Awards (2018, 2019).

> Won Best International Singer at the GQ Mexico Awards (2018).

> Performed at the Rock in Rio music festival (2019).

> Recorded songs that were featured on the soundtracks of movies including Charlie’s Angels and UglyDolls.

> Her songs “Bang” and “Medicina” were featured on various versions of the Just Dance video game series.

> Anitta was the subject of a Netflix docuseries titled Vai Anitta.

> Her album Kisses peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart and at #16 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart.

> Anitta had 4 songs peak within the Top 10 on Billboard’s Latin Digital Song Sales chart.

> Anitta peaked at #18 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart.

Song Recommendations:

  1. Será” by Lagum and IZA
  2. Meu Talismã” by IZA
  3. Coisa Linda” by Tiago Iorc
  4. Pantera” by Anitta
  5. Oi” by Lagum
  6. Evapora” by IZA, Ciara, and Major Lazer
  7. Reggae Bom” by Lagum
  8. Will I See You” by Poo Bear feat. Anitta
  9. El Gato Que Está Triste y Azul (Un Gato Nel Blu)” by Roberto Carlos
  10. Pupila” by ANAVITÓRIA feat. Vitor Kley
  11. Falando a Verdade” by Lagum

Spotify International Playlist #3 – Music of South America


Samantha Tolley

Hi, I’m Samantha! I am a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Advertising and this is my first summer being a GirlSpring intern. I’m so excited to be a part of this empowering community and can’t wait for y’all to read my articles! A little bit about me, I love photography, movie marathons, Disney, dogs (I have an English Cream puppy), and everything music (my favorite bands are NCT 127, P!ATD, AC/DC, and Queen).

More Posts

You may also like

Leave a Reply